I'm not sure what kind of numbers the PLP - outside of Cabinet - have in Parliament for this SDO for Tucker's Point. And regardless of how you feel about what essentially amounts to a Government bailout of a private corporation and HSBC's loan department, there is a lot going on here.
Firstly, and usually around election time, the PLP make a lot of noise about land being appropriated from black families by the Bermuda Government to create what is now Tucker's Town. So, with the SDO action they are demonstrating that when it comes to tourism they would have and will do the same, by handing over the same land for foreign ownership. They have now ceded that as an issue (not that they won't keep bringing it up when politically expedient and playing golf there with a clear conscience).
Secondly, if I were the Opposition, which I'm not, I'd be looking to apply some pressure here to force Government's hand (to the extent that they don't have the numbers themselves), and withhold any support for a re-zoning and additional sales of residential units to non-Bermudians until the Government:
- abandons their discriminatory land license policy which prevents Bermudian families with one not yet Bermudian spouse from owning more than one property and disadvantages them in the real estate market.
- reinstates the previous policy which allowed Bermudians with qualifying homes to sell those to non-Bermudians, which is what the Tucker's Point Special Development Order is designed to accomplish for a corporation.
Why should Bermudian individuals be treated as second class citizens while corporations, and foreign banks are given preferential treatment to prop up their bad business decisions?
I understand the value of a resort like Tucker's Point succeeding as being critical to Bermuda's tourism industry, but it's at least 50% a real estate sales model, and Government is demonstrating incredible hypocrisy and hostility to its own citizens - and undermining the local real estate sector of the economy - by treating Bermudian families as less important than corporations.