I have watched with increasing anxiety the rising costs of living in Bermuda as a result of the polices implemented by the PLP and how they will affect us. What I have yet to see, however, is a potential breakdown of the costs that directly impact a middle-class Bermudian and how these polices directly affect income. I felt it prudent to gather a consensus from friends and family and offer up the below case study.
Fixed costs directly impacted, and have risen significantly, by policies put in place by the PLP for the consensus were as follows:
1, $300 annual increase of land tax
2, $1,800 annual increase of cost of health insurance (increase of $150 average per month)
3, $480 annual increase of prescription drugs converted to over the counter and no longer covered by insurance
4, $8.39 increase of licensing a 150cc bike
5, $36.58 increase of licensing a Class D car
Before I have even factored in personal lifestyle choices such as the increased costs of post office parcels, juice, soda, candy and wine, annual costs for an average middle-class Bermudian have risen by more than $2,600. This is a significant sum.
If you take the median annual income in Bermuda from the 2016 census, it is $84,247. The above costs represent 3 per cent of that income level.
Some companies offer a cost of living increase between 1 per cent and 3 per cent, if youíre lucky. If not, then you have essentially lost 3 per cent of your income, through no decision, thought or consultation of your own.
That $2,600 of disposable income that the average Bermudian has lost could represent:
1, School fees
2, School uniforms
3, Bermuda College tuition
4, Home repairs
5, Hospital bills
6, A vacation for those who havenít been able to afford one or who havenít left the island for years
This is almost $3,000 that the PLP have taken from the average working-class Bermudian.
The PLP have offered no plan or course of action on how they plan to spend the almost $3,000 that they have taken except for mystery shopper cruises, sandman contracts, and increases to ministerial salaries to name a few.
There is no course of action on how this increase will be directed towards the crippled school system, infrastructure, tourism product, or any viable stimulation for the downward spiralling economy.
People of Bermuda, the PLP have taken this money from you. Shame on them. We deserve better.