Dickinson: some capital projects to go ahead

  • Finance minister Curtis Dickinson (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Several capital projects, from renewable energy to infrastructure, can go ahead thanks to the Government’s raising of $1.35 billion in bonds, Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister, said yesterday.

A host of capital projects in the 2020-21 Budget unveiled in February had to be sidelined after the Covid-19 pandemic scuppered revenues while piling on additional government expenses.

Mr Dickinson said the additional funds raised last month by the Bermuda Government could enable the projects to proceed.

He said the capital spending can proceed while keeping the overall target on track of bringing the budget back into balance in three years, when tourism is expected to be fully recovered, by 2022.

Mr Dickinson added that cruise ship visits were expected to resume next April.

Solar installations on six government buildings will save electricity, while improvements are to be made at facilities ranging from Westgate prison to bus depots in St George’s and Devonshire, Marine and Ports on East Broadway, Sessions House, and the Botanical Gardens Visitor Centre.

Other projects listed by Mr Dickinson includes upgrades to Pembroke Canal, and a shoreside facility for the Government’s fishing co-operative.

The Government’s estimated deficit figure for 2020-21 has been projected to range from $275 to $315 million.

Today, Mr Dickinson said that the ministry’s “best thinking” scenario, given the cost savings achieved, had the deficit at $225 million.