Well, I’ve had the opportunity now to review the 2013 Budget.
The Bermuda Sun asked me if I would be willing to provide them with a quick review of it, and so I have done, and you can read the full article here.
What I will say here though, is that there are some good ideas in the budget. But there are also some proposals in it which I have concerns about.
More importantly, I think the Budget misses the opportunity to really develop a green route out of the economic crisis.
Particular ideas which I think they could have developed was extending ‘sin taxes’ onto junk-food, but with the revenue generated used to subsidise healthier staples, such as rice, beans and fresh produce. [For technical term people out there, this is what one would call an example of a Pigouvian tax.]
I also think they should have developed a carbon tax, both to bolster revenue and to subsidise local food production (and thus both generate jobs and reduce leakages out of the economy).
I’m okay with increased vehicle taxes, but feel this should have been done in such a way as to encourage greater use of public transportation (and so the increases to fares is counterproductive), and to incentivise less fossil-fuel reliant transportation in the future (again, reduces leakages out of the economy in the long term).
I caution that these are just some very quick thoughts. As I have more time to analyse the Budget, and learn from others also analysing it, I may have more thoughts on it.
The early PLP response is here.