Some 22% or 14,300 of our approximate population of 65,000 are ex-pat workers according to bermuda-online.org. Think about what impact these guest workers truly have on our economy. Really, do the math. Customs Duty accounts for some $235 million of our overall budget, just as Payroll tax accounts for $270 million. If the salary disparities between the low skilled ex-pats, Bermudians and high skilled ex-pats balance out, the contribution of duty and payroll tax alone averages out to more then $115 million, by rough numbers. That’s $115 million of foreign cash poured into our country last year alone, which is like a $2000 cheque for every Bermudian.
You might not see it go directly into your pocket, but that $115 million goes to cover the cost of a great deal of services. That doesn’t even include other taxes and the money ex-pats spend living here. Attending our restaurants, our shops, living in our homes. Things may be cramped, but the money they bring in is what gives you and me a living. We only have ourselves to blame for having to sleep in the bed we’ve made because we didn’t have the foresight to build housing to compensate for the growing number of work permits our government pre-approves each year.
Bermuda-online.org also suggests,
According to the 2000 Census, 11 percent of Bermuda’s population is already older than 65, and the Department of Statistics estimates that this will double to 22 percent by 2030.
When the 2006/07 budget pegged pension estimates for the year at $1,103.44 per person per month, at some 7150 people over the age of 65 that amounts to just short of $95 million last year. Those of you out there who are 42 or older should begin wondering where your $157 million per year is going to come from as we approach the year 2030 and each of you retires. Especially those who don’t own their own homes. Are you really ready to be quick to bite the hand that feeds you?
Remember, our MP’s pay raises? Well along with them went fat pensions for those who sit in a position for as long as Alex Scott was our Premier. Those pensions put a further strain on the already stretched pension fund. Imagine, 3 years of work for a lifetime of fat pensions. Just think about it, our leaders have ensured that they’ll get theirs. Will you be getting yours?