In today's Royal Gazette Finance Minister and Deputy Premier The Hon. Paula "Cog" Cox JP MP reiterated her position that she is just "a cog in the wheel" of government.
What then does the Department of Finance actually do?
Lets begin this search for the meaning of the only department actually specifically mentioned in the Bermuda Constitution by looking at what the word Finance means.
Webster's Dictionary defines it as: "the science or study of the management of funds" and " the obtaining of funds or capital" but, in this context I think most can agree that it means simply money management.
So now that we know what the word Finance actually means let us play with the definition and imagine that the Department is instead called the Department of Money Management and not the Department of Stand By And Let Them Spend What They Want Regardless Of How Much Money We Have as one may have expected. What does the Department of Money Management therefore have responsibility for? Well.. Money Management right?. Both in the regulating the flow of money in the economy and in regulating the incomes and expenditures of government funds right? That would seem logical to me anyway.
So why does Ms. Cog seem to have a different idea? How can she or anyone justify completely ignoring the management part of her portfolio? What if we applied her team idea to her management of the economy? No one would be paying taxes! Every company would do what was profitable, not what was legal! Does that sound like a good thing?
It's about time that she stops this strange attempt to shirk all responsibility for her failures and just admit that either she is incompetent or doesn't have the testicular fortitude to stand up to Ewart Brown and the other members of the cabinet. We need expenditure cuts, reductions in government waste, better management of capital projects and economic stimulus. Not a 10% increase in spending, a 2% rise in payroll tax and a reduction in the tax rates on TVs.
So enough with this cog in the wheel nonsense. Bermuda has been mismanaged financially over the last few years Ms. Cox was the one asleep at the wheel while it happened but, if there was ever a time to turn things around it is now. So lets see some proof that she has the testicular fortitude she is so fond of talking about. For the past few years good financial management has seemed like wishful thinking but, perhaps with a bit of a backbone that can change.