It is somewhat unnerving that Bermuda's coat of arms has on it the motto "Quo fata ferunt" which means "Whither the fates lead us". Unnerving because it seems to me there may be better ways of planning for a country than to rely on fate.
I say that in the context of our budget process, which, if you thought it looked odd from 'the outside', I can confirm it was more than odd for those of us on 'the inside'.
As you know, this is not a government sanctioned blog, but sometimes it is illogical to ignore where I work as I contemplate blog posts.
One reason the budget process was peculiar was because it was all so last minute. I don't know how we reach a point where department heads find out on Budget Day that a hiring freeze and early retirement incentive scheme, which together could impact a third or more of their staff, are being implemented. Really? On Budget Day? Now, maybe I missed one too many Heads of Departments meetings, but I don't think so.
As we make this budget work - and we must make it work - the most difficult truth to face is this: if you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to something else. We simply don't have the money to do it all.
So, if you are going to lobby for your pet project, decide in advance what you are giving up instead. You do this for your household budget and the Bermuda Government is in the same situation, albeit with vastly more complicated demands on its limited funds. Hard choices must be made, and I hope all of Bermuda's people realise this now.
As for that reprehensible budget process, I have an idea for avoiding that saga when budget planning begins again in September for April 2016. I'll let you know next year, whether it worked.