• Bermuda will host all racing for the 35th America's Cup. Photo © Roland Skinner/picturesquebermuda.bm
    Bermuda will host all racing for the 35th America's Cup. Photo © Roland Skinner/picturesquebermuda.bm
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The Royal Gazette. By Lisa Simpson, Paul Johnston.

The America’s Cup was a “silver bullet” that hit the target in time to save Bermuda’s economy, the Shadow Minister of Economic Development told Parliament last night. Grant Gibbons said the island’s economy would have continued to struggle if it had not been for the money-spinning international sailing event.

Dr Gibbons, who met fierce resistance from social development and sports minister Zane DeSilva, said: “I know the Government likes to talk about economic ripples but what the PwC report found was that this was really a tsunami effect on Bermuda. In essence, hosting the AC35 provided the economic boost, the so-called silver bullet that Bermuda needed to continue growing and restore confidence on Bermuda and in our island.”

Dr Gibbons added there had been speculation about the island’s economic wellbeing if it had not won the right to host the race.

He said: “From my perspective, it is not difficult to imagine that Bermuda’s economy would have continued to struggle, requiring further public and private sector downsizing and even less spending on social services, social insurance, seniors and healthcare. It was pretty clear in 2014 that if something had not happened, we would be looking forward to higher deficits, more debt and higher taxes, certainly not a healthy option but that is where we were seemed to be headed.”

Dr Gibbons was speaking as he moved a motion in the House of Assembly to “take note of the economic, environmental and social impact of the 35th America’s Cup on Bermuda and the foundation for further growth”.

Read about the PWC report and claimed economic benefits from the Cup here.

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