Addressing inequality is “the single most pressing issue for Governments in the modern era” – including Bermuda.
 
This from Bermuda’s Governor, John Rankin, while delivering the Progressive Labour Party’s second Speech From The Throne yesterday, where he said “systemic inequality is the root of much that has created the Bermuda of today”.
 
Speaking under the big tent at the Cabinet Building, where there were more than a few seats empty, he said: “The entrenched interests that once held a seemingly benign but unyielding influence on this community may have passed on, but the system they created persists and the legacy of that system remains to be undone.”
 
He also noted that “in his fourth book, ‘Jamaica: Struggle in the Periphery’, Michael Manley wrote: “To understand today’s politics one must always begin with yesterday’s economics.” 
 
Moving forward, he said: “The overarching theme of this session will be one devoted to reducing the cost of living for Bermudians and dismantling systems of inequality.
 
“Addressing inequality is the single most pressing issue for governments in the modern era. At stake is the very foundation of democracy; the failure to address inequality continues to yield discontent, social unrest and economic stagnation.
 
“Bermuda’s size, well-educated population and history of economic success equip us with the foundation for managing the necessary changes,” said Governor Rankin.
 
While noting that “Bermuda has changed for the better”, he said: “Over the last sixteen months Bermuda has changed.
 
Today, all of our public schools have Wi-Fi, primary schools have STEAM education, Bermuda finally has a workforce development plan and hundreds more Bermudians are able to attend the Bermuda College to update their skills.
 
“Government revenues are up, Government spending is down, the deficit has narrowed and the next budget will see Bermuda’s net debt start to decrease.
 
“There are 322 more people working in Bermuda than last year, payroll taxes for workers are at the lowest level in twenty-three years, entrepreneurs have more access to capital and our seniors are comforted knowing that their pensions are keeping up with the rate of inflation.”
 
“Bermuda now has roadside sobriety testing, parents are being notified about the release of sex offenders, conscription has ended, simple cannabis possession has been decriminalised and our public parks now have fitness equipment.”
 
“Bermuda has changed, and it has changed for the better. However, despite the progress, we are still a long way from the Better and Fairer Bermuda that Bermudians voted for last year.”
 

While there 322 more people working in Bermuda than last year, he said: “Payroll taxes for workers are at the lowest level in twenty-three years, entrepreneurs have more access to capital and our seniors are comforted knowing that their pensions are keeping up with the rate of inflation.
 
In this legislative session, the Governor said the focus will be on tackling the cost of living and economic inequality in Bermuda.
 
The entrenched interests that once held a seemingly benign but unyielding influence on this community may have passed on, but the system they created persists and the legacy of that system remains to be undone.”
 
“The overarching theme of this session will be one devoted to reducing the cost of living for Bermudians and dismantling systems of inequality,” said Governor Rankin.
 
At stake is the very foundation of democracy; the failure to address inequality continues to yield discontent, social unrest and economic stagnation.Bermuda’s size, well-educated population and history of economic success equip us with the foundation for managing the necessary changes.”
 
While “most countries around the world have become fairer due to electorates demanding governments to modify laws which promote systemic inequality”, including the United States and Europe, he said:  “True to form as ‘Bermuda Is Another World’, these types of reforms have never been fully realised on our shores.
 
“Systems that were long recognised as unfair and modified in other countries continue unabated in Bermuda, as though we are stuck in the past.The Government is determined to use its mandate to promote a system of greater fairness and equity, where the potential of Bermudians is limited only by their individual determination to succeed.”
 
On that note he added: “The Government is determined to use its mandate to promote a system ofgreater fairness and equity, where the potential of Bermudians is limited only by their individual determination to succeed.
 
“Four constants of life inBermuda symbolise how the failure to modernise over time can harm economic growth and societal development. Healthcare costs, regressive taxation, high mortgage rates and steep energy costs create a ‘perfect storm’ of ingrained costs that make us less competitive as a jurisdiction, deprive families of disposable income to the detriment of other sectors of the economy and stifle the desires of young people to realise a degree of permanence in their own  country.”

 
 
 
 
Please follow and like us: