♦ The following statement was released in follow up to the Throne Speech by One Bermuda Alliance Leader Craig Cannonier on Friday, November 9, 2018
This is a lot that the One Bermuda Alliance welcomes in the Throne Speech, such as the effort to reduce the use of single use plastics and the increase in paid maternity leave. The idea of an arbitration centre is also something we would support.
It’s theme of focusing on the cost of living and economic inequality is also laudable, however there was no real mention of creating jobs or economic development – which is the best way of helping people cope with the cost of living and inequality.
Government appears to have all its eggs in the fintech basket, so to see no over-riding emphasis on improving the job prospects for Mr and Mrs Bermuda was concerning. We saw some mention of support for technology-based businesses and vertical farms, but plans for economic development were limited to two paragraphs.
There was nothing to offer small and medium sized businesses many of who are just managing to survive and I am concerned they may be further disadvantaged by the plans for progressive social insurance payments.
A progressive tax based on energy consumption could also affect businesses and further push up their operating costs which either get passed onto the consumer or which force the business to make redundancies.
While we would all like to see lower health care costs, there are a lot of questions about the plan to have one or two health insurance pools. This could have very negative effects on employment for our insurers.
Economic indicators are all down, the date to balance the budget has been pushed back and Bermuda is still borrowing more.
Imgine a Bermuda today, therefore, that did not have the jobs that the airport created, and will continue to create, imagine if we did not have the economic input of the America’s Cup, imagine if we did not have the Bermuda Tourism Authority – how much worse would Bermuda be today?