One Bermuda Alliance Leader Craig Cannonier today called for urgent action to boost what he termed Bermuda’s “flatlining economy”.
In his Reply to the Throne Speech this afternoon, Mr Cannonier called for more amendments to Bermuda’ 60:40 rule to encourage local investment and new bankruptcy legislation to reduce risks for start-up businesses.
He also accused the ruling Progressive Labour Party of taking credit for success achieved by OBA policies that were attacked when the PLP was the Opposition party.
The OBA Leader also took a swipe at National Security Minister Wayne Caines for his now infamous “titty milk” comment and the PLP’s criticism of the appointment of the new Chief Justice, Narinder Hargun.
“It all adds up to a national disgrace,” said Mr Cannonier.
“It exposes the true feelings of the Burt administration about anyone who is not part of their elitist critique…
“The only positive numbers the Premier can highlight are the OBA’s doing. The economy is now flatlining. Where is our much needed economic stimulus going to come from?
“The legacy of the America’s Cup has been squandered by the PLP. All the capital projects under the OBA will eventually come to an end. The economy seems to be slipping backward, evidenced by the negative trend in retail spending: six months of decline,” he said.
“If things don’t change, and change fast, Bermuda will be the fallen star of the North Atlantic.
“The fact is, despite the Premier’s cheerleaders lauding his recent policy offerings, we are actually chasing the tail of a recession.”
On the 60:40 rule, he said the legislation should be amended again so that “all Bermuda residents may qualify under the 60 per cent ownership portion”.
“This will allow more of the wealth already on the island to be invested into our economy, which again increases the availability of domestic capital.
“This provides more competition for the banks, which will drive better lending rates for Bermudians,” said Mr Cannonier.
“We must create not only the educational programmes, but also the legal framework, so that when business start-ups encounter risk this need not be life ending.”