Progressive Labour Party leader David Burt unveiled his party’s General Election platform vowing to do more in the first 100 days of a PLP administration than the One Bermuda Alliance accomplished in five years.
Speaking at the Blue Diamond Lounge at Young Men’s Social Club last night, he told party members that the PLP’s manifesto contains “a combination of fresh, new ideas and some very good old ideas to bring about needed positive change in Bermuda’s society”.
“It is a change that will put our children and their future first, provide tools and opportunities for Bermuda’s unemployed and underemployed workforce and promote an economy that works for all Bermudians,” he said.
Stating in his opening remarks that it is time for change, he said the PLP will “put our children and their future first; provide tools and opportunities and opportunities for Bermuda’s unemployed and underemployed workforce; promote an economy that works for all Bermudians; reduce the racial tension that has permeated our country; assure quality and affordable health care; and give seniors the quality of life that their sacrifice deserves”.
Moving forward he said a PLP government will “unite our citizens, restore hope and lead Bermuda to meet the challenges of a changing world”. And in the first 100 days he said the party will appoint a gang violence reduction group, grant additional powers to the Price Control Commission to help reduce the cost of living in Bermuda, and re-establish the Bermuda First advisory group “to develop a long-term economic and social vision for Bermuda”.
The platform, entitled ‘An Agenda for a Better and Fairer Bermuda’, also includes “an urgent review of health and safety in all public schools to ensure that all our students and teachers are learning and working in a safe environment”. On school infrastructure upgrades, he also said the PLP will install Wi-Fi in all public schools to ensure that students “have access to the latest technology”.
On the controversial airport redevelopment contract with AECON, Mr Burt said the PLP will review the privatization contract “to see if Bermuda can get a better deal”.
He also pledged to set up a Bipartisan Committee on Immigration Reform “to ensure fairness in our immigration system while putting Bermudians first” and “reverse the OBA’s immigration policy which removed the requirement that businesses who bring in overseas entertainers must employ a Bermudian group at the venue at the same time”.
Other proposals to “put our people back to put our people back to work, educate our children, empower Bermudian entrepreneurs and make Bermudians feel they have a future in their own country” includes phasing out middle schools and implementing a living wage.
The PLP will also double the guarantee capacity of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation to empower entrepreneurs and set up a Tax Reform Commission to make Bermuda’s tax system fairer. Other plans include the establishment of a code of conduct for MPs and a Code of Practice for Project Management and Procurement.
Other speakers included PLP MPs Diallo Rabain, Walter Roban, and Walton Brown, who noted that the PLP accepts “same-sex couples should have similar legal benefits as heterosexual couples, save for marriage”. He told the audience gathered that the PLP “will introduce legislation to achieve this aim”.
The PLP has scheduled a news conference at Alaska Hall later today at 3pm.