Speaking on the recent unemployment figures, Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier said the figures were “alarming” and said we cannot continue to go on with the “spin and deception.”
Noting that the unemployment rate has doubled since 2009, Mr Cannonier said: “The reality of Bermuda’s story is this, we are not headed in a direction that we have heard from our Premier in the past saying that the country is recovering.”
“What it’s telling is that our Government’s policies, our Government’s procedures and decision making is not working for Bermuda and Bermudians.
“More and more people are finding themselves without work, more and more businesses are essentially closing down. That should be alarming to us.
Mr Cannonier continued: “It’s time to call the election. It’s time, as Bermuda is frustrated. Bermuda has had enough. Our government continues to talk about standing strong…well with the stance that we see, and the grass that we are looking at…unemployment is rising..it’s not at a standstill, we are not standing strong, we are continuing to fall with these alarming figures.”
“We cannot continue to go on with the spin and deception,” said Mr Cannonier. “Our government is more concerned with going into bus shelters and tearing down OBA posters rather than getting on with the work of getting Bermuda back and working again.”
17-minute video of the full press conference:
Shadow Minister of Finance Bob Richards said: “This government is not about growth, it is about contraction, and their record is proof. While there is slow growth overseas, our economy is still contracting.
“Contraction has resulted in: The unemployment figures we have talked about today, the export of jobs in Bermuda to other lands, the exodus of job creators from our shores to anywhere but here, the death of local businesses large and small in the retail and construction sectors, widespread vacancies in residential rental units while mortgages still have to be paid by Bermudian owners, soaring debt, both public and private.
“We, the OBA, have a turnaround plan that requires implementing pro- growth policies and cutting wasteful government spending – simultaneously.
“Some of our pro-growth plans include: granting any employer a two-year payroll tax exemption for new Bermudian hiring, support small businesses by directing 20% of all government goods and services spending – about $80 million a year – to them, create Bermudian construction and tourism jobs through the redevelopment of the Hamilton and the St. George’s waterfronts.
Mr Richards continued: “There is clearly a great deal of wasteful spending within government that can be eliminated. We would: implement a Spending And Government Efficiency (SAGE) commission, establish a Contractor General to oversee the bidding and the implementation process of all government capital contracts; an area that has witnessed huge overspends from dodgy bidding procedures and cronyism.”
“Bermuda is one of the world’s three risk capitals, yet the government pays a huge $12 million annual insurance bill the old fashioned way. An OBA government would use Bermuda based risk management expertise to significantly lower this cost. Government has paid lip service to this idea but, in dithering for so long, they’ve wasted millions of dollars in insurance premiums. We would expedite this idea forthwith.
“These are just a small sample of the turnaround plans the OBA has to create jobs, put us on a growth path once again, and establish control over government finances,” said Mr Richards.
- Richards: ‘Government’s Record Of Job Losses’
- Video: OBA On Youth Unemployment Numbers
- OBA: ‘PLP Platform Has No Plan To Grow Jobs’
- OBA’s Richards: ‘Job Losses Can Be Stopped’
- OBA Reject Comments As ‘Aimless Politicking’
- OBA: Government Document Is “Electioneering”
Articles that link to this one:
- Premier Paula Cox Responds To Bob Richards | Bernews.com | October 19, 2012