Cannonier: OBA’s Economic Advisory Committee

November 27, 2012

An OBA Government would form an Economic Advisory Committee which would include Government Ministers, Opposition members, trade union leaders and business groups to discuss moving the economy forward, OBA Leader Craig Cannonier said this evening.

Mr Cannonier said: “The OBA has presented a number of economic plans that will help turn around our economy while protecting and growing Bermudian jobs.

“The need to implement a turnaround plan is critical. The situation facing thousands of families today is without precedent, and it is unacceptable.

“At least 3,400 Bermudians are unemployed and thousands more are categorized as under-employed, meaning they are earning less or can’t find enough work. Nearly 1 in 4 young Bermudians do not have a job.

“We have outlined a plan that would see employers get a payroll tax exemption for all new Bermudian hires, which would help reduce Bermudian unemployment.

“We have explained how we would direct at least 20% of Government spending on goods and services to small Bermudian business, which will support their bottom lines and their ability to keep their Bermudian workers employed. And we have said that we will crack down on employers who abuse immigration rules.

Mr Cannonier continued: “While we have pledged social and economic equity for all, leaving no one behind, the Government wants you to believe that an OBA Government will be a Government of austerity even though the Premier herself has called for austerity cuts across every Government department.

“Government cuts have strained the Police budget in the midst of crime crisis, budgets for Day Care and support for local charities, including the Sunshine League which closed soon after the Government cut its grant.

“We have gone on record to say that we will only reduce the civil service through natural attrition – not through layoffs and jobs cuts. We believe savings can be made through the creation of a Spending and Government Efficiency Commission.

“We will not say we have all the answers to turn around the economy and create jobs. However, we do know that the private sector, the trade unions and the many organizations that represent interest groups across society have valuable ideas and perspectives that should be heard by government on a regular basis.

“We understand that an approach to bring their valuable ideas and perspectives before the Government was made in this regard some time ago to Government. The current Government may not have wanted that to happen, but we think it should.

“An OBA Government would immediately form an Economic Advisory Committee which would include Government Ministers, Opposition members, trade union leaders and business groups that could meet every few months to discuss moving the economy forward.

“We believe there needs to be a forum in which all of Bermuda’s economic stakeholders have the opportunity to share their insights and to work together, with Government, to get Bermudians working again.

“It’s about working together for the sake of Bermuda. The very future depends on it. We ask the current Government to support such an initiative,” concluded Mr Cannonier.

The Progressive Labour Party dubbed the OBA’s “Spending and Government Efficiency Commission” the “Cuts Commission” and said “this is likely the vehicle that they are going to use to make deep cuts.”

A PLP spokesperson said: “The Both Ways OBA has promised to increase government spending and cut taxes to the tune of $500 million. They have also called for a reduction of government debt. In order to increase spending and cut debt, they will have to engage in deep and radical cuts to existing programmes.

“Today, the OBA acknowledged exactly how they are going to make those cuts – through a Cuts Commission. Bermudians deserve to know who exactly will be on the OBA’s Cuts Commission? Will those people have a heart for the people or will they be looking after their bottom lines?

“We call on the OBA to cast the Cuts Commission to the side and be straight with Bermudians about just what they plan to cut to meet their lofty promises.”

The PLP spokesperson also said: “Craig Cannonier seems to think that we’re going to be able to solve all our problems by form a series of commissions. More commissions and more talking is not the answer. Bermudians need swift action on the economy.

“That’s why we’re proposing that action through the creation of Job Corps Bermuda and the One Stop Career Centre. These are real ideas that help real Bermudians get back to work. We need action, not more commissions.”

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Comments (31)

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  1. Justin says:

    Are the PLP retarded?! The reason why people don't have jobs is because there are none. We need new hotels, new businesses, new foreign investment, etc... Instead, the plp wants to retrain an investment banker to become a pot washer. SMH

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    • Yes Aye says:

      Or an accountant... And guess what, Bermuda still has more jobs than there are Bermudians to fill them.

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      • JT says:

        Wow. What can be said about that?

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        • swing voter says:

          Our government just doesn't have it going on. they brag about more exempt companies setting up here but not one of them has a physical presence on island, only mail box addresses. How is this going to turn into jobs for bermudians. they can't get the arab and chinese money here before the election but talk as if it will happen.....soon. they talk about standing strong for us.....but raped the middle class thru over taxation and allow the entry level jobs to be dominated by 3rd world expats. I won't even address the burch/brown social engineering years of scaring away the major financial contributors to our GDP. another 5 years of bad policy and under handed behaviour cannot be allowed. If you love your country more than party affiliation, vote OBA.

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      • Come Correct says:

        Serious? Can you tell me where I can get one? I enjoy working with my hands, pot washing is excluded its a complete waste of my abilities.

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  2. Justin says:

    And guess what? Bermuda has a massive debt and decreasing revenues. Therefore, with the total amount of JOBS we have in Bermuda right now is not enough to sustain our standard of living. This means we will need more foreigners, guest workers, expats or whatever else you want to call them because Bermuda needs more revenue which is created by more JOBS! Training an accountant to become a waiter is not going to solve the problem. I pray to God you are not a paid consultant for the PLP!

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  3. Dead Ringer says:

    I was okay with the idea until he mentioned having trade union leaders on the board. I cant image any board being productive with Mr. BIUs being a part of it. Aside from that I agree with the idea in principle.

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    • Spot the Cog competition says:

      The Economic Advisory Committee is a great idea, an inclusive arena for the stakeholders in the economy to have a voice heard and work together. It will not be a smooth sail, but It is definately progress to have voices heard instead of dictated to as it is with the current set up.

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    • Triangle Drifter says:

      A BIU rep on such a board would be a good thing. He just might learn something about business starting with staff don't create jobs, investors with a good idea & a willingness to risk money create jobs.

      Like it or not, from the bottom to the top, we are all part of the machine that is the successful company.

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  4. 32n64w says:

    Are the PLP even capable of acting in a mature, thoughtful or productive manner?

    Every talking point is rooted in childish name calling or juvenile taunts. Do they have such little regard for the electorate that they feel it necessary to be the schoolyard bully?

    Are they so bankrupt of of new ideas, innovation or progressive collaboration that the only thing left in their political bag of tricks are these amateurish remarks, muppet shows and crude cartoons?

    Do voters feel this disrespect of their intelligence warrants any support at the polls? The PLP has truly descended into the muck and their founders are likely rolling in their graves in disgust.

    PLP - Betraying Bermudians since 1998, $1,500,000,000 and growing daily.

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    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      The PLP have always been great at "Your Momma" games. It's their bread and butter, and just think how many times has their paid blogger SPG4U or what other alias she is using these days stated herself that if you can only resort to name calling in a debate you only lower the level of the discussion .........irony at it's best........

      LOL

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  5. Get ready says:

    Love recycling , But not political recycle ! NEXT!!
    Details please!

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  6. I and I says:

    an OBA bi partisan approach would work and should be supported.

    The PLP will always be strong and they will attract an IB friendly premier and finance minister one day other than the touted D. Burgess and Z. DeSilva. Paula will be deceived ………

    PLP for life

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    • Blurt says:

      Paula has already left the building.

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    • Nitty Gritty says:

      When you say IB friendly, you are referring to Irritable Bowel I presume?
      They had their chance to be friendly and instead they barked and bit.
      Now those who support such a party stand out in the rain with another downpour coming, but they still dont see it.

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  7. One voice says:

    What the PLP still didn't get is that it is not an option to send more guest workers home and fill their jobs with Bermudians. The only way to recover is to make Bermuda an attractive place for foreign companies and by making guest workers feel welcome. If Bermudas population doesn't grow the economy can't recover, and quiet frankly that will not happen under a PLP government unless they make a 360 degree turn and go against all their BS policies which are only in place to make them look like they are caring for Bermudians and the country.

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  8. Victor says:

    I' m still going to vote OBA as I'm hopeful Bob Richards will have a Margaret Thatcher moment and knock some sense into Cannonier's head - Bermuda does not need anymore BS committees but decent pro business, low tax, bring back the expats to rent all the empty homes, get rid of non frontline Civil servants (especially in education and w&e), give real authority back to headmasters, etc policies. Also bring back expat Govt employees who will spend their money here, e.g not these Third World nurses and doctors who live ten to a dwelling and send every last penny back home but who will instead eat in our restaurants, shop, party, etc and genuinely commit to Bermuda rather than simply bide their time waiting for the Green Card to come through.

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  9. WOw says:

    Great Idea!

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  10. Vote for Me says:

    I have said several times before and will say once again. We are clearly in election mode and anything is lilely to be said by both parties.

    I hope that once the election is over, both the PLP and OBA, plus everyone else will work towards the collective good of Bermuda.

    Cannonier often says that the OBA will stop the shooting for example. This is clearly postering but I think I speak on behalf of all of Bermuda - if there is a plan to STOP the shootings. let's hear it because one more shooting is too much. Bob Richards has said the OBA has international partners waiting to make investments in Bermuda. If true, where are they? Bermuda needs the investment and it is more than short sighted to hold them back for political gain.

    The real and sustainable answer for Bermuda's economic challenges is to form an economic think tank, comprised of properly qualified and experienced individuals to provide advice to government that is publicly available for everyone to see. The government responsibility would be to examine any advice and then decide how to implement it.

    Until the election is decided, a lot of the comments must be 'taken with a grain of salt'.

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    • Sandgrownan says:

      We need tangible and legislative change now.

      Ok, i think we're down to two. Give me two immediate actions that could be take right now to begin an economic turnaround. Think tanks, training programs don't count.

      Just two.

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  11. Ringmaster says:

    So the "PLP spokesperson, the PLP/UBP don't have the guts to show a name, immediately trashes the idea and calls it the Cuts Commission.

    So childish.

    When will the PLP/UBP show the costs for their 10, now 25 point with the CURB list, plan? They say they will develope the Hamilton Waterfront. So what will that cost and what revenue will it generate? FutureCare is trumpeted as a great success, but even Zane DeSilva has stated it is unsustainable and must be changed (in his National Health Plan).

    How will the PLP/UBP generate real jobs? Training people to be pot washers and nail technicians is not going to generate more revenue and increase GDP. Where is the secret PLP/UBP economic recovery plan?

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  12. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    I'd love it if the leader of the OBA would agree to FACE THE NATION alongside the leader of the PLP .

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    • argosy says:

      Nation?

      What nation is that?

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      • Triangle Drifter says:

        I Was wondering the same thing? We are not even a country. We are just what we are on the globe, an insignificant little spec. We are nothing but a mid sized town. Some of us need to get a grip & stop believing the fairy tale that the world would miss us if we sank & dissappeared.

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  13. navin johnson says:

    seriously PLP? a Cuts Commission? I am firmly convinced that the PLP have employed a group of 6 year olds to come up with their trite and silly commercials and comments.....Cuts Commission? really.....

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    • Blurt says:

      If we use the PLP approach to juvenile name calling, then the PLP is the "Fingers in the ears, wasn't us, shhhhhhhhhh" party

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  14. Nitty Gritty says:

    Any mention of economic advisory boards should be adding International Business at the top and Unions at the bottom. One knows how to make money and jobs the other knows how to fritter them away.
    OBA,- if the PLP are no longer in charge, stop pandering to their mindset.
    You are in a position to actually change things..change wont happen via bureaucracy or political correctness. There are "stakeholders' who are incompetent and corrupt. There are many who will hold up the process and cause rifts and infighting. We are electing you to do what is necessary and honest. Economic success can only come with honest business practices and self regulation. Don't be afraid to ask for advice from International companies that make more profit in 3 months than this country has in 14 years.

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  15. Triangle Drifter says:

    So, is the PLP so ashamed of itself that somebody with a name is not trotted out to face the media? Who is the mysterious spokesperson giving us the daily dose of pablum?

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  16. Triangle Drifter says:

    On the face of it a leader to leader debate is a good idea. The problem is, on Dec 18th Craig Cannonier will still be the leader of the OBA. On Dec 18th Paula Cox will either be sitting on the back bench or, more likely, political history.

    Better to have a debate with who will leader of the PLP on Dec 18th.

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  17. Small fry says:

    Some good ideas OBA. Usual childish name-calling reaction from PLP whose 10 point plan is NOT a plan. It is just a list of "Lofty Goals". Nowhere do they EVER say HOW they are actually going to ACHIEVE these "Lofty GOALS". If PLP had been manager of Chelsea FC they would have been fired years ago..

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  18. joe says:

    Why is it that only now the PLP claim to have the answers to fixing our economy when, as the government for the last 15 years they have shown no credible management skills to do what they say they can do. How on earth could any reasoned person vote for them, except for the obvious reason, which of course they are relying on.

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