[Updated] The PLP issued a statement this afternoon [Nov 23] saying the OBA say that they can increase spending and cut taxes to the tune of $500 million while simultaneously reducing the debt, but have yet to say what they will cut.
The statement said the PLP has a “realistic ten point plan for growth.” Their plan includes: continue to take action on jobs, continue to develop Bermuda as an attractive place to do business, continue to strengthen Bermuda as a tourist destination, improve public safety, work to have a world class public education system, energy/sustainability and the environment, responsible government budget, providing for our growing population of seniors, improve social policies and improving infrastructure.
The OBA recently released some of their planned intiatives which included establishing an independent Contractor General to oversee government construction projects to eliminate wasteful cost overruns, end wasteful government spending through the creation of a Spending and Government Efficiency Commission, revive tourism by creating a Tourism Authority, and use growing government revenues to reduce debt.
The PLP’s full statement follows below:
The OBA’s fairy tale is one that many of us want to believe. They say that they can increase spending and cut taxes to the tune of $500 million while simultaneously reducing the debt. They say they can do all of this, but, they have yet to tell us what they are going to cut.
The media and all Bermudians need to clearly ask the OBA: How do you plan on increasing spending and reducing the debt? It’s time for the both ways OBA to be honest about the deep and radical cuts they have planned.
The PLP has a realistic ten point plan for growth. It includes diversifying our international business investors by attracting Middle Eastern and Asian investment. It includes revitalising the Hamilton Waterfront. It includes introducing Job Corps Bermuda and the One Stop Career Centre. It includes investing in our people, growing our economy and reducing our debt.
The choice in this next election is clear. The choice is between an OBA that will say anything to gain power and a PLP that has stood strong for Bermudians during the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Update: OBA Chairman Thad Hollis issued a response saying the OBA has never said they would have impose “deep and radical cuts,” and this is a prime example of “electioneering at its worst – just distortion and distraction with absolutely no effort to speak the truth.”
Mr Hollis’ full statement follows below:
The irony of this statement from the mysterious PLP “spokesman” is rich:
Here is a government that has taken Bermuda to the brink of financial meltdown; now recording its fifth straight year of spending more than it takes in; driving taxpayer debt to $1.5 billion and beyond, with interest payments nearing $100 million a year; crushing its ability to help Bermudians when they are most in need.
Here is a Government under which 10% of Bermudians have become unemployed, including four out of every ten young Bermudians between the ages of 16 to 24; with another 7,000 categorized as “under-employed.”
This statement from the “spokesman” tries to distract from the fact that the Government has become a government of cutbacks. Just ask teachers who’ve been laid off, custodial staff let go at Berkeley, the people behind Mirrors, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Family Centre and the Bermuda Cadet Corps, all of whom have seen their Government support cut back.
And then there’s the Sunshine League which had to close its doors after losing its Government grant, and the Bermuda Police, which has been operating 10-15% below authorized manpower levels because of Government under-funding – in the midst of a crime crisis!
At no time has the OBA ever said we would have impose “deep and radical cuts”. This is a prime example of electioneering at its worst – just distortion and distraction with absolutely no effort to speak the truth. The Government seems to believe that if they lie often enough, the lie will stick.
We have laid out numerous plans to turnaround our economy; bringing to bear policies to grow jobs, stimulate investment, create opportunity and restore confidence that is so essential for economic revival. These include using payroll tax exemptions to stimulate hiring; directing government spending to support small businesses and reviving tourism by creating a Tourism Authority that puts professionals not politicians in charge of the industry.
We’re always ready to discuss our plans and the facts of life in Bermuda today. The Government needs to look in the mirror when it raises questions about honesty.
Bermuda can’t afford another five years of this Government’s bad policies hurting people; and official reluctance to face the facts of its record. It’s time for change.