[Updated with video] Bermuda needs a sound economic plan that grows the economy, creates jobs, pays down our national debt, and supports critical government services, OBA candidate Andrew Simons said today.
Saying “let’s think beyond the next four weeks, and instead focus on the next 20 years,” Mr Simons asked what will the future be like for the young Bermudians of today.
Citing Government statistics, Mr Simons said the proportion of seniors, those 65 and older, will double from 11% of the population in 2000 to 22% in 2030.
Mr Simons said: “In the future, fewer workers will shoulder the costs of pensions, health subsidies, and social insurance benefits of more retirees. The cost pressures on the working population to make our society work will be more severe in the years ahead.”
Mr Simons’ full statement follows below:
On Tuesday, Alexis Swan, brought attention to the unemployment rate among young Bermudians. Almost four out of ten people between the ages of 16 and 24 are out of work.
On Wednesday, Nandi Davis reminded us that the Government’s 1.5 billion dollar debt is our debt. The country now borrows money to make payroll and keep the lights on.
Today, let’s think beyond the next four weeks, and instead focus on the next 20 years.
What will Bermuda be like in the year 2030? What will 2030 be like for the young Bermudians of today?
My great grandfather, Earlington Simons of Cedar Hill in Warwick, had eight children, my grandmother had four, and my father had just two.
People have fewer children these days.
We live longer too. My grandmother died at the age of 86.
Government statistics provide a fuller picture:
- The proportion of seniors, those 65 and older, will double from 11% of the population in 2000 to 22% in 2030.
- In the year 2000 five workers supported each child or senior who depends on social support for their well-being. In 2030, just two workers will.
In the future, fewer workers will shoulder the costs of pensions, health subsidies, and social insurance benefits of more retirees. The cost pressures on the working population to make our society work will be more severe in the years ahead.
The One Bermuda Alliance has clear plans to empower my generation to adapt to this transition.
A One Bermuda Alliance government will implement a comprehensive education plan.
We will to ensure that people enter the work force equipped with the skills that employers need.
Jobs and Economy
No matter what the work, a worker’s most relevant education comes on the job.
The high unemployment rate for the 16-24 age group means that this generation is missing out on the essential skills developed in the first few years of work. It also means that Bermuda, relative to other countries that we compete with, is operating at a skills deficit.
The One Bermuda Alliance has a plan to get young Bermudians working.
Our jobs and economic recovery plan contains specific measures designed to grow the economy, create jobs, stimulate investment, and restore the confidence that is so essential for economic revival.
Economic growth created by the One Bermuda Alliance’s policies will mean a return to government surpluses, which will be used to pay down the national debt and to help pay for the social programmes necessary to support our aging population.
This week my fellow candidates and I have presented the three-pronged challenge of youth unemployment, uncontrolled debt, and demographic change.
It’s vital that everyone understands the challenges that my generation, and future generations, will face.
To address our future challenges, Bermuda needs a sound education plan that prepares Bermudians to participate in the economy.
Bermuda also needs a sound economic plan that grows the economy, creates jobs, pays down our national debt, and supports critical government services.
Those objectives can only be achieved by a government that keeps an eye on the road ahead, and prepares for the future by tackling issues today. The OBA will be that government.
We need to get on a new and more responsible path to the future. Vote for change.
- Updated with amended statement at 11.26am