Premier: National Conversation On SAGE Report

December 6, 2013

[Updated] The appendices from the SAGE Report have been posted on the Government’s website, and Government said they will start a consultation process to get feedback on the suggestions, with the Premier saying it “must be the start of a national conversation.”

The SAGE Report recommended cost cutting measures including raising the retirement age to 68, privatization, reducing the amount of politicians and closing all post offices but three and reducing staff.

When the report was submitted, the SAGE Commission said the full supporting documentation was more than 10,000 pages, which was on a flash drive accompanying the document.

The online listing contains a number of PDFs, with the PDFs divided into sections such as a glide path, pensions, performance, public meetings, pre-retirement lump sum, submissions and more.

Update 3.04pm: The Government said they will reach out to the various unions to hear their views about the SAGE Report, a  House of Assembly debate is scheduled for next Friday, and town hall meetings and stakeholder consultations will follow.

Premier Craig Cannonier said, “The SAGE Commission has offered us an opportunity to define how we move forward as a people, how we shape our society. What we decide to implement can provide Bermudians with a government that reflects the ambitions and principles we want for the country.

“It is an opportunity to fix inherited problems, making sure, in particular, that we don’t saddle our children with our debt. It is an opportunity to make change work for the common good, and to set the Island on a sustainable path to the future.

“Right now, as the Commissioners concluded, the cost of government is ‘unsustainable and out of control.’ As the elected Government of Bermuda, we have a sacred duty to look out for the safety and security of the people and to bring about change that keeps them out of harm’s way.

“The Commission’s work represents the efforts of dozens of volunteers who gave their time and skills to move the Island forward in ways that better serve the people and in ways that can be sustained over time.

“As Bermudians, we owe it to ourselves to give fair and open hearing to all its findings and recommendations no matter how challenging they may appear, and to see the many possibilities they present for economic empowerment.”

“I want this to be an open process,” he said. “Communication, consultation and collaboration is the way we will move this forward.”

“This must be the start of a national conversation,” the Premier said. “I encourage everyone who is concerned for the country’s future — which surely must be all Bermudians — to read the SAGE Report and take part in the dialogue.

“Let’s seize this opportunity to right the Ship of State. Let’s make change work for a better future, through wise use of our resources and new opportunities that meets the needs of all our people.”

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Comments (15)

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  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    Better get a move on it otherwise all we are doing is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The time for talk is over. The time for action is now. Don’t let this be yet another report that many people have donated many thousands of hours to only to have it largely ignored & shoved in the back of a filing cabinet somewhere.

    There was The Competitiveness Commission then The Monitor Report. Where are they today? What was done from any of the recommendations from those two?

    • Umm.... says:

      Some things in the report are obvious and shouldn’t need to be debated. We have too many Ministers in the Cabinet. The OBA have been in office for a year and we still have a Minister without portfolio? If I’m wrong, I stand corrected.

      The problem is that no one wants to make this unpopular decisions because they fear they will be voted out. But why? A decision that seems unpopular in year 2 of your term may prove to get us on the right path by the last year of your term. And those who may have hurt (there will be pain), initially, because of those decisions, will now be able to see the benefits and can hopefully rebound in a stronger economy.

      There is no easy way to move forward. This is going to hurt a lot of us (Bermudian and non-Bermudian). But if we don’t band together for the good of our country and for future generations, then we will all sink. I just want a government that isn’t afraid to lead. This is not the time to play it safe. We have real problems. The OBA needs to make serious decisions in 2014. And if they don’t have the ideas, then the PLP need to provide them. You can’t just be an opposition that criticizes the ideas of the government. If you have better ideas, bring them forward. And if they get implemented and are good, then guess what? The country benefits. That should be both parties’ goal. To move Bermuda forward. Not to just hold power or gain power.

  2. Max says:

    Just make a decision why does it have to now be more consultation I for one can tell you get rid of some of the weak leaders first the rest will fall in place trust me.

  3. Sandgrownan says:

    No worries…!!

  4. Walter Burgess says:

    I have very little confidence that the OBA will actually execute any of the meaningful SAGE suggestions. And, in the off chance they do, I suspect the ones they select will more than likely be benign in achieving anything effective.

    Just my view……..


    • sonso says:

      i hope not for the sake of us all, mate! the OBA needs to make the decisions that need to be made, and make them fast. what they need to ensure is that a good number of the public sector workers that are laid off, are utilized in their same positions, though under a now private operation. there are some deadweight workers within the civil service who were simply hired for the sake of being hired. but at the same time, there are a lot of smart, intelligent and more than capable workers who perform well in their positions!

  5. Observer says:

    Stop talking Premier Cannonier,get on with some of the recommendations before we are like Haiti.

  6. thief says:

    Keep the good Bda blacks – cut back on the whites – but please can some of the educated blacks come to the private world – we need need them more than ever to take a more meaningful entrepreneurial and professional stand here too!,

  7. Chalky White says:

    if anyone ever doubted the waste of Government all you need do is observe the wall(or whatever it is) being built by Works and Engineering at Burnt House Hill and Middle Rd……it has been going on for over a month … the real world it would have been a day or two but in Bermuda its months…..we can no longer sustain this foolish process..

    • Concerned says:

      What about the wall at Paget stop lights. It has been 6 months with 5 workers. It is over engineered, a double wall with hard rock behind it. Bad engineers, bad management, bad supervisors and very bad workers. They all need to go and work in the private sector. Please implement the Sage recommendation soon, we are bleeding everywhere.

    • Onion says:

      Are you trying to tell me that in two days you can cut back trees, trench for a foundation, pour and lay rebar and build a sidewalk and wall? C’mon man use a real time frame instead of just spouting out whatever is on the top of your head.

  8. Wasteful says:

    The W&E tore up a good sidewalk by The Bermuda Institute and then put the same concrete down.What a waste of money.Prioritse the work we are paying for.The PLP wasted everyone’s money,do not do the same!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      It is called ‘make work’. Try to justify your existence.