Video: Premier Dunkley’s National Address

June 9, 2014

[Updated with video] Payroll tax relief for the construction industry and plans to have PATI fully operational by April 2015, are two of the plans cited by Premier Michael Dunkley in his National Address today [June 9].

“My mission as Premier is to do all I can to build a future that works for you and your loved ones – ensuring the security and opportunity we all need to grow and prosper,” said the Premier.

“I am a proud Bermudian who, just like you, wants our Island to succeed. I believe in Bermuda. I believe in who we are as Bermudians. And I believe in our future together, as one people.

“The tremendous outpouring of public support for the People’s Campaign, with its theme of equality, jobs and justice, demonstrated issues that matter to the lives of people – and that needs must be met.

“My colleagues and I are committed to doing just that. In the 18 months since coming to office, we have started moving the Island forward. We see start-ups in the tourism industry, an expanding international sector and an entrepreneurial surge among Bermudians determined to succeed.

“We will therefore continue stimulating the economy wherever we can because of its potential to improve the lives and prospects of more people more quickly than anything else.

“One area I am looking to support is the construction industry. Since 2009, we’ve lost more than 1,200 jobs in this important sector – an unacceptable loss of work and opportunity for able-bodied Bermudian men and women.

“To boost the situation, I have asked the Finance Minister to introduce in this Parliamentary session payroll tax relief specific to the construction industry. This will help stimulate new activity, creating and preserving jobs as we continue working our way out of recession.

“On the legislative front, regulations will be tabled in the House of Assembly this session to advance Public Access to Information.

“The plan is to have a PATI Commissioner in place by the Fall and PATI fully operational by April 2015, enabling people finally to shine new light on the work of government – asking questions, getting answers, bringing new levels of transparency and accountability to the public sector.

“We will proceed with Public Service reform to make government user-friendly and more efficient. And we will continue fixing the country’s finances, while extending a hand to the many who need help supporting their families.

“I see this day as a great opportunity to write a new chapter in the life of Bermuda, using change to build something stronger,” added the Premier. “All of us have something to contribute. All of us can play a part.”

The Premier’s full statement follows below:

Good evening Bermuda.

I’d like to take a few minutes of your time tonight to talk about my Premiership and what can be done to restore this great Island.

My approach to governing will be the same as my approach to life:

  • I will take on the tough issues
  • With my door always open to hear from you
  • And I will work with one and all because we are better together than apart

My mission as Premier is to do all I can to build a future that works for you and your loved ones – ensuring the security and opportunity we all need to grow and prosper.

I am a proud Bermudian who, just like you, wants our Island to succeed.

I believe in Bermuda.

I believe in who we are as Bermudians.

And I believe in our future together, as one people.

The tremendous outpouring of public support for the People’s Campaign, with its theme of equality, jobs and justice, demonstrated issues that matter to the lives of people – and that needs must be met.

My colleagues and I are committed to doing just that. In the 18 months since coming to office, we have started moving the Island forward. We see start-ups in the tourism industry, an expanding international sector and an entrepreneurial surge among Bermudians determined to succeed.

We see business confidence growing, and concrete investments taking shape:

  • At the Hamilton Princess Hotel and Sonesta,
  • At Pink Beach and Coral Beach, and
  • In the selection of a developer for the St. George’s hotel site that will revive the East End economy.

Our success cannot be defined just by growth in business and new investment, but it is important to understand that they are essential for the jobs and opportunities people need to support their families.

We will therefore continue stimulating the economy wherever we can because of its potential to improve the lives and prospects of more people more quickly than anything else.

One area I am looking to support is the construction industry.

Since 2009, we’ve lost more than 1,200 jobs in this important sector – an unacceptable loss of work and opportunity for able-bodied Bermudian men and women.

To boost the situation, I have asked the Finance Minister to introduce in this Parliamentary session payroll tax relief specific to the construction industry. This will help stimulate new activity, creating and preserving jobs as we continue working our way out of recession.

My colleagues and I know Bermuda’s recovery is not happening fast enough for people who struggle each day.

To them, I say: “Your fight is our fight. Everything we do is to help you support your families and build a future you can believe in.”

We know the cost of living is a huge challenge for many families. Our work to ease pressures will continue beyond what we’ve already achieved through:

  • 10% Wednesday food price reductions
  • Belco’s new fee structure that will see thousands pay less for power, and
  • Telecommunications deregulation that has seen big savings for Internet and cell phone services.

On the legislative front, regulations will be tabled in the House of Assembly this session to advance Public Access to Information.

The plan is to have a PATI Commissioner in place by the Fall and PATI fully operational by April 2015, enabling people finally to shine new light on the work of government – asking questions, getting answers, bringing new levels of transparency and accountability to the public sector.

We will proceed with Public Service reform to make government user-friendly and more efficient. And we will continue fixing the country’s finances, while extending a hand to the many who need help supporting their families.

This evening, I want to assure the people of Bermuda that our young people are a clear priority for this Government.

They are our hope and our future.

We will continue to nurture and support their learning and development to ensure they have access to the educational opportunities critically needed for them to succeed both here and beyond.

And to our seniors… the lifeblood and foundation of our Country… you have contributed so much to our society.

Government is committed to ensuring that your needs are met so that you can live in the comfort, dignity and the peace you deserve in your golden years.
Bermuda, I am an optimist. I have always seen the brighter side of any situation.

Yes we have our share of challenges, but when I look around the Island today I see good things everywhere.

Two Saturday’s ago, I visited Ricky’s Barber Shop on the North Shore with Senator Jeff Baron. Ricky is a great guy, a community man, who used the death of a childhood friend to turn his shop into a hub for a healthy Bermuda. More than 200 people attended.

Then there was the Relay for Life at the National Stadium where 25 hundred people walked, ran and wheeled for 24 hours, raising more than $300,000 for cancer research.

It is the spirit in these two events – working together for each other – that we must build on to move Bermuda forward.

There is no question our challenges are great, but I have no doubt they will be solved.

I see this day as a great opportunity to write a new chapter in the life of Bermuda, using change to build something stronger.

All of us have something to contribute. All of us can play a part.

There is so much to be gained – working together, sharing ideas, building relationships, making headway.

The goal is a Bermuda that works for you, your loved ones, your community and your Country.

It’s a tall order, but I have no doubt we can do it. So, let’s work together to make it happen.

Thank you and good night.

-

Update 10.51pm: The PLP responded to Premier Dunkley’s address, their statement can be read in full here.

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Comments (30)

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  1. Sunshine Ahead says:

    This is good news for Bermuda!
    Construction companies and others affected should be happy!
    Keep ‘em comin’ Premier to get our Island prosperous again!

    • Nancy says:

      I was looking and hoping to hear more, the speech lack depth and quality. It was more like an attempt to make folks feel good, but real solutions were still lacking. I was really hoping for more.

      • Double Standards says:

        No you weren’t Betty…

      • Kangoocar says:

        Oh stop your nonsense betty!!!! you were only looking for a reason to post on here!!!!

      • sonso says:

        sounds just like the PLP! “It was more like an attempt to make folks feel good, but real solutions were still lacking”

    • Allspice says:

      He sells it like he’s selling bad fish.

  2. sage says:

    “I will take on the tough issues…”, then turn right around and ignore the advice I receive and charge full steam ahead with the same failed foolishness expecting different results.

    • William says:

      ah yes the classic definition of insanity. War on Drugs prime example. Tourism in Bermuda another prime example…

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      hahahaha…funny,sarcastic,sad BUT! true…(sigh)

    • Allspice says:

      Hmmm, maybe.
      Despite his dry delivery I think he might be different than what you expect. I am hoping he exceeds his MoC background. We can only wait.

      • sage says:

        “With my door always open to hear from you…” I won’t listen, consider or heed anything you say because I already know what I’m doing.
        ” And I will work with one and all because we are better together than apart…” since only two weeks in I’ve already forgotten I work FOR one and all.

  3. Rhonda Neil says:

    Let me go renovate my home, the construction boss will get a tax break, with no obligation to pass that reduction on to consumer, grocery stores anyone.

    • Unbelievable says:

      Here we go. Whatever it is you pay the contractor to renovate your house is between you and them.

      Clearly you don’t want the construction industry to make new hires. Do you? No you don’t. You just don’t get it. I suppose if nothing was done, you’d still find something to moan about.

    • Derek A. G. Jones says:

      Rhonda, I thought the payroll tax comes out of the employees salary, not the contraction owner’s pocket. Is that not true?

      The reality is Bermuda needs a stimulus package across many different industries and if government can leave more money in the pockets of employees then they should in turn be able to spend a little more on other things. Kickstarting the construction industry is as good a place to start as any as there are lots of smaller outfits looking for work. Hopefully this means you will now have more choices to decide from when it comes to picking a vendor and can negotiate to get a lower price.

      • Robert says:

        A portion from employee and the rest employer. Pay attention son !!!

        • Derek A. G. Jones says:

          Thanks Robert. I wasn’t sure how it works. Either way it’s a bonus for both then.

  4. campervan says:

    Thanks Mike for Standing strong for Bermuda.
    way to go OBA:)

  5. Alvin Williams says:

    The new emperor talks the talk; now lets see if he can walk the walk and begin to over turn the anti-Bermudian policies his UBP/oba government has been putting in place? On the same news stream his finance minister is already seen to be running away from his own words when it comes to banking reform. Talk the talk now lets see if you can walk the walk?

  6. William says:

    Forgot a few things there Dunk..like decrim/legalisation of cannabis AND conscription. I now hear that the latter is a mute point and will be done away with due to support from across the board. but you seem to fail to address anything on the topic of cannabis. You allowed for the formation of the CRC and seem to refuse to heed their advice and recommendations. We all know how politricks work Dnkley, but you fail to see what the people of Bermuda want. The up and coming generation, you know the one that is going to lead this country soon, want to see liberalisation of many things here on the island and if you wish to garner their vote then move ahead full steam with the cannabis issue. Sure you might lose votes from the nearly deads, but the newly weds, who again will run this island will vote for you, and will continue to support you if only you listen to them.
    The US consul general says the only way to not have a stop list is de facto legalisation, yet YOU don’t think it is a good idea. Since when did politics involve what YOU think. Its what the PEOPLE think, the same ones that put you there and pay your salary. Its time you and your DEMOCRATICALLY elected party listen to what people want. More than half of the population want relaxation of the current laws but you personally feel that’s bad. Well guess what, your personal opinion on the matter is null and void.
    Show some first class leadership and get us out of the mess we are still in.
    Sincerely,
    OBA supporter

    • Unbelievable says:

      The CRC report was only delivered what….not even a month ago? And who said the matter is dead? No one as far as I can see.

      Patience ain’t your virtue is it?

  7. Wrong turn says:

    HaHahahahahahahahaha,Hold on a minute Mr Premier my stomach is killing me from laughing, you used the words bring new levels of TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY to the public sector.

    Hold on let me rewind the video again! because this is so funny,Hahahahahahahahahaha.

    Stop it, Know body believes you.

  8. Terry says:

    Bringing out the top guns now.
    Rhonda.
    Where are CF and LF.
    That’s right. They use soodamimz here……

  9. mixitup says:

    *knocks forehead* I coulda had a V8!

  10. Concerned Citizen says:

    Same old don grearson spin. Dunkley is all about theatre, but guess what…..we will not be fooled. We know exactly what you are all about. Accountability and transparency? Lol, not from the UBP/OBA!

  11. Ace girl says:

    You cannot please all of the people all of the time. We are finally on the right track after the Cannonier debacle. Incidentally, does anyone know where the $300,000 is?.
    Whilst the Premier’s speech did not give a total solution to what ails this island, it is certainly a step in the right direction for the general population. Keep up the straight talk and dealing with the real issues Premier Dunkley and finance Minister, Bob Richards.
    As for the weed smokers, give us a break and continue to do what you have always done…and blow it out your ears…

  12. X man says:

    Premier Dunkley sounded real and determined to improve the economic condition of Bermuda but unfortunately
    there is a Opposition who would like for him to fail.
    If he fails we all fail.- unfortunately the Opposition don’t realize this.– and it is the biggest reason why they are no longer
    the running political party today.