“Present An Alternative Vision For The Country”

November 23, 2015

“We decided that we would attempt to present an alternative vision for the country instead of overly focusing on criticizing the One Bermuda Alliance,” Opposition Leader Marc Bean said, before expanding on some of the initiatives in the Opposition’s Throne Speech reply including FinTech, transitioning away from middle schools, economic diversification and an integrated healthcare system.

Marc Bean Bermuda Nov 22 2015 22

Alternative Vision

Speaking after he delivered the Opposition’s official reply to the Throne Speech in the House of Assembly, Mr Bean told Bernews: “We decided that we would attempt to present an alternative vision for the country instead of overly focusing on criticizing the One Bermuda Alliance, their policies and even the Throne Speech from last week. We felt that it would be a disservice.

“Now, don’t get me wrong, in the course of being able to present our alternative vision, we did have the opportunity to analyze some of the decisions that the One Bermuda Alliance have made, but that was not our focus.

Good Governance 

“Again, our focus was to present what started with fundamentally good governance, and I had the opportunity reiterate our position that we would have zero tolerance for corruption or graft, whether it was in the past, it’s in the present or future.

“And we also encouraged the Minister of Finance Bob Richards to let us know what exactly he found under the hood when he was looking under the hood, and let everyone understand the information that he was able to glean from that investigation.

Fiscal Responsibility 

“Then we shifted to fiscal prudence and financial responsibility. Needed to make it clear that the next Government, the PLP Government would be extremely fiscally responsible.

“Our goal is to have a balanced budget after 5 years. The strategy to attain a balanced budget is not austerity cuts, but rather we will look to freeze spending, and through our diversification strategy, we would look to have private sector job growth thus allowing the government to add additional tax revenue from FinTech, online gaming and the blue economy. So that is our plan on how to have a balanced budget in the next five years.

Social

“Then we shifted to the social component of our plans which was focused on education reform, healthcare reform, seniors reform, and youth and sport reform and we touched in the end about the environment, energy, and public safety.

Education

“We feel that in order for our economic diversification to really take hold and Bermudians are fully participating in that diversification strategy, then education has to be at the center.

“We are not comfortable or pleased with education at the public level in this country. This is not an indictment on the One Bermuda Alliance, or the previous PLP Government, but our responsibility is to assess where public education is, and we have determined that it’s now time to reform public education.

“And that includes getting rid of the middle schools, transitioning back towards a 7 year primary school and 5 year high school program. The high schools will be decentralized, so no longer will we have mega-schools.”

Mr Bean added, “We will look to implement the CXC or Caribbean Examination Council’s curriculum as a standard curriculum within our education system.”

HealthCare

“Likewise in terms of healthcare, we broaden the debate from the normal allopathic or the type of medicine practiced in Bermuda today with our medical doctors to an integrated healthcare system.

“That means we take what exists, but also merge that with what is called naturopathy or naturopathic medicine, which is traditional and alternative medicines; Oriental medicine, Arabic medicine, Acupuncture, homeopathy, etc. all that comes under the broad definition of naturopathy.

“The reason why we feel the naturopathic approach is vital is because it’s the lower cost, more effective way to get health and wellness, and you see the trend in the world today, inclusive of Bermuda, more and more persons are feeling not comfortable if they are under pharmaceutical drugs that they have to take as medicines.

“There is a safer method, which persons young and old, can adopt and that is through a natural proactive preventative lifestyles as termed as naturopathy. We’re looking to transform our healthcare sector so that we can have positive patient outcomes.

“You’ll notice that currently outside of broken bones or diagnosis of ones internal organs, most current western medicine does not heal disease. They might treat the symptoms, but they do not heal it. Naturopathy makes the claim that it can heal using natural techniques more inline with a persons constitutions.

“We are very pleased to be able to go in depth and explain how we feel that you have to have that integrated system of what exists now and what needs to come.

“We feel that overall that will help reduce healthcare costs, because if you can prevent sickness then there’s no need to go to the hospital. If there’s no need to go to the hospital or go to doctors, then that reduces that burden of health insurance companies and the like.

“This is the long term approach that we feel we need to take as a country in order to contain health care cost escalation.

FinTech

“We’re very excited about financial technology. It is the high gross sector in the world today. You have London, Silicon Valley, New York, Sydney, and even small jurisdictions like the Isle of Man, who have been positioning themselves over the last 2 years to be able to benefit from this disruptive sector called FinTech.

“FinTech actually provides so much alternatives to the traditional banking system in terms of lending, money transmission, payments, and all the sub sects say they are able to again go into detail so the public can understand that this in fact is what the world’s going to look like and be functioning off over over the next 3 to 5 years.

“And it just so happens that Bermuda is a jurisdiction that has many of the core ingredients for us to leverage to ensure that we can create a FinTech hub in this country.

“And if we can do that, and we feel with that, online gaming, and the blue economy, from a private sector perspective, jobs will be able to be generated, and Bermudians, most importantly, will have the opportunity to economically empower themselves through ownership. Ownership in an international business sector, that because of the minimum capital requirements for Fintech, is a reduced barrier to entry.

“Let me give you an example, international business is very important, is the key industry in our economy.

“We also know that in order to be an owner or a real player in international business, generally speaking you need millions of dollars. If you want to get into a class 4 insurance program or set up a class 4 insurer, you need hundreds of millions of dollars. Realistically speaking, Bermudians are not able to participate in IB except for being in senior management or an employee.

“We feel that this is an opportunity for Bermudians – white, black, it doesn’t matter – who have the know how and innovation to be able to enter into an international business sector, service markets outside of Bermuda, bringing in vital foreign capital, foreign income.

“And at the same time, provide the opportunity for more employment to be created and as an indigenous race. We are very excited and we hope that the people take time to look at our plans in terms of Fintech because, rest assured, that is the new industry of the 21st century.”

The full PLP response to the 2015 Throne Speech follows below [PDF here]:

click here banner 2015 Throne Speech

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Comments (37)

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  1. Stand firm. Ignore the unsavory, blasting comments which pop up regularly, online, and continue to represent the people in a very professional, diplomatic way. Keep on!!!!
    There is great pleasure in knowing that MY PARTY is not absorbed in the negative, vicious hype of the opposers!!!!!It is meaningless, unnecessary and indicates that all is not well ON THAT SIDE. There is a FEAR!!!

    • Bermyman says:

      Ignore the fact that your party wasted 100′s of millions of the people’s money and Ignored financial controls.

      • Jumping beans says:

        u forget to mention the MILIONS spent on Global hue by brown/friends and the result ZERO TOURIST!!

    • jt says:

      That stuff you’re smoking will be legal soon.
      (I’m fine with that by the way.)

    • Sickofantz says:

      OK. Lovely that you want to stand firm. BUT! How exactly will the island be making money from the Blue economy in the next 5 years?

      Of the various spurious and unproven alternative health schemes proposed by Mr Bean how will an approach like “Homeopathy” the effectiveness of which has been disproven again and again improve healthcare?

      Clearly Mr Bean is not a fan of Western Medecine so I hope that you will never actually have an illness that needs to be cured!

    • Sickofantz says:

      I can see that you are secretly on the pay of the OBA. By writing deliberately ignorant posts your strategy is to invite measured intelligent criticism of the PLP’s infantile reply to the throne speech!

      Clever! Maybe you should be heading up fINtECH COMPANY!

      • Jumping beans says:

        and where is YOUR LOYATY TO BERMUDA?? Perhaps you are on the payroll of the plp!! get real and smell the stench of the Plp?

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      There is just so many hypocrisies in your statement, I can’t even begin to try and explain, but you wouldn’t listen unless it was your party talking. The blindness of your ray statement highlights how things have gone so wrong for all our communities in this country.

    • Hey... says:

      “Stand Firm” “Stand Strong” “Standing Strong for Bermudians” these slogans that the PLP camp continuously use, really have no meaning anymore.

  2. A few queries says:

    So you are going to decrease the departure tax to pre-2015 levels resulting in the airport registering either a loss or tiny net profit, but yet you will somehow finance a major renovation to the airport? What other area will you cut to make this possible or will you simply borrow more? Also, does this mean you have dropped your Airport Authority ambitions?

    You plan on cutting payroll tax, but simultaneously you will increase the tourism budget by 50% or $10mn. What other area will you cut to make this possible or will you simply borrow more?

    You complain about crony capitalism, but then say you will gift tax payer monies to private sports clubs of which you (still believe you are at least) and another PLP MP are Presidents and thus presenting a conflict of interest Why is it ok for you to give away public monies to private ventures and what other area will you cut to make this possible or will you simply borrow more?

    You claim the blue economy can possibly result in $200mn of annual economic activity and that local fishermen can export their catch overseas. How is this going to be achieved since currently local fishermen can’t fully supply the island as of now? Will you lift the moratorium on fishing licenses and allow more people to go and decimate our stocks or will you allow overseas long lining companies to enter the Bermuda market to compete with the locals? And local restaurants buy imported fish as it is cheaper for them in terms of overhead, but yet you think we can simply export Bermuda fish at Bermuda prices to lower cost jurisdictions?

    Bringing in more insurance companies won’t really affect insurance prices. We will still have the same top heavy demographic in which the healthier, younger employees are outnumbered by the older population. And how will this temper the recent increases brought on by the overpriced hospital wing?

    Regarding online gaming you noted Gibraltar’s industry and the fact they have a budget surplus because of the taxes paid by this economic sector? Does that mean you will institute a corporation tax and income taxes as Gibraltar does? Will the corporation tax be levied on all businesses? If so, have you gauged the impact on businesses domiciled in Bermuda already as they are generally here for our low tax nature?

    How will you entice the technology and online gaming companies to set up in Bermuda? As Bermuda labor is quite expensive along with the need to import everything, what concessions will you offer as means for them to decide Bermuda is a desirable location to set up or transfer their business? If it is tax relief, how will that affect your plan to balance the budget within 5 years?

    How will this so called Bermuda Fund be funded amongst the spending spree you promise?

    How will the balanced budget be achieved with the increased spending (2013 amount) levels you have included in your plan? Do you plan on borrowing more and thus will you raise the debt ceiling again? If so, how will we cope with the increased interest payments from this borrowing which is currently costing the tax payer something like $400,000 a day as of now?

  3. Justin says:

    You should have started with an apology to all Bermudians for putting us in this financial mess that we are in, and taken responsibility for it. Until then the PLP will never get my vote.

  4. aceboy says:

    Vision is about all you can say. The vision you presented was full of lies and half truths.

  5. Will says:

    Does this alternative vision include more fishing and farming, legal weed and a strict ban on homosexuality?

    • jt says:

      Affirmative on two counts. Partially on a third and eventually out of necessity on the fourth.

  6. Onion says:

    Mathematically impossible to keep spending at 2013 levels for 3 years ($1,274,568,483) without racking up massive budget deficits. 2015 estimated revenue is $930 million so the PLP is promising to go back to racking up $344 million dollar annual deficits x 3 = $1 billion in new debt = $60 million in new annual debt service.

    So the PLP is promising permanent long-term cuts of $60 million to government services and employment.

    Utterly utterly utterly pathetic. Not even attempting to be serious about the mess.

  7. San George says:

    “Poured a little water on my soul” – again!

  8. Unbelievable says:

    Marc Bean, so what happened with all that serious information you in the House of Assembly and then marched down to the police station with?

    Based on that news-making event, why should I vote for someone crying “WOLF!” and nothing to show for it?

  9. Solution says:

    PLP should disband. Weed out the terrible ones, keep the few good ones and try again under a new brand….the name PLP carries a lot of negativity that quite honestly cant be reversed after their poor performance in government. It would have been great to see you succeed or at least show the people you had the potential however you failed miserably.

    • jt says:

      Weed out. Chuckle.

    • Kudos says:

      There was nothing wrong with the PLP, they had some good and talented people to run this country, unfortunately Dr. Brown and Col. Burch turned up and destroyed everything with ulterior motives.

      • Jumping beans says:

        u forget Scott and his arrogance and ‘soft and lame ruling!! continue living under the stone Kudos…the worst thing happened to BDA is Plp and their destructive rule or should say RUIN!!

  10. Terry says:

    I look at it this way.

    All this bulls*** about who did what and where the money went well actually that falls on the OBA table.

    Bet some balls and book em. You have the evidence.

    So whats another 1977/1968/1970/ General Strike 1980′s.

    We came back until BEYONCE came and Dr. Evil started growing grapes of wrath.

    Shalom.

  11. aceboy says:

    Fintech? Is that what you have replaced Seabed mining with?

    FinTech actually provides so much alternatives to the traditional banking system in terms of lending, money transmission, payments, and all the sub sects say they are able to again go into detail so the public can understand that this in fact is what the world’s going to look like and be functioning off over over the next 3 to 5 years.

    Apart from the horrible use of English and grammar you have not explained how this will actually even provide any revenue.

    So much alternatives?

    Sub sects?

    Functioning off?

    Goodness me. Go back to school.

  12. Cow Polly says:

    ” I had the opportunity reiterate our position that we would have zero tolerance for corruption or graft, whether it was in the past, it’s in the present or future.”

    Now that’s a statement that is going to come back to bite ya!

  13. Axlerod says:

    Oh my I did not realize that acupuncture and quack medicine such as osteopathy, chiropractors, and the like are NOT currently available in Bermuda!! Wow! And I can’t wait till they bring the internet to BDA so that I can gamble online! And oh my this man is a MF genius in educational matters, who would have ever thought that tinkering with the FORM of education (middle schools)would boost our children’s ability to grasp concepts being delivered in the CONTENT. What a MF genius!

    OBA is leading BDA to hell, however when we get there we will find that Marc Been and the PLP will have arrived long before us!

    Pull out Marc, you just don’t have it!

  14. Navin Johnson says:

    Mr Bean and the PLP followers have zero credibility…none whatsoever…his energy would be better served sending out a newsletter to the few who care..a complete joke …..

  15. some beach says:

    Yes…but we enjoy prosperity and ability to work and make money!…OBA has done this ….no?

  16. some beach says:

    Legalise it and realise human right and free thought….there would definitively be more church goers…it is effectually a spiritual embodiment…and a provocation as such…baby boomers are a large venue.. With money and need to free up…

  17. .am says:

    Sounded great until he brought up Homeopathy.

  18. .am says:

    Aside: why is the cover of the release rocking all the African colors?

    • Walk in their shoes says:

      Kind of refreshing to know that there’s more to the colour palette than just green, actually.

    • Not me says:

      Lol for real though.

  19. some beach says:

    I’m thankful for OBA bye!

  20. Northshore says:

    I would wonder how the PLP do research on subjects and how the proof reading is done? I am no genius but it seems to me the PLP need to get way better then they are at this. No value or substance in what they are saying and how it is said.

  21. veritas81 says:

    To Marc Bean/supporters/Plp
    Pls dicipher this…”ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY”
    You have violated the ppl of the island/voters/the island and violated the very oaths you have sworn to uphold in sincerity and solemn note…It is utter lack of integrity that you continue to brainwash,fabricate,and distort the truth of your reign ’98’12…Pls leave without any more fanfare.

  22. Cahow says:

    Forget all the BS!!…where is our money and stop protecting those who took it for themselves and others?

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