Column: “Encourage Investment & Job Creation”

January 22, 2016

[Opinion column written by Diallo Rabain, the PLP candidate for C#13 by-election]

While some claim the economy is in recovery, for far too many, this recovery has not led to new jobs or new opportunities to earn a living, make ends meet and feed their families.

Out on the doorsteps of Constituency 13, the real stories of the real people impacted by the OBA’s real failure to keep their promise to create 2000 jobs are heartbreaking.

One woman we met has been unemployed for three years and been forced to go on Financial Assistance. During her time on FA she hasn’t stood idle. Instead, she has taken every opportunity to retool her skills via the courses recommended by Workforce Development and earned numerous certificates to demonstrate her successful completion of those courses.

Diallo Rabain 160121

To keep busy, she volunteers with the Mirrors Programme and has tried to earn a few extra dollars by sewing. Last month through hard work, she managed to earn an extra $250 through her sewing ability. She, of course reported this income to Financial Assistance. As a reward for her honesty, her BELCO subsidy was slashed and no money was placed on her food card.

Like so many Bermudians, my constituent wants to work. She wants to pay her own way and she doesn’t want to be a burden on the taxpayer. She has been honest, played by the rules and sought to improve her condition through hard work. Yet she is still unable to get ahead.

This case and others my PLP colleagues and I have come across while canvassing, reinforces the need for comprehensive Financial Assistance Reform. A Financial Assistance programme designed for a Bermuda of the past, with over-employment and a booming economy, does not reflect today’s reality and the needs of today’s Bermuda. Financial Assistance, like all government programmes, must adapt to the times in order to maintain effectiveness.

We further believe that we must eliminate government red tape, further enabling people like my constituent to start their own businesses, employ themselves and with hard work and sacrifice, employ others.

We must also diversify the economy, create conditions that encourage investment and job creation, creating jobs for every Bermudian that wants to work

It is stories like the one shared by my constituent, strengthen our commitment to building a Bermuda that works for Bermudians; a Bermuda of fairness, opportunity and hope for everyone and where the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves.

- Diallo Rabain

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Comments (19)

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  1. San George says:

    Our inspiring leader has suggested farming if you are unable to find work. If that is his national plan we are in deep manure.

  2. SMH says:

    I applaud Senator Rabain’s call for a comprehensive Financial Assistance Reform HOWEVER giving handouts to get votes is the easy part, please outline where the $ is going to come from to finance this initiative…from additional debt? from cutting civil servant jobs? Let’s keep it real here people buying votes with lip service is so passé

    • Vixen Star says:

      He’s not a Senator anymore…..had to resign subject to being an election candidate.

      • hmmm says:

        Probably thinks he has won this one already, that’s why he gave up the senator role.

        Tell him who is in charge by not voting for him.

  3. hmmm says:

    I’m curious, what did this lady re-tool in, and what did she do before being unemployed.

  4. serengeti says:

    “….we must eliminate government red tape, further enabling people like my constituent to start their own businesses, employ themselves and with hard work and sacrifice, employ others.”

    And yet they want to impose a minimum wage. How do those things go together?

  5. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    There really isn’t much he said that makes any real sense… oh, it is a great sound bite, but it lack any real substance. First he critizes the government for not creating jobs; an easy target, and popular as they far too optimistically promised 2000 of them. But dig deeper and you realize, the government (OBA or PLP) doesn’t really have the power to create jobs, the only thing they can really do is try and create an environment where business want to come and bring jobs. Course this doesn’t mean that jobs manifest themselves right away, when the OBA took over 3 years ago, this country was haemorrhaging jobs at a fatal rate, that no one could have stopped right away. The core cause of this decline was a political policy and attitude environment that was unfriendly to job creation, and leaders unwilling to actually do what was needed as they were more concerned with looking like they were doing something that looked like it was putting Bermudians first, when instead is what putting Bermudians out of work. What I have seen from the PLP in the last 3 years, and with this electioneering statement from Mr. Rabain, shows that they haven’t changed from this failed attitude. They are back to pushing this pleasurable thought process that if in power they will return to spending huge amounts on social programs, that would result in a return to the unsustainable borrowing practices that put us in this mess to begin with.
    Mr. Rabain talks about the PLP making it easier for Bermudians to start their own businesses, but fails to note that the OBA has already been doing that. The OBA has been more aggressive in promoting and aiding local entrepenuers than the PLP ever were in government. Where the PLP would fail again is that whatever they may try and do to make it easier for startups, the simple fact is that no local business can survive unless we have a strong and thriving International Business community, a community that still has a bad taste in its mouth from the last PLP administration. Which brings us back to current PLP who haven’t shown any inclination that they have changed, for the PLP it is still the same ‘Bermudians first’ thought that put so many Bermudians out of work and lead to the loss of not just Bermudians’ jobs, but 3 – 4 times that in foreign jobs. A stark reminder that, without those foreign jobs, it is almost impossible to have Bermudian jobs, a thought that at least the OBA acknowledges even if doesn’t sound good.

    • clearasmud says:

      Given that the GDP was doubled under the PLP and given that more work permits were issued under the PLP then ever before it appears that you too are offering only a “great sound bite”. If you believe that no government can create jobs then if follows that you believe that the present government were not being “far too optimistic when they promised 2000 of them”, but were actually misleading the public. Governments can and do create jobs but they are not usually the primary creator of jobs. That would be the private sector.

      • Bermyman says:

        Who is the largest single employer on the Island?

        Why did Bermuda’s GDP double? Hint: has a lot to do with 5,000 foreigners coming to live on our Island.

        Why did the Government workforce grow exponentially while our GDP was growing under the PLP and more Foreigners were working here. Then think about how the PLP actually plan to recreate those conditions but with less foreign workers this time around? After all Bermudians first right!

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        What was the leading cause of our GDP increase… IB. And all that was done during a time of global economic growth, unparalleled. It would take complete idiots to screw up in those conditions. The environment that created that growth in Bermuda did not start in 1998, it began decades before and the PLP were there to ride its crest. But as that ride came to an end, the PLP became even more nationalistic in the policy approach, protectionist, and the result born a hostile policy making to IB environment that saw thousand of jobs leave… not made redundant, but sent to other more welcoming shores. And now we are on the back foot trying to get them back. Reputation takes a lifetime to build, and a minute to destroy… so if it took 60 – 80+ years to build our reputation as a welcoming and secure environment for IB to flourish and a mere 5 – 9 years to shatter that security, how long do you think it will take to get that sense in the IB back? The only way for a government create jobs themselves is to employ people, and we know that our government cannot do that, the PLP tried that and it created an unsustainable financial situation for a country our size.
        Back in 2012 election fever, I knew and commented about the OBA optimistic 2000 bluster, but I also remember that it was tempered by OBA members like Minister Richards saying that it would not be immediate, it would not be right away, that Bermuda was in bad shape and that if the OBA was not elected, it was going to take years to turn us back around. So mislead is a strong word to use when they promised the creation of 2000 jobs when elected (whether you want to quibble of it being them creating those jobs directly or them taking government action to stimulate the job market to generate those jobs is a completely pointless semantic arguement), optimistic fits better. But if you want an example of electioneering political misleading, try the PLP $200m fishing industry they plan to create; the reason I employ misleading there is that they know such an industry is impossible here as they had a report developed for them that concluded that.

      • Spit Bouy says:

        @ clearas…

        GDP was climbing at breakneck speed under the UBP well before the PLP came to power in 98, the PLP just reaped the rewards of an already booming economy. It certainly didn’t jump start because of PLP initiatives; far from it. However due to the PLP’s poor policies we saw a loss of jobs never before experienced in Bermuda. That and a crippling debt that is not going nowhere fast.

        Coupled with the present Governments near paralysis on really reducing the cost of running the Government means we are in for a long and bumpy ride. I’m a constituent of 13 and will not be voting for Mr. Rabain no matter what he & the PLP claim they are going to do if elected. Past experience of their brand of Government is not easily forgotten.

    • I heart 441 says:

      You make a few great eye opener points! So great they kinda sway me to vote for OBA in the next election and this will be my first time voting ever.

  6. Family Man says:

    “create conditions that encourage investment and job creation …”

    Does this mean the plp have given up on term limits, and now support giving tax breaks to new investors?

    They keep talking out of both sides of their mouth I don’t know where they stand. They’re for the protection of Bermuda’s marine environment then they support sea bed mining and long line fishing, they want new investments and new investors but not foreigners …

  7. Starting Point says:

    The PLP are like Donald Trump:

    I will build a wall…..no plan
    I will make America Great again….no plan
    I will make great deals…..no plan
    Etc, etc.

    we will create conditions that encourage investment and job creation … No plan
    we will diversify the economy…No plan
    etc. etc.

    LOL perhaps Trump should be invited to keynote the next PLP banquet.

    • lowe says:

      But what’s the OBA’s plan? I haven’t seen one either….

  8. Sarcastaball says:

    Thanks for being real specific on how to reform Financial Assistance, encourage investment and job creation. The only thing we really learn from this column is that there’s a lady in C13 who needs a jawb…like the rest of us. Tell me something I didn’t know.

  9. Onion says:

    Once again an opinion filled with empty platitudes, no workable specifics, and denial of the basic reality.

    The economy is objectively in recovery and has growing. This isn’t a matter of opinion, it is a fact reflected in the data. It is entirely normal for the recovery take time to add jobs but they will come.

  10. hmmm says:

    How many Bermudians did his business hire this year?