PLP & OBA On Platforms, Positions, Pensions

July 11, 2017

The OBA said that the PLP ”deleted and altered a section of their Vision 2025 platform after heavy criticism by the OBA,” while the PLP said this ”continued fear-mongering by Bob Richards is a true mark of a losing campaign and a failed government.”

OBA remarks:

Minister Richards said, “The One Bermuda Alliance would like to draw people’s attention to the fact that the Burt-led Progressive Labour Party has deleted and altered a section of their Vision 2025 platform after heavy criticism by the OBA.

“We called out the PLP for its Bermuda Fund plan to invest $70 million or more of Government-controlled pension funds in high-risk start-up ventures.

“Instead of defending their position, Mr. Burt’s team deleted and altered their long-held position on how they propose to seed these ventures with $70 million or more of pensioners’ money. Hoping, I guess, that no one would notice.

“These are high-risk investments. It’s not Mr. Burt’s money to play with. It’s gambling with people’s retirement funds.

“So I take this opportunity again to say to Bermuda’s seniors that we will protect your pensions. We will not allow them to be used as an experiment. We will make sure pensions are responsibly and safely managed, as they are now.

“The Vision 2025 section – delivered to Parliament on March 3rd this year, and which can be seen here – promoted the Bermuda Fund “seeded with a small portion of pension funds that are under control of the government…”

“Mr. Burt has been pushing this idea in his Budget Replies each year since 2014, when he said the Fund would be “seeded with 3% of the pension funds that are under control of the government. But on the Party’s website – here — the reference to using pension funds controlled by government is gone.

Minister Richards added, “My party’s concerns about Mr. Burt’s Bermuda Fund spending plans are serious, and made more so by a history of spending projects that went wildly out of control. Consider the history:

  • Heritage Wharf, estimated to cost $35 million, coming in at $80 million
  • Dame Lois Browne-Evans building estimated at $50 million, finishing at $96 million
  • Berkeley Institute estimated at $60 million finishing at $120 million.

“These projects at least left Bermudians with new infrastructure, while the Burt Bermuda Fund plan could leave seniors with nothing at all.

“Bermudians want to trust that their money is in ‘safe hands’. Altering and deleting core party positions without notice is not trustworthy behaviour,” he concluded.

PLP remarks:

A PLP spokesperson said, “The OBA’s attempt to scare our seniors is hitting a new and despicable low. This continued fear-mongering by Bob Richards is a true mark of a losing campaign and a failed government.

“The OBA needs to stop spreading lies and answer the serious questions voters have about their plans for immigration which is missing from their platform. We would have been glad to debate the issues that affect Bermudians in a public forum, but they instead choose to spread lies from the shadows instead of having an open an honest debate, shameful.

“Vision 2025 was originally written in 2015 and further updates were released over the next 2 years. It was replaced on our website by our 2017 Election Platform titled, “An Agenda For A Better And Fairer Bermuda”, when our platform was launched on Thursday.

“Our platform is our pledge to the people of Bermuda. It’s telling to note that the OBA no longer features any of their 2012 campaign platform pledges on their website.

“Perhaps because they broke the promise to Bermudians to create 2,000 jobs, invest in public education, hold a referendum on gaming, suspend term limits, or the many other promises they broke. Will Minister Richards send a press release asking why those broken promises are no longer on the OBA Website? Of course not.

“Next Tuesday Bermudians will have the opportunity to vote for a PLP Government that will put Bermudians first. The Progressive Labour Party stands by our Platform and encourages all to read for themselves at www.plp.bm.”

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