Column: ‘Vision For A Better, Fairer Bermuda’

November 20, 2018

[Opinion column written by MP Dennis Lister III]

‘The 2nd Throne Speech of the PLP Government is one that is total alignment with our historic vision for a better, fairer Bermuda. It speaks to:

  • Dismantling systems of inequality
  • Addressing the high cost of living
  • Promoting policies of greater fairness and equity, where the potential of Bermudians is limited only by their individual determination to succeed.
  • The belief that one’s primary employment should provide for one’s primary needs, and that no one should have to work back-breaking hours just to remain in poverty.
  • Strengthening protections for employees, whether unionised or not
  • A move away from the preservation of the status quo.

Bermuda faces specific challenges, and those particular challenges are stopping our people and our economy from reaching our country’s full potential. Because Bermuda’s healthcare costs are too high, it’s adding an ever-growing burden onto families, seniors, and businesses that just isn’t sustainable and doesn’t make sense.

The Government has pledged to change the way we pay for health care and make it more affordable by expanding access to coverage at better rates. This means that the needs of Bermudians will finally take precedence over insurers’ profits.

Because too many Bermudians are struggling to find affordable housing, the government, via the Bermuda Housing Corporation, will construct residences in the City of Hamilton. This property will provide affordable studio and one-bedroom apartments for rent or purchase. This will put independent living in reach of many of Bermuda’s young people who want to own their own place and move out of their family homestead.

Because Black Bermudians are falling behind in gaining access to higher education, the government has pledged to expand access to a college education by increasing the financial aid grant so that more young and mature students have a chance to earn a degree. We have also committed to launching the merit-based “College Promise” programme which will award scholarships to the Bermuda College to public school graduates with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Because Bermuda’s tax system is unfair, creating circumstances where a CEO pays the same amount in contributions as their lower paid employees, will, in turn, modernise the tax system.

Because Bermudian families are struggling to make ends meet, the PLP had pledged to provide relief to hard-working families through a series of measures. This includes, but not limited to, engaging alternative financing regimes, which guarantees to reduce mortgage costs and repayments, and where required, legislation.

Because Black Bermudian entrepreneurs have been locked out from being able to compete for government contracts, the government will introduce a Public Procurement Bill that will require local company participation through partnership or investment. This will occur whenever a high-value government contract is awarded to a foreign company.

Because our young people deserve more opportunities, the government will begin basing young Bermudians in London, Brussels, and Washington DC to shadow the Government’s representatives in those cities, thus gaining invaluable experience on the world stage. This programme will be further enhanced by a revived internship initiative to secure fresh talent for careers in the Public Service.

The initiatives that I have laid out, why they are being done, and who they benefit, ties back to the values and vision of the PLP. Initiatives like these, and all the many other items that the government will execute in the coming year, are what Dame Lois and L. Frederick Wade fought decades to bring to reality.

It is what Bermudians called out for over the past 4 years facing pepper spray and being forced to protest against their own government. We are the inheritors of that vision, and it is our job to make it a reality.’

- Dennis Lister III


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Comments (25)

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  1. sandgrownan says:

    “..Because Black Bermudian entrepreneurs have been locked out from being able to compete for government contracts, ..”

    The PLP have been in power for 15 of the last 20 years. Why hasn’t this been addressed to date?

    • sandgrownan says:

      ..and with a predominantly black civil service that whole time.

      Perhaps the question is why? And when affirmative action was taken, looked what happened. Berkeley debacle anyone.

    • DeOnion says:

      Ha! yes – but they will duck the hard questions

    • wahoo #3 says:

      Remember what happened when Berkeley was being built by a company that nobody had even heard of? It was a plp government that hired them.

  2. Why says:

    Why is it always “black” Bermudians that are referred to by the PLP? Don’t we “other” Bermudians count? After all there was at least one white man (Bucky the white wolf or winter soldier) in Wakanda per Stan Lee’s vision of tolerance and inclusion

  3. Fairer for Who? says:

    By a fairer Bermuda, the PLP mean increasing the already onerous tax burden on those working in the private sector so that our bloated civil service can continue to enjoy their jobs for life with huge benefits the rest of us can only dream of. Fairer for who when taxpayers cough up $1.2M to pay millionaire as a thank you for supporting the PLP.

  4. 2 Bermudas says:

    What Bermudians really need are JOBS!!! Keep drinkin de titty milk. In de meantime de economy is tanking!! Ha ha ha!!

  5. inna says:

    So to hell with the white Bermudian ?!?!?

  6. DeOnion says:

    Yawn, tell me when my taxes are coming down, tell me when my health care costs will come down (not up, under the PLP), tell me when new jobs will be created, tell me why a rich man got $1.2m, tell me when fintech jobs will happen, tell me what other economic initiatives there are, tell me why Ministerial salaries have increased, tell me why are two ministers facing civil actions, tell me the answers to fourseasons, tell me why the PLP put us into so much crippling debt, tell me when the budget will be balanced, do NOT tell me this s**t!

  7. Deep Throat says:

    Mr Lister where is the Road Safety Council’s road safety campaign – the one the RSC had its budget doubled for? Tell me how you are going to save lives in the roads – do not tell me this utter garbage

  8. INNA says:

    Well i guess that means to hell with white Bermudians??

    • Toodle-oo says:

      If that comes as any surprise to you then you haven’t been paying attention for the last , say , 45 years .

  9. question says:

    “…Bermuda’s tax system is unfair, creating circumstances where a CEO pays the same amount in contributions as their lower paid employees…”
    Not true. Highly paid people buy more goods, buy more things, buy more services, and ultimately pay a lot more in taxes.

    Wait until your electrician wants you to pay cash so he doesn’t have to pay tax on it, while you’re paying him using money that you paid tax on.

  10. red rose says:

    Did he write this himself? Does he really believe it?

  11. Mark says:

    the 6 themes you set out above are just that, themes, with no idea of how they can be achieved. all smoke except for maybe these 2: cost of living and living wage. Problem is you cant do the living wage or any of the other goals without addressing the cost of living and more generally, the economy. this govt needs to address the cost of living now through addressing health care, electricity, etc. at the same time, as every expert on the island and some in this govt have stated, we must get more people on the island. so fix immigration and do something about cost of living now please. then the others can be achieved.

  12. LaV says:

    More racism from the plp….and yes, the rest of the world takes note…not that you care.

  13. Gustav says:

    “Because Bermuda’s tax system is unfair, creating circumstances where a CEO pays the same amount in contributions as their lower paid employees”
    is the tax not based on percentage ?
    so 10 % on $ 4,000 is the same as for $ 10,000
    I learned that different.
    as despite that
    good luck Bermuda

  14. Rockfish # 2 says:

    What a truckload of drivel from MP Lister. Is he on titty milk now?

  15. Goose says:

    Why is Government getting back in the real estate game? Didn’t the cost overruns and lack of uptake for Grand Atlantic teach them anything?

    Be nice to see the data on why the Government needs to build apartments in town. How many units does the Government have access to that can fill this need and how many of those units are occupied?

    Which buildings or land will be purchased? Who are the property owners? What is the market value? What is the purchase price?

    • PBanks says:

      Heck if they can take over the impending disaster that is the Canadian Hotel, demolish it and build something of use then I’d be for it.

  16. question says:

    “….the government, via the Bermuda Housing Corporation, will construct residences in the City of Hamilton…” …and then after they have been empty for 10 years we will change the law retroactively to try to turn them into a hotel.

    • Jackson says:

      How else are they gonna drain money from the tax payers purse? Let’s build something so we can have massive budget overruns.

  17. Um Um Like says:

    Does any of this apply to gay Bermudians?

  18. WSP says:

    Another one who thinks he is a writer.I think he is just looking to be relevant like the other joker that writes colums as well.

  19. Adklee says:

    Just as a heads-up, Affordable Housing should first and foremost (by a long shot) be for those who are finding their current rental situation unsustainable, or those struggling to find somewhere to live, not teens and young adults who are living at a “homestead” but desire their own space anf independence. That sort of thinking will only serve to further cripple this island.