Full Text & Highlights: 2020 Throne Speech

November 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

Government will introduce pension reform to allow for the use of a portion of pension account balances to fund a down payment on the purchase of a home for first time homebuyers, municipal reform for the Corporations of Hamilton and St. George will be advanced in this Session, and the Legislature will be invited to consider Bills to create the Bermuda National Digital Bank.

These were some of the initiatives that were unveiled this morning as Governor John Rankin delivered the 2020 Throne Speech, which laid out the Government’s plans for the upcoming year. The full speech is posted below, and you can view our live blog of the Throne Speech here, and all our coverage of the 2020 Throne Speech here.

Some extracts from the 2020 Throne Speech are below:

  • Government will introduce a Bermuda Health Plan that will, through technology, maximise efficiencies via an integrated healthcare model. Public and private sectors will join to reduce Bermuda’s healthcare spend and drive better healthcare outcomes.
  • To further reduce costs to consumers, the Government will mandate pharmacies to provide pricing information on the most commonly prescribed medications to establish a national drug formulary. This will permit maximum prices to be set for the most frequently prescribed medicines, reducing costs to patients and providing relief to those on fixed incomes.
  • Middle schools will be phased out, and Bermuda’s public schools will revert to a twotier system of primary schools followed by signature schools at the secondary level.
  • Bermuda’s future must be built by those to whom it most belongs. The Government believes that we must respect and value young people’s contributions to society and in so doing will develop a National Youth Policy to foster direct engagement of our youth in the creation of government policy.
  • The Government will establish Independent Living Coordinators who will devise individual plans for our young people coming out of care, to provide affordable housing options, post-secondary education and career advice as well as access to physical and mental healthcare.
  • During this Session, the Legislature will be invited to consider Bills to create the Bermuda National Digital Bank, to reform banking laws and regulations, and to establish a Bermuda base interest rate. Shares in the Bermuda National Digital Bank will be available for Bermudian ownership, providing an opportunity for a new generation of investors to create lasting wealth by supporting the next wave of financial services, connecting Bermudians to the global world of digital payments.
  • To assist families in their homeownership aspirations, the Government will introduce further pension reform to allow for the use of a portion of pension account balances to fund a down payment on the purchase of a home for firsttime homebuyers.
  • During this Session, the Government will reform laws and policies that will aid in developing an ecosystem so that technology companies can base their operations in Bermuda. These new residents will enable the evolution of a technology community in Bermuda to compliment the legacy industries that provide the mainstay of the Island’s employment and revenue. Unused and underused sites in the City of Hamilton will be permitted to develop co-working spaces in which local and global entrepreneurs can live, work and play together while building the future.
  • During this Session, the Legislature will be invited to support revisions to the long-term residential certificate policy to require those granted the right to live in Bermuda to make economic investments in the Island or to invest in the new Bermuda Trust Fund, which will be set up to benefit those who have not had the benefit of historic, inherited wealth.
  • The Legislature will be invited to consider revisions to the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act that will advance comprehensive immigration reform by providing a framework for persons to obtain permanent residency in Bermuda.
  • The Government will introduce a Bill to address “revenge porn”, and online “assaults”, ensuring that the criminal justice system expands its reach to meet such cyber-offences and to protect victims of these modern assaults.
  • The Government will establish the Office of the Public Guardian to provide independent services and support for seniors, children and other vulnerable persons in circumstances where they are unable to make decisions for themselves in the management of their health, financial or legal affairs.
  • The outdated Child Care Placement Board will be replaced by a Children’s Commission, whose remit will be to advocate for the children in care, promoting best practice policy, programmes and service responses to meet their needs.
  • In this Session, the Legislature will take under consideration a Bill to grant a leasehold interest in the St. George’s Club to the developers of the St. Regis Hotel and a Bill to support the construction of a Marina in the Town of St. George.
  • Municipal reform for the Corporations of Hamilton and St. George will be advanced in this Session.
  • In this Session, the Legislature will be invited to take under consideration reform to the system of financial assistance that will better place recipients on a pathway to employment, allowing them to save and build their assets like most working people. The reforms will include the ability of recipients to retain 50% of child support to defray child-related expenses and will also permit recipients to receive other assistance up to $2,500 for household expenses, both without penalty.

The full Throne Speech is below [PDF here]:

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