PLP: OBA Reply To Speech Was A ‘Disservice’

November 10, 2023 | 0 Comments

Acting Minister Neville Tyrrell Bermuda August 2019“The OBA’s reply to the 2023 Throne Speech ”was a disservice to the House of Assembly and Bermuda as the “OBA has presented absolutely no plan,” PLP MP Neville Tyrrell said.

Mr Tyrrell said, “In the House of Assembly, the Reply to Speech from the Throne is the start of the annual “General Debate”, where members of both political parties debate differing policy proposals presented by the Government and the Opposition. This debate is one of the most anticipated of the year.

“The reply from the latest OBA Leader was a disservice to the House of Assembly and Bermuda as there is little to debate between the parties, as the OBA has presented absolutely no plan.

“Today’s reply was the first reply that parliamentarians can recall that was shorter than the Throne Speech! There is not a single proposal in the reply for changes to laws of the country, changes to policies of the Government, just vacuous statements which will do nothing to make Bermuda better.

“Their Reply to the Throne Speech title is Let’s Get It Done. Together. What is it?

  • Is it pathways to status again?
  • Is it raising taxes on workers again?
  • Is it reduced funding for public transport, infrastructure, and youth programmes again?
  • Is it eliminating scholarships for our students again?
  • Is it requiring Bermudians to pay to attend Bermuda College again?
  • Is it a repeat of 2013-2017?

“We ask these questions because, whatever leader they have, no voter can be clear on what the OBA will actually do, as they refuse to put forward plans and policies to debate in the House of Assembly. They criticise the Government without presenting any alternatives or solutions and give hollow commentary on the work that we are doing without saying what they would actually do differently.

“The only assumption that we in the PLP can make is that the OBA knows our policies are the right policies for Bermuda’s future, but they cannot say so – and that is why they refuse to state what they will do differently.

“I encourage Bermudians to tune in to the House of Assembly via or 105.1FM – to listen to today’s debate to learn more about the plans that the PLP Government will advance as we continue serving the people of Bermuda.

“The Opposition Leader says in his statement: “Let’s imagine what could be if we take the right path..”. What is the right path?

  • What is their plan for education?
  • What is their plan to increase affordable housing?
  • Where is their plan for lowering the cost of living?

“The OBA has opposed our budgets that have increase funding for education and affordable housing. They were concerned about how our elimination of customs duty on essential goods and our fuel price freeze would be funded, but just as then, they offer the voters of this country no information on what they would do differently.

“Do they have a plan for any of these matters? Do they have any solutions? If so why are they afraid to share it?

“The Opposition Leader claims to paint a picture of where we are today. Let me paint a picture of where we were when they were in Government….prior to the PLP returning to office.

  • Taxes on workers raised to the highest level in Bermuda’s history.
  • Our seniors being told that “money doesn’t grow on trees”.
  • Local large company owners taking millions of dollars in dividends tax-free.
  • A failed Morgan’s Point project.
  • A poor deal for a new airport which has since cost taxpayers more than $250 million.

“What won’t we hear them say….Where we really are today:

“The Opposition leader said: “Imagine a Bermuda where young people look forward to accessible home ownership.”

  • Yet failed to mention the 49 Bermudians on the path to homeownership through the Government’s Mortgage Guarantee Programme. 49!
  • It was in the Throne Speech, so he cannot say he didn’t know that number.
  • While they imagine things, we are doing the work.

“They won’t talk about the numbers of new affordable housing units that have come online this year, with more on the way.

“They won’t talk about how we have reduced taxes to the lowest level in 30 years, providing more disposable income for families. While ensuring higher earners paid their share.

  • Which the Opposition did not support.

“They won’t talk about how we have increased pensions for our seniors in line with the rate of inflation 5 times since 2017, when they gave seniors only one raise in 5 years.

“They won’t talk about how Bermuda College is accessible to all students regardless of financial circumstances.

“They won’t talk about how we closed the loophole on tax-free dividends, and are using those funds to invest in education, and healthcare.

  • Because they opposed this change.

“They won’t talk about the new fleet of electric buses which have reduced bus cancellations.

“They won’t talk about Google and the Subsea cable project that is a part of the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan that will lead to new jobs and investment in our economy.

“They won’t talk about how we are installing 247 new CCTV cameras throughout the island to enhance community safety. The first phase of which is already underway in Hamilton and the central parishes!

“They say more children in private education, yet won’t admit the reality, which is that this year, we saw an increase in public school registrations.

“And what did we hear from the Minister of Education this morning:

  • Approximately 75% of students enjoy what they are studying in Signature Learning Programmes.
  • Approximately 70% of students believe Signature Learning Programme courses help them to build on their talents and capabilities.
  • Approximately 70% of students believe Signature Learning Programme teachers and coursework challenge them to do their best.

“The Opposition Leader said: “Our country needs more skilled trades professionals. For a country built by the trades, which includes vendors, shop owners, and the like, we seem to totally forget it was sweat that built our homes and communities.”

“This Government not only agrees with that, but is ahead of him as we opened Bermuda’s first trade school in a generation at the Cedarbridge Academy in September.

“This Government recognises that there is more work to be done. But we are not afraid to layout the plans and strategies that we have to tackle the issues that matter to Bermudians. The things
that we hear about on the doorsteps when we are canvassing regularly. And the people have Bermuda can trust in us, because when we make a promise we deliver.

  • We said we would reduce the tax burden on workers, and we did.
  • We said we would implement a minimum wage, we did.
  • We said we would support our seniors to ensure they can live lives of dignity, and we are.
  • We said we would work and invest to increase the stock of affordable housing, we are.
  • We said we would implement a public school education system that prepares our students for a successful future, and we are.

“The 2023 Throne Speech is a continuation of this work, and its title is a statement of intent to the people of Bermuda that we will continue to serve them and deliver on our promises:

  • We will purchase a new asphalt plant to increase the pace of road paving.
  • We will improve customer service and responsiveness at the Department of Immigration.
  • We will make further streamlining to planning rules to reduce frustrations faced by residents.
  • We will implement online payments for government services.
  • We will establish core healthcare services to be available to all residents through the universal healthcare benefits package.
  • And we will continue our work to further increase the stuff of affordable housing, execute our economic development strategy, revitalise our tourism sector…

click here Bermuda 2023 Throne Speech

Read More About

Category: All

Leave a Reply