One Bermuda

Under the PLP, Bermuda’s economy was broken. Businesses were closing, debt was skyrocketing, and people were losing hope. Today, optimism has returned to the island as the OBA is turning our economy around and moving Bermuda in the right direction.

East to West

From East to West, the OBA has spent the past five years hard at work revitalizing Bermuda—but we're not done yet.

CONSTITUENCY 27, WARWICK NORTH CENTRAL

Sheila Gomez

 

Sheila Gomez grew up on Khyber Heights Lane, and always considered her parents her best role models. From them, she learned the importance of hard work and sacrifice, as they gave everything they could to ensure she and her four siblings received the best education possible. Sheila first attended Purvis Primary and Berkeley Institute before travelling abroad to complete high school and earn a college degree in Business Management Studies.

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The OBA stands on its record.

  • Revival of Tourism Industry

    • Created Bermuda Tourism Authority
    • Multiple hotel developments across the island
    • Return of cruise ships to St. George’s and Hamilton
    • Increased airlift and air arrivals
  • Increased Economic Development

    • Economic growth for the first time since 2008
    • Government finances stabilized
    • Loans and support to small businesses & entrepreneurs
    • Infrastructure improvements, from roads and bridges to a new airport
  • Strengthened National Security

    • Lowest levels of crime since 2000
    • ‘Cashback’ support to community groups and clubs
    • Gang resistance training in schools, Team Street Safe in communities
    • An all-volunteer Royal Bermuda Regiment
  • Targeted Efforts to Help All Bermudians

    • Fair, progressive tax reform and payroll tax breaks for lower income earners
    • 24/7 ambulance service based in the East End and West End
    • Increased pensions, introduced Personal Home Care benefits for seniors
    • Broadened the scope of government scholarships to support students in need
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Rolled Out Candidates

A Passive Government, Is That What We Need?

The government’s claim has always been that our problems have been solely caused by the global recession.

That means that they are merely hanging on until the global recovery begins.
Well the latest news is that the global recovery may be stalling. What does that mean for us? Does that mean that we merely wait a bit longer?

Meanwhile business continues to weaken, jobs continue to be lost vacancies in office buildings continue to abound, residential units continue to be in surplus and all the while Government builds so called affordable housing

Rents, if you can find a tenant, are falling. Government revenues continue to be weak. The huge public debt continues to grow, along with the cost of servicing that debt. Yet the cost of doing business continues to escalate and the convenience of doing business in Bda. continues to fall.

If we are passive, merely waiting for the global economy to bail us out, then these ills I have just described will continue.

I don’t believe in being passive, and I don’t think Bermudians want passivity from their leaders. They want and demand a pro-active problem solving attitude from us. They want and demand solutions to these problems that are affecting the livelihoods and quality of life of all of us.

Such solutions require us to rethink, in a fundamental way, our approach to economic development in this island

Protectionism has long been the cornerstone of our approach to economic development in Bermuda.

  • Business was protected by the 60/40 rule
  • Labour markets were protected by a web of immigration rules
  • Land was protected by another web of rules
  • Money was protected by yet another web of rules called Exchange Control
  • We even protected ourselves against tourism. Told them hold long they could stay etc.
Why are we so protective? This attitude is based on an assumption, an assumption that we have something that the world very much wants to take from us, and we’re not going to let them have it..... that’s the assumption.

What if that assumption is no longer valid? What if the world doesn’t want what we have. Or what if the world doesn’t want what we have badly enough to put up with navigating all these protective webs that we have woven? What if there are other places with fewer protective webs that provide something similar to what we provide? What then?

These what if’s are not just imaginary, these “what if’s” have become WHAT IS.

If we are going to stop the rot in our economy, and our society, if we are to put ourselves in a position to pay down this public debt, we need to pro-actively take a giant pair of scissors and snip away at these protective webs of red tape that we have erected over the decades,

These webs are making Bermuda uncompetitive and unattractive to the businesses that bring foreign exchange to our island.

And let us not forget that it is that foreign exchange that is the tide that raises all boats in the Bermuda economy .... not various Government spending projects, as ministers would like us to think. These protective webs are the Red Tape I have referred to in the recent past

It is our strongly held belief that we must restructure the way Bermuda does business with the rest of the world. We need to re-examine the hallowed 60/40 rule.

There are already many exceptions to 60/40

  • Banks
  • Hotels
  • Telecoms
The question that needs to be answered is has 60/40 outlived its usefulness? Is it nowadays an impediment to inward investment into Bermuda? This is what I mean about fundamentally rethinking the way we do business with the rest of the world.

Rolling out the red carpet does not only mean welcoming tourists, although that is very important, it also means welcoming potential investors. Because you have to have the investment in infrastructure first before you can have something to welcome a tourist to.

Our present multiple webs of protectionist red tape likely exhaust potential investors long before they even get to the starting line.

These are the types of fundamental changes in approach that have to be made if we are to improve the future prospects for Bermuda.

Everard T. (Bob) Richards,  JP, MP

Michael Dunkley

"I want to assure the people of this country that their Government is unawavering in the commitment to improving this economy and restoring prosperity and success as part of the Bermuda story."

Michael Dunkley

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