19 November 2008

Truth in Advertising

The anonymous authors of the PLP blog recently wrote "The Opposition's Reply to the Throne Speech was about cheap political attacks - not ideas..." To be frank, that statement is a lie -- the Reply was a very good speech which rightly called the Government to account on many important issues, and proposed a multitude of concrete ideas -- 26 by my count. You can read them for yourself in the speech, but for your convenience I summarize them below. So I encourage to think for yourself, and decide, does the UBP have ideas? I think you will find the answer is yes.

  1. Reduce reliance on foreign consultants, thereby reducing costs and involving more Bermudians in running their country.

  2. Provide the people with a realistic & clear-eyed view of the economy, where it is going, and how that may impact Bermudians.

  3. Cut non-essential spending and institute a Government-wide austerity program, including a freeze on public service hiring -- thereby leading by example.

  4. Set aside extra money for Housing and Social assistance in anticipation of the hard times ahead.

  5. Prepare to pick up slack in economy with public projects, but only once the private sector construction boom has ended.

  6. Openly tender Government jobs to "spread the wealth" throughout the economy.

  7. Revive the "Buy Bermuda" campaign.

  8. Be prepared to cut payroll tax for small businesses, especially if Tourism falls with the North American economy.

  9. Aggressively promote energy conservation, starting with the Government.

  10. Repair Government's relationship with International Business.

  11. Do a better job exercising diplomacy in Washington, above an beyond photo-ops in the corridor.

  12. Ban corporate inversions in Bermuda as they are not worth the US political risk to Bermuda.

  13. Be honest with the people about the state of announced hotel projects, given the currently poor state of the US financial system.

  14. Increase Government-Industry teamwork, and "fish where the fish are" in picking up business for Bermuda.

  15. Create a non-political tourism authority.

  16. Start to collaborate with key stakeholders in improving Bermuda's education system: parents, teachers, and students.

  17. Give teachers the tools and training to attack anti-social behavior in the schools.

  18. Implement a fully-integrated technical education curriculum starting in the middle schools.

  19. Create an independent body to assess school performance.

  20. Create a Warwick Police Station to assist in fighting crime.

  21. Increase Police presence in the communities and on the roads.

  22. Install Speed Cameras to attack speeding on the roads.

  23. A whole list of items to help Seniors, such as improving the elder abuse register act, require higher standards of care in nursing homes, and help families care for their seniors at home.

  24. Eliminate payroll tax for lower income earners.

  25. Duty relief for Taxi owners.

  26. Ensure fair tendering of trucking across all truckers, not just the mega-truckers.

In addition, the Reply pledged support for several initiatives put forward by the Government:

  • Water conservation & production plans.

  • Support the Government's intentions in education reform.

  • Support Government's promise to address anti-social behaviour in the schools.

  • Support the Law Reform commission (as originally proposed by the UBP's Trevor Moniz.

  • Support the replacement of the Hospital.

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