September 20, 2020

PLP & OBA Continue To Debate Term Limit Policy following Cayman Islands report


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Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards

Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards and the Progressive Labour Party continue to verbally spar over term limits, following a recent report from the Cayman Islands about the impact term limits had on their business growth.

“The flak gets heaviest when you’re closest to the target. The latest anonymous PLP assault on my credibility and the OBA economic recovery plan is nothing but flak – an exercise in lies and distortion,” Mr Richards said last night.

Mr Richards continued: “Lie Number 1: The PLP say the OBA’s policy is to end term limits. The OBA policy, as stated in our Budget Reply and other releases, is to suspend term limits for a period of two years pending a review for a policy that works better for Bermuda.

“Lie Number 2: The PLP say our term limit policy is the only plan we have for economic recovery. This is a total falsehood. We have outlined in detail our recovery proposals to the public several times including in the formal Budget Reply in March where they were listed in clear point form.

“My colleagues and I in the OBA have no problem with engaging in debate about the best way forward for Bermuda. We all want Bermuda to do better. The well being of Bermudians depends on it. But we can’t have that debate – and solutions will be harder to come by – if one side continues to lie and distort.

“Let’s refocus on the Bermuda economic reality and the best way out of this mess. Our position on term limits has been clearly stated for months. But we would go further. In addition to their suspension, we would crack down on employer abuse of the work permit process.

“For too long the PLP government has turned a blind eye to employers abusing the system. This is yet another example of a lack of accountability within the government – a government that likes to set up rules but does not have the backbone to enforce them. We will hold those abusing employers to account.

“The PLP wants people to believe that all Bermuda’s economic problems are caused by the global recession because such a belief conveniently lets them off the hook for their failed policies.

“Here are the economic facts: In a recession, all industries/companies don’t have to do poorly; some can do quite well. Apple is a famous example of a company excelling during the global recession. The Albright-Stonebridge Impact Study on Bermuda clearly shows the same to be true for the Bermuda reinsurance industry. Given that this is our primary industry, Bermuda should be doing better, creating more jobs for Bermudians. The fact that we are not has to be laid at the feet of PLP government policies.

“This is the inconvenient truth that the PLP have to live with. Misdirecting attention to a Cayman Island report that does not reflect government policy is not fooling anybody. It’s a distraction from what’s important,” concluded Mr Richards.

The PLP responded to Mr Richards saying he “just can’t help himself while he and the OBA continue to deceive Bermudians.

“Bob Richards’ first fib is to say that the OBA doesn’t support ending term limits. On 12 August 2011, the local media reported that the OBA would “end term limits” for certain work permit categories. That idea is unworkable and would be a disaster for Bermudians.

“The Cayman Islands rejected it with one Caymanian opining that such a policy would make Caymanians second class citizens in their own country. The PLP is a party that stands strong for Bermudians and is committed to defending our opportunities,” continued the PLP.

“Bob Richards’ second fib is that he has other ideas to improve the economy. We’ve read his reply to the budget. His so called “ideas” aren’t ideas at all. They are statements like “Providing effective budget support for the marketing of Bermuda to international business” and “Finding new investors for Bermuda tourism developments.” That’s not a policy. That’s not an idea. That’s what the PLP Government is already doing!

“Bob Richards and the OBA can try to mislead the Bermudian people as much as he wants, but, the truth is that his party has only offered to bring radical change to Bermuda that will put in place two Bermudas – one Bermuda that works for his Front Street friends and another Bermuda where the rest of Bermudians are left behind,” concluded the PLP.

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