The One Bermuda Alliance believes all Bermudians should achieve social and economic equity: good-paying jobs, safe neighbourhoods and great schools.
We will leave no one behind. This section of the website outlines some of our initiatives to help achieve this worthy goal. Further initiatives will be detailed during the general election period.
- MICHAEL DUNKLEY, JP, MP
Leader, One Bermuda Alliance
Our mission: Restoring jobs, opportunity and confidence.
The people of Bermuda want their economy to provide them with good-paying jobs, career and business opportunities and hope for a brighter future.
Unfortunately, the economy today is failing to meet these basic needs: More than 3,000 Bermudians are unemployed. Businesses are cutting back and closing. Families are struggling to make ends meet. And the Government, which is responsible for economic progress, has crippled its ability to help people when they need it most. Its massive debt now costs more than $240,000 a day in interest payments alone. That’s money that could be spent to support social programmes and help Bermudians in need.
The One Bermuda Alliance will end this unacceptable situation.
Our Economic Recovery and Jobs plan contains specific measures designed to grow jobs, stimulate investment, create opportunity, and restore the confidence that is so essential for economic revival.
As part of our plan, a One Bermuda Alliance Government will:
- Stimulate Bermudian jobs growth by giving employers a two-year payroll tax exemption for all new Bermudian hires.
- Establish an independent Contractor General to oversee government construction projects to ensure fairness, enforce rules and eliminate wasteful cost overruns.
- Protect Bermudian jobs by cracking down on employers who abuse immigration rules.
- Grow jobs, business and career opportunities by extending the North Hamilton EEZ and developing the Marsh Folly area.
- Support small businesses by directing 20% of all government goods and services spending – about $80 million a year – to them.
- Revive Bermuda tourism by creating a Tourism Authority that puts professionals, not politicians, in charge of the industry.
- Create Bermudian construction and tourism jobs through the redevelopment of the Hamilton and St. George’s waterfronts.
- Use growing government revenues to reduce debt and restore and strengthen social programmes.
- End wasteful government spending through the creation of a Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission
- Initiate an island-wide road improvement programme.
Our mission: Great schools for great kids.
The OBA believes in the strength of our teachers and the potential of our students. We believe that the quality of a child’s education should not be determined by their parent’s income. We believe excellence in education is key to opportunity for our children.
An OBA Government will:
- Implement a fully integrated technical curriculum, starting in the middle schools.
- Expand preschool places to make early education more accessible to all, especially single parents.
- Extend the school day to allow more time for the arts, music, sports and additional academic assistance for the students who need it.
- Empower our teachers by giving them the support and resources they need.
- Expand the options for Bermudian students by transitioning Bermuda College into a four-year institution.
- Provide additional support to GED programmes.
- Follow through on the Hopkins Report recommendations to ensure real education reform.
Our mission: Public safety, everywhere.
An engaged and empowered community is the key to public safety. The One Bermuda Alliance will restore safety and minimize the impact crime has on our community.
An OBA Government will:
- Disrupt and dismantle violent gang activity by fully funding and implementing focused crime reduction strategies such as Operation Ceasefire.
- Inform and empower citizens with the latest incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhoods by posting Police community crime maps on the Internet.
- Support communities harmed by crime by implementing a ‘Cash Back for Communities’ programme using monies confiscated from criminals.
- Provide young Bermudians with more opportunities for recreational activities through stronger funding support for youth volunteer organizations.
- Establish a crime-prevention working group that involves youth organizations, churches and communities – key partners for public safety.
- Institute a register of sex offenders the public can access.
Cost of living
Our mission: Making Bermuda more affordable.
The high cost of living imposes a tremendous financial burden on Bermudian families. We will make Bermuda more affordable for them.
An OBA Government will:
- Reduce the cost of electricity by properly regulating the energy sector.
- Lower energy costs for households, hotels and businesses through the promotion of combined heat and power generation (cogeneration).
- Reduce the cost of health care through a strong focus on the Bermuda Hospitals Board, which accounts for 40% of all health care spending in Bermuda.
- Waive stamp duties for first-time homeowners on properties valued under $1 million.
- Open a hospital medical clinic to ensure access to medical care for the vulnerable.
- Work with social agencies such as the Salvation Army to provide good quality transitional housing and support programmes for the most vulnerable in our society.
- Ensure stronger family benefits by working with employers to extend family and maternity leave for caregivers, parents and guardians.
We have concrete plans to create jobs, reduce gang violence, truly reform public education and make Bermuda more affordable. But it’s not just a question of what we will do as an OBA Government, it’s how we will do it.
We believe good governance is more than just lip service. It starts at the top. It sets the highest standards and doesn’t accept excuses.
The OBA was founded on values that work for people, and it is these values that guide our approach to governing. Here are some examples of how this will happen:
Opportunity: We believe every Bermudian should have the opportunity to succeed. Opportunity comes from building a strong economy with good-paying jobs, safe neighbourhoods and first-class public education.
Transparency: Bermudians have a right to know what is going on in their government. We will implement Freedom of Information within the first legislative session. We will install cameras in Parliament so that proceedings are more accessible to the public via the internet and CITV.
Accountability: We will make sure government ministers are responsible to YOU the people. We will implement a zero-tolerance policy for unethical behaviour.
Inclusiveness: We will break down the walls of division in Bermuda for a future based on teamwork, tolerance and collaboration. To set the example, we will invite a member of the Opposition party into an OBA Government Cabinet. We will introduce absentee balloting to include travellers and students away in college.
Fairness and equity: We are against discrimination in any form. We will strengthen Bermuda’s commitment to human rights for all, prohibiting discrimination in employment, goods and services and housing.
Public service: Political power belongs to the people. We will work for the benefit of all Bermuda’s people. We will be a public service government, putting you first.
Since the formation of the One Bermuda Alliance in May, 2011, we have been hard at work constructing a plan to get Bermuda working again.
We have taken a grass roots approach to planning. We have spent thousands of hours listening to your concerns, understanding your problems, generating ideas and formulating solutions.
So between now and the election you can expect to learn more about how the One Bermuda Alliance will ensure that EVERY Bermudian achieves social and economic success.
In the meantime, in our reply to the Throne Speech in November 2011, we shared greater than 30 ideas and solutions to help get Bermuda working again. Many of these items form part of our plan.
Some highlights from the Reply to the Throne Speech include:
- Grant a two-year payroll tax exemption for every job created for Bermudians
- Drop ill-tempered tone towards international business and develop concierge service for international customers
- Create a Tourism Authority
- Cut red tape and reform policies, practices and systems that hamper economic growth
- Cut consultants and frequent travel
- Cut Minister’s pay
- Freeze size of civil service and reduce by attrition
- Create a Contractor General to end massive cost overruns on government projects
- Help the construction and real estate industry by reforming and fast-track the Planning process and eliminating the property license for non-Bermudian spouses
- Set up Spending and Government Efficiency Commission and strengthen Public Accounts Committee to ensure greater accountability of government spending
- Help Bermuda businesses by requiring Government to pay its bills in 30 days
- Bring Operation Ceasefire to Bermuda and equip Police with resources and support needed to reduce violent crime
- Give public education consistent leadership and the political will to reform schools, fully implementing the Hopkins Report recommendations including continuous professional development for teachers and principals
- Expand preschools and consider a longer school day to include sports, music, art and remedial support
- Create health insurance plan that will not bankrupt the country and create more affordable beds for seniors in nursing homes
- Produce 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2026 and give concessions to business and individuals committing to ‘green’ strategies
- Overhaul Parliamentary Elections Act, extend the advance poll, allow absentee ballots and make elections for a fixed term
- Change political culture from confrontational to collaborative and make better use of MPs and Senators by making more bipartisan committees
- Allow referenda on major issues