PLP pledges Bermuda First advisory group
Progressive Labour Party members touched upon a number of previously unveiled platform pledges at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
Topics including the development of a tech hub, education and seniors were discussed as part of the party’s promise to create more opportunities for all Bermudians.
Kim Wilson reiterated the PLP’s promise of a Bermuda First advisory group, consisting of local and international business and community leaders.
“Bermuda needs to draw on our intellectual capital and use our stakeholders to help us to facilitate this particular plan,” the Sandys South Central MP said.
“We can no longer sit back and rely on international business and tourism as our only sources of economic activity and growth in Bermuda.”
Under a PLP government, an economic diversification unit would be created, Ms Wilson said. The establishment of a technology hub at Southside, she said, would allow and encourage start-up firms to come to
Funding would also be increased for jobs training and retraining, she said.
Ms Wilson said job opportunities would help prioritise employment of qualified locals.
“As a nation, we cannot expect to thrive when we continue to have an unequal system that incentivises employers from hiring foreigners over local Bermudians,” she said.
She also reiterated the party’s pledge to create a Tax Reform Commission.
To encourage entrepreneurship, Ms Wilson said that the party would double the lending capacity of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation.
“These are the ones that have the ideas and the vision and the drive to create job opportunities and new industries on our island, which upon being successful, will also employ more Bermudians,” she said.
“We’ll assist entrepreneurs turn their passions into profits.”
The expansion of foreign capital for first-time business owners would also be provided, she said.
Walter Roban said that opportunities provided to islanders through the education system had failed under the One Bermuda Alliance.
To remedy the situation, he repeated PLP promises including the installation of wi-fi in all schools, the eventual phasing out of middle schools and introduction of signature schools, and increased accessibility to Bermuda College through financial support for in-need students.
“Finances and families should not be a barrier to tertiary education,” the Pembroke East MP said.
Jamahl Simmons said the lack of available opportunities extend to families and seniors, as well as students.
He pointed to a lack of pension increases, a lack of opportunities pushing youth to gangs, and fewer opportunities for affordable housing.
“These are trends that must be reversed immediately,” the Sandys South MP said.
“The PLP is the party of all Bermudians, and we will ensure that everyone will have the opportunities they deserve for a better life.”
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