Promises made, promises not kept
Only 11 of 21 completed. In the first 100 days the Progressive Labour Party committed to 21 pledges and, I quote: “we will execute the following plans to bring immediate change to Bermuda's society.”
The Premier said in a statement in the House on Friday: “It is with great pride that I rise today to report that since this new government took office, we have successfully completed or significantly advanced 21 of 21 ‘100 day pledges' ...”
Later on in the statement, he said: “Promises made, promises kept.”
No doubt promises were made, many of them during the campaign, but the reality is promises have not been kept.
Only 11 of 21 have been completed and, in many of these, questions have been raised. No spin by the Government can change the results.
The following pledges have not been completed or significantly advanced:
• Grant additional powers to the Price Control Commission
Not complete. No change to the Act tabled in the House yet. What discussion and consultation has taken place before any Bill is drafted?
• Conduct an urgent review of health and safety in all public schools
Not complete. Any review has not been made public and recommendations are not known. Releasing the review is critical for transparency and public input.
• Appoint a Director of Co-operative Economics at the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation
Not appointed and not complete.
• Conclude negotiations with public-sector unions
• Reverse the One Bermuda Alliance's immigration policy regarding musicians
A policy proposed by musicians is being reviewed.
• Install fitness equipment in Bermuda's public parks
Not complete. The statement says that outdoor fitness equipment has been identified — but not installed.
• Review the privatisation contract between Aecon and the Government for the new airport terminal
Not complete. The review was announced only recently and is not complete. No costs have been announced and no framework for what is to be done in the review has been revealed.
• Implement the Sage Commission's recommendation to form three permanent parliamentary oversight committees
• Implement a Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament
Not complete. No code has been presented to the House.
• Commence the installation of wi-fi in all public schools
Not complete. Only two schools commenced.
In regard to some of the completed pledges, many questions remain.
• Re-establish the Bermuda First advisory group
Complete. The Premier can appoint whom he desires but questions have been raised regarding the breadth and strength of the committee.
• Appoint a Gang Violence Reduction Co-ordinator
Complete. However, a person was appointed to this post before the election, so now there are two people doing the job? And are we paying two salaries?
• Provide access to funding for community clubs via a loan guarantee, enabling them to upgrade facilities and become self-sufficient while creating jobs for Bermudians
Complete. But the programme details and how it works have not been laid out to clubs.
• Double the guarantee capacity of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation
Complete. Note the prior capacity was not close to being used.
• Establish a Bipartisan Committee on Immigration Reform
Complete. Questions have been raised as to how inclusive the committee is.
• Update the Ministerial Code of Conduct to ensure that the Cabinet is held to the highest ethical standards
Complete. Has the code been made public yet? Do ministers have to sign it?
• Implement the Code of Practice for Project Management and Procurement
Complete. The code was completed before the election and was in final consultation at the time.
I applaud the energy but results clearly are lacking and this is a failing grade.
In the first 100 days, the PLP promised to execute for immediate change but have found it easy to promise before an election and unable to deliver after.
This is very concerning on two fronts: the Premier delivers a statement to the House, which at best is disingenuous about what has been done. Second, these pledges are of their own making and not the difficult decisions that arise on a regular basis for any government.
If this government is unable to deliver on its own pre-election “100 day” commitments, how can we expect them to make the difficult decisions?
The first 100 days have not been a success for the Government. It has failed on its 21 pledges; we have seen a lot of photo opportunities, a larger number of ministers and junior ministers when they criticised the former government, a Junior Minister of Finance whose past experience makes it questionable as to the ability to do the job at the highest level, the granting of a work permit to the Reverend Nicholas Tweed by a government who says it puts Bermudians first and regressive policies trampling on human rights.
The PLP was provided a mandate to govern and now it appears there will be a short honeymoon period.
•Michael Dunkley, an opposition backbencher and the MP for Smith's North (Constituency 10), was the Premier of Bermuda from May 2014 to July 2017