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Richards calls for work permit term limits policy to be reconsidered

Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards has urged Bermuda to follow in the footsteps of the Cayman Islands and reconsider controversial work permit term limits.

Premier McKeeva Bush of Cayman said last Wednesday that he was suspending the policy for two years because it was hurting the economic well-being of Caymanians.

Mr Richards said on Sunday: “The Bermuda Government’s partial retreat from its own policy earlier this summer through a programme of limited work permit exemptions for key workers was de facto acknowledgment that its policy was hurting the people of Bermuda and the Island’s attractiveness as a business centre.

“Cayman, our competitor, instead of just thinking about it, has taken action to help its people and put Cayman first. Here at home, the Government is putting pride before country unwilling to change one of its signature policies despite evidence that it is neither working for the benefit of Bermudians nor enhancing the Island’s attractiveness as a business centre. We think in their heart of hearts the Government knows its policy is wrong for the Island but that saving face is too important to them.”

The One Bermuda Alliance has pledged to waive term limit requirements for occupations and positions that historically receive 90 percent approval, if it comes to power.

Premier Paula Cox has defended the current policy, saying it is more flexible and welcoming to international business than the one axed in Cayman.

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Published September 20, 2011 at 9:34 am (Updated September 20, 2011 at 9:34 am)

Richards calls for work permit term limits policy to be reconsidered

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