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OBA on Throne Speech: ‘this Government appears to have lost its way’

Cole Simons, the Opposition leader, responds to the Throne Speech at a press conference (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

An “empty” Throne Speech shows the Government is out of touch with voters, the opposition One Bermuda Alliance insisted.

Cole Simons, the OBA leader, said the set-piece parliamentary statement of the legislative agenda for the next 12 months lacked vision.

He said the Progressive Labour Party programme was “all talk, no action” and added that the Throne Speech was “empty and lacked substance, and clearly shows that the PLP has lost its connection with the residents on this island and truly has no real plan for their futures”.

He added: “The Throne Speech lacked new and innovative direction. It felt like more of the same — lots of talk, but not much action.

“Where was the vision? The Throne Speech felt like that awkward kid in high school —trying to make everybody happy, but we all know how that ends; no one ends up satisfied.”

Mr Simons said the Throne Speech failed to mention immigration, or offer ideas on how to deal with crime.

“Where are the real solutions for reducing the cost of living for Bermuda and its people?

“How can the Government talk about reducing the cost of living yet still has not addressed one of the biggest problems plaguing Bermuda from one end of the island to another — the crippling escalation of energy bills.

“And, let’s be clear, the Government can’t lower the cost of living in Bermuda because it is in debt.

“Where was any mention of seniors, mental health issues, youth, homelessness, crime? Also, the important issues of immigration and emigration — there was no mention at all.

“How are we to address the expansion of our workforce which will help strengthen the economy and how are we going to deal with the flight of Bermudians who are leaving the island at alarming levels?”

On healthcare, Mr Simons said: “Now the real challenges we had before Covid are worse.

“Many questions about the hospital's finances have gone unanswered. Government continues to inject money into the Bermuda Hospitals Board that hasn’t been budgeted for. This is unsustainable.

“And we still have no healthcare plan.”

The OBA leader said it was the wrong time for the Government to talk about independence.

Referring to a report the Government has received on the full range of self-government options for Bermuda, Mr Simons said: “To raise independence at this juncture is yet another stark reminder that Premier Burt and his Government have truly lost touch with the people.

“This Government appears to have lost its way.”

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Published November 05, 2022 at 8:27 am (Updated November 05, 2022 at 8:37 am)

OBA on Throne Speech: ‘this Government appears to have lost its way’

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