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Minister claims 80% of recovery initiatives are ‘on track’

Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

About 25 of the Government’s 31 policies to drive the economy are “on track”, the Minister of Economy and Labour said.

Jason Hayward told the House of Assembly on Friday that the economic recovery plan combined fiscal responsibility “with a clear path to growth, employment and greater economic development”.

The scheme, which has 31 priority initiatives across seven themes, was developed in 2020 after the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Mr Hayward said international benchmarks suggested that successful implementation would deliver economic growth of 1.3 to 1.5 per cent a year above the baseline from 2023.

He told the House: “The ERP policy initiatives are advancing well with 80 per cent of the 31 initiatives on track, with some of the initiatives having already demonstrated positive results.”

Mr Hayward said that under the financial markets theme, a Covid-19 support programme by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation made available $6.1 million in loans, grants and guarantees to small and medium-sized businesses.

He added: “Under theme three – infrastructure investment, significant progress has been made with trenching works for potable water and waste water lines in St George’s and Southside.

“$22 million has been approved for refurbishment works at the Tynes Bay waste-to-energy facility to ensure continued safe and reliable waste management.

“The shoreside fish processing facility is in advanced stages of planning and consultation.

“The Bermuda Housing Corporation’s residential building programme is adding 77 units to the stock of affordable housing with 12 projects under way. And $4.5 million has been invested in the construction of electric bus charging facilities at the Dockyard, St George and Fort Langton bus depots in support of the fleet electrification programme.”

He claimed that the economic investment certificate – under the theme of expanding the resident population – had “exceeded expectations”.

The programme allows foreign nationals to reside in Bermuda for five years provided that they invest a minimum of $2.5 million into the island.

Mr Hayward said that 27 applications were approved representing 71 people and a total investment of $369 million.

He told the House: “Extension of the temporary – one-year – residency certificate has seen 1,139 applications approved with 163 extensions granted.”

Mr Hayward said 170 applications had been received for permanent residency certificates under the January, 2022 amendments to Section 31 of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956.

Another 188 applications for PRCs and Bermudian status were the result of repatriation and mixed-status families amendments to the Act.

The minister said that under labour market and social development measures a hospitality recruitment drive was planned for Wednesday, from 10am to 4pm at the Hamilton Princess.

“Meanwhile, the third cohort of the graduate trainee programme commenced in November, ” he added.

“This is a ten-week paid internship opportunity for 15 recent college and university graduates.”

To read the minister’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.

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Published December 12, 2022 at 7:40 am (Updated December 12, 2022 at 7:40 am)

Minister claims 80% of recovery initiatives are ‘on track’

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