FRIDAY, NOV. 2: Bermuda should be very concerned in the midst of an economic crisis that has killed jobs for thousands and spread financial hardship across the country that the Government’s Throne Speech does not address the country’s number one need – which is jobs.

The Government tells Bermuda that it is ‘poised… to finally break the grip of recession’ but it outlined no economic recovery plan, no jobs plan, and no help or hope for families struggling to make ends meet.

This is Bermuda’s immediate national priority and the Throne Speech is silent on what to do.

The One Bermuda Alliance is prepared to get Bermuda’s economy working again for the people. We have outlined plans to grow and protect jobs, stimulate hiring and extend opportunities for entrepreneurs, support small business development, improve conditions for international business and ease the cost of living.

We have outlined plans to provide our children with the education they need to succeed, return safety to our neighbourhoods, and provide Bermuda with a government that is open, transparent and accountable in conduct the people’s business.

The OBA is ready to meet the needs of people – to make our Island work better for families, students and seniors, businesses and entrepreneurs.

People need immediate and strong action to ease the serious economic and social pressures they are facing, but the Throne Speech betrays a government that lost touch with their needs and concerns.

The promises listed in the Speech are recycled from previous Throne Speeches or they are 11th hour, election-eve concessions to long-standing public demands for action. It is not good enough.

Bermudians will soon be given the opportunity to decide whether they want five more years of the Government’s casual approach to the people’s business or whether they believe it’s time for change, with new leadership, new ideas and a vision to get us moving forward in a new and better direction.

The One Bermuda Alliance is the change. We are committed to building a Bermuda based on social and economic equity for all, leaving no one behind.

Our Economic Recovery Plan includes specific steps to restore jobs, opportunity and confidence by:

• Giving employers a two-year payroll tax exemption for all new hires

• Protecting Bermudian jobs by cracking down on employers who abuse immigration rules

• Supporting small business by directing 20% of all government goods and services spending – about $80 million a year – to them

• Extending the North Hamilton EEZ and developing the Marsh Folly area.

We look forward to outlining our vision and plans for Bermuda in our formal Reply to the Throne Speech next week.