The GP fleet will now be reduced to six. *File photo
The GP fleet will now be reduced to six. *File photo

FRIDAY, JAN 18: Premier Craig Cannonier today announced that the fleet of GP cars has been reduced to six and promised not to emulate the PLP’s “extremely excessive” use of consultants.

In a statement entitled “The Government’s Focus for the People”, the Premier also vowed to reverse the exodus of “intellectual capital” and their spending power, which he says had seen 10,000 leave the island.

The most detail, however, was reserved for plans to reduce Government spending. As well as the GP car reduction, Ministers — who had already agreed to a 10-per-cent pay cut — will use them “only when necessary”.

The OBA leader also took a swipe at one specific area of the PLP’s spending policy. He said: “In 2010/11, the previous Government spent upwards of $100 million a year on consultants, which we believed to be extremely excessive. We will not duplicate their mistakes.  

“We are confident in the competence of the Civil Servants to ensure that the policies of the Government are implemented.”

The Premier also said a review of Government Budget is under way, with the Economic Advisory Committee established to “streamline Government processes”. A review of St George’s Police Station and Westgate has begun, while meetings continue with the International Business community on ways of creating capital to aid job creation.

The statement represents the most detailed plans announced by the OBA Government since they assumed power four weeks ago.

And the Premier admitted they are still analyzing the country’s financial state.

He said: “The people of Bermuda have spoken very clearly that they want and expect our government to be rational and organized as we face these enormous financial challenges that were inherited from the PLP.

He added: “These are still early days – we are in assessment mode… uncovering the realities of the state of the country.

“Where efficient practices have been identified, they will remain – where excess and wasteful spending has been identified – it will be cut back.”

In a week that has seen yet another serious shooting incident, the Premier said “cooperation” and “trust” were key to tackling the problem of violent crime, and were vital if Bermuda is to move forward.

He said: “We know that crime is down, but violent crime is what is creating the fear. We have to arrest the tide of violence. We have to stop the wars, there are gang wars, families are at war, businesses are at war, politicians are at war, people are at war.

“While I believe that it is my job to end it – it starts with each one of us.”

He added: “Cooperation will build better lines of communication and build respect. Respect will in turn build trust. I trust in Bermuda, in my Ministers, our Permanent Secretaries and our Civil Servants, that they will cooperate, communicate and be respectful.  I trust in businesses, local and international to work cohesively together to create jobs and help to build our economy.”

For Premier Cannonier’s full statement click on the link below.