FRIDAY, OCT. 26: We in the One Bermuda Alliance are wondering what is causing Stephen Todd to flip flop.
In the Bermuda Sun on Wednesday, as Progressive Labour Party candidate in Southampton East, he praised Premier Paula Cox’s Ten Point Plan and what he called her “bold and positive vision for our future… She made it clear that we are the party with the ideas and the vision to take Bermuda to the next level.”
And yet, just a year or two ago, as President of the Chamber of Commerce, he and the Chamber’s economic committee published reports that slammed Government for its huge debt and for using borrowed money to pay the carrying charges on its debt.
His chamber’s critique called for the Government to reduce its costs by, among other things, scaling back civil service perks and pensions and scaling back civil service numbers.
He criticized the Government, as the largest employer in Bermuda, for employment costs that he and his committee said were double the international rule of thumb of 25%. He and his committee pointed out that the level of Bermuda’s debt had become so high that it prevented the Government from being able any more to jumpstart or even stimulate economic recovery. They said the problem with Government was that its spending on day-to-day operations was rising more quickly than either revenue or economic growth.
Now we see the ultimate flip flop.
Mr. Todd on Wednesday said of the Premier: “On the debt, she said we will focus on the revenue side. By growing our economy through investment by both government and the private sector we will have more revenue to cover our expenses and bring down the debt.” Oh come on!
And then he criticized the OBA as a party of austerity when the Premier herself has instituted a policy of austerity across the government, directed by a Cabinet Paper entitled ‘Government Austere Savings Initiatives.’ That austerity programme has led to cutbacks in community support programmes from the Sunshine League (disbanded after losing its government grant), to Mirrors (cut back), to public school teacher lay-offs (93)…
And then Mr. Todd had the gall to say: “It’s the OBA that says that we need to enrich the already wealthy so that the drips of their wealth can trickle down and quench the thirst of the masses.” That’s so transparently phony, it sounds as if it was copied from an old-time communist comic book from the 1930s. Does he really believe this?
Let’s stop the falsehoods and posturing.
The OBA laid out some of its plans to bring real change to Bermuda. The OBA is a party of solutions and we are standing strong to create jobs, protect the community from crime, make Bermuda more affordable and make our education system work for our kids.
That’s what we’re about: Putting the people of Bermuda first, for a change.
Leah Scott is the OBA candidate in Constituency 29, Southampton East.