Derrick Burgess JP MP - Press Conference Remarks

Thank you Mr. Premier and Good afternoon Bermuda,

Next week, our seniors will go to the polls. All voters aged 65 and over are eligible to vote. As a reminder, the polls are open from 8 am to 8 pm at 4 different locations depending on your constituency from Monday, September 14th to Friday, September 18th.

Constituencies #1 to 9 will vote at Midland Heights Seventh Day Adventist Church Hall. Constituencies 10 to 18 will vote at the National Sports Center, Sports Pavilion. Constituencies 19 to 27 will vote at the Horticultural Hall, Botanical Gardens. And, constituencies 28 to 36 will vote at St. Mary’s Church Hall. If you need a ride to the polls, please call 703-8757. As a note, all our rides will be equipped with masks and hand sanitizer.

That being said, as seniors go to the polls, it is critical that seniors be aware of what we’ve done to uplift our seniors during our term.

First, we instituted annual cost of living increases for social insurance pensions. Those increases are now linked to the rate of inflation and designed to lessen the hardships that too many of our seniors now endure. In contrast, under the last government, the OBA made seniors wait five long years for a pension increase. That wait was the longest period of time between increases since the OBA’s predecessor, the UBP, was in power. If increases to pensions are important to you, it is clear based on our performance, which party you can count on.

We added affordable housing units for seniors and we signed the Bermudian charter of the rights and responsibilities of the elderly and adults in need of long-term care and assistance. This charter is a guideline to protect the human rights and civil liberties of our seniors who are the fastest increasing segment of our population. Age and dependency is not grounds to take away the rights of our seniors. Restrictions of rights if caused by age and or dependency must rest on clear legal grounds.

Working with Age Concern and the Bermuda Housing Corporation, we introduced interest free loans of up to $15,000 to support home modifications to allow seniors who choose to remain at home to do so. And, of course, the PLP is the party that years ago introduced FutureCare, providing an important healthcare option for Bermudian seniors. The most important thing to note when it comes to future care, is that under the OBA Future Care Premiums went up by 30%. That is right, under the OBA seniors paid 30% more for health coverage. Under the PLP, since elected in 2017, future care premiums have not risen at all. Seniors are paying the same amount for future care today as when we were elected - because we look out for our seniors!

As our seniors go to the polls next week, we ask them who has stood strong for them? Who increased seniors pensions, increased affordable housing for our seniors and strengthened rights and privileges available to our seniors, raised the retirement age for public servants and ensured that seniors didn’t pay more for their healthcare?

The answer is the PLP and that’s why we humbly ask you to vote in the Advanced poll and vote solidly for the PLP.