Our Economic Plan for the Future:
The next PLP Government will build on the work that we started that saw Bermuda create 719 new jobs before the Pandemic. We successfully started diversifying our economy, bringing new jobs in emerging industries like FinTech while growing established industries like insurance and tourism. Our recovery plan will capitalise on Bermuda’s unique position as an island that has successfully managed the Coronavirus Pandemic to attract additional investment, create new jobs, and give all Bermudians an ownership stake in the Bermuda economy.
To stimulate the economy your next PLP Government will:
- Use the proceeds of our recent debt raise to move capital projects forward, providing immediate employment for those looking for work.
- Utilise some of the funds allocated to unemployment benefits to support persons working on capital projects. This will supplement wages and provide a win–win situation versus paying Bermudians to stay home.
- Create employment while reducing long-term costs by commencing the installation of renewable energy facilities on large government buildings, public schools, and at the National Sports Centre before the end of the year.
The Government will support the following major public and private sector building projects valued at over $1 billion to provide employment in construction over the next five years:
- Seeking new investment to complete the Morgan's Point Project.
- Redevelopment of the Fairmont Southampton Hotel.
- Relocation of Bermuda’s container port from Hamilton.
- New state of the art medical tourism facility in Bermuda.
- Upgrade of Bermuda's water supply and waste treatment infrastructure.
- Construction of residential living including affordable housing in North Hamilton EEZ and the expansion of homes at Harbour View Village.
- Ottiwell A. Simmons International Arbitration Centre.
To stimulate economic growth, attract investment to Bermuda and to ensure that wealth is created for Bermudians who have not benefited from the economic miracle that is Bermuda due to systemic racism, the next PLP Government will:
- Create a Bermuda National Digital Bank owned by Bermudians, while reforming banking laws to increase banking competition in Bermuda and regulation of the Bermuda base lending rate.
- Pass a Family Office Act, attracting economic investment into Bermuda in the form of family offices while providing immigration incentives tied to investments in Bermuda. These investments must be in the form of Government Bonds, an Innovation Fund to support new Bermuda Entrepreneurs, or directly into the new Bermuda Trust Fund.
- Create a national fund called the Bermuda Trust Fund that will provide financial reparations to economically disadvantaged Bermudians to reduce generational income inequality. This fund will be seeded by economic investors in Bermuda who can invest directly into the Bermuda Trust Fund.
- The pension commission will assist in providing more on-Island investment options making it easier for workers to voluntarily invest their funds in approved economic development activities in Bermuda, building wealth for them and future generations. The PLP wants to build an ownership society in Bermuda and this policy will create more owners in Bermuda, giving more Bermudians a stake in our collective economic success.
- We will put the ownership of our airport back in Bermudian hands, giving Bermudians the ability to earn the 16% return given to Aecon by the former OBA Government.
- Diversify our business outreach, seeking new trading partners in the Caribbean and Africa, developing business ties and courting investment.
- Use the provisions of Section 6A of the Human Rights Act to ensure that new economic development initiatives assist “disadvantaged persons or groups”, specifically persons of African descent, women, and the differently abled.
It is important for Bermuda to continue its focus on economic diversification, bringing new industries to our shores that will create jobs. Since last elected, we have laid the groundwork and made progress on many economic development and diversification initiatives, including keeping our promise to create a Government Department focused on economic development and diversification.
Your next PLP Government will:
- Accelerate the development of Bermuda’s FinTech industry that in only two years has already created 60 jobs. We will continue to modernise our well-regulated environment for FinTech businesses, while providing enhanced FinTech education and training opportunities to allow Bermudian entrepreneurs to get connected with this growing global industry at this early stage.
- Following the extensive consultation process, Bermuda’s new cannabis industry will soon take shape. We will structure the regulation of cannabis to protect our children and create economic opportunity, and will ensure that the additional revenue that is generated is used to invest in marginalised communities. We will keep true to our pledge that Bermudians who have been negatively impacted by cannabis prohibition will be the first persons to have access to any of the classes of business licences.
- Create a Food Cooperative that will support the use of technology, such as vertical farming and aquaponics, to boost domestic food production. One of the first projects will be a large-scale vertical farming facility, partially powered by renewable energy, that will produce 35% of Bermuda’s demand for annual leafy vegetables.
- Invest in the Blue Economy by completing the Shoreside Facility to process fish caught in Bermuda, while supporting a cooperative purchase of larger shipping vessels to increase the domestic capture of fish, reducing imports and providing the option for exporting fish.
- Begin to develop an ecosystem for technology companies by forming partnerships with venture capital firms who will work with the Government to place early stage technology companies in a Bermuda-based technology incubator.
- Introduce comprehensive cooperative legislation to strengthen the development of cooperatives in Bermuda to facilitate a more equitable distribution of benefits and combat social exclusion.
- Modernise Bermuda’s intellectual property legislation to better protect the rights of local entrepreneurs while growing Bermuda’s international business profile in this space.
- Implement the National Space Strategy, developed over the last two (2) years, to establish Bermuda as a global hub for the rapidly growing global space industry.
The PLP Government has boosted support for entrepreneurs by reducing red tape, eliminating taxes for new startups, and providing $12 million of support for small and medium-sized businesses to assist in surviving the financial challenges caused by the Pandemic.
To continue to boost entrepreneurs and support small business, the next PLP Government will:
- Increase investment in the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation with the goal of starting dozens of new Bermudian-owned businesses every year.
- Introduce technology to allow Bermudians to quickly incorporate businesses online, and eliminate even more red tape and regulations than we have since first elected.
- Expand on a programme that has already seen small businesses receive government contracts worth a total of $38 million over the past three years.
- Introduce a policy to ensure that the Government pays all bills to BEDC registered small or medium sized businesses within 15 business days, with compounding interest for delayed payments.
- Use BEDC resources to create an online market that will allow entrepreneurs easy access to sell their goods and services online without having to deal with costly individual setups, large monthly fees and merchant account complexities.
Through thoughtful immigration policies, the PLP will continue to uphold its commitment to protect jobs, opportunity and land for Bermudians first. A PLP Government will be equally committed to ensuring that we use immigration policy as a powerful tool to ensure a growing and vibrant economy.
Your next PLP Government will:
- Continue the work with the bipartisan committee to complete comprehensive immigration reform dealing with the issues of long-term residents.
- Revise the Long-Term Residential Certificate policy to require all future residents to make economic investments in Bermuda, such as the establishment of family offices, acquisition and development of property, setting up a new business, or investment in the Bermuda Trust Fund.
- Reform the Work Permit Policy to promote business expansion in Bermuda while regulating gainful employment of guest workers.
- Digitise the immigration application processes to improve the quality and speed of the delivery of immigration services.
- Grow the economy by providing incentives for emigrated Bermudians to return home.
The PLP reduced the deficit by 90% before the Pandemic and did not increase the country’s debt ceiling until it had to borrow $200 million to cover for the failed Morgan’s Point deal negotiated by the previous OBA administration. This sound financial management has been recognised by independent ratings agencies.
To continue our sound management of public finances, the PLP will:
- Focus on broadening the tax base to increase revenue rather than looking to increase taxes on existing taxpayers, which will slow economic recovery.
- Advance investments within government that make the provision of government services more efficient, which will help to constrain future government spending.
- Target a return to a balanced budget in three (3) fiscal years when tourism has fully recovered following the Pandemic.
Since our election, the PLP has worked to improve tourism and the evidence is the increase of 337 jobs in tourism that was recorded prior to the Pandemic. We jumpstarted vacation rentals while attracting additional tourism investment to Bermuda. We implemented superyacht legislation, supported entrepreneurs in providing more on-Island activities for our visitors, and created local events for Bermudian entertainers to showcase their talents to our visitors.
A PLP Government will continue to rebuild tourism for the future by:
- Working with the private sector to construct a medical tourism facility to create jobs and year-round visitors to Bermuda.
- Finally launching our casino industry, supported by the Bermuda National Digital Bank, which will provide jobs for Bermudians.
- Ensuring that our tourism marketing and our tourism product highlight Bermuda art, culture and fashion, promoting our local creatives and thus providing them with a viable path to earn a living locally doing what they love, while ensuring that all overseas acts pay full travellers’ dues to the Bermuda Entertainment Union.
- Developing key signature events in the areas of film, fashion and entertainment that attract tourists.
- Investing in the upkeep of Bermuda forts and historical attractions.
- Supporting Bermuda in becoming a first-class destination for film production. This will be accomplished by investing in film equipment that will be housed on-Island, making filming in Bermuda financially feasible while training Bermudians to work in this field and providing job opportunities locally.