2018 Throne Speech: A Brief Summary of the Parliamentary Agenda

2018 Throne Speech: A Brief Summary of the Parliamentary Agenda

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The Government’s legislative agenda unveiled during the Speech from the Throne delivered on the convening of Parliament on Friday 9 November 2018 announced its priorities to continue the “diversification of Bermuda’s economy, the growth of new sectors of industry and the measures required to facilitate the continued growth in tourism.” The predominant focus is articulated as “reducing the cost of living for Bermudians and dismantling systems of inequality.”

Some of the major key points on how the PLP Government intend to achieve its goals include:

  • The reformation of the tax system “to establish a fair system based on a citizen’s ability to pay” and a change in fixed rate social insurance to a percentage based on income;
  • To seek alternative financing to reduce mortgage costs and repayments;
  • Changes to the way health care is paid for in order to “make it more affordable by expanding access to coverage at better rates”;
  • Changes to the structure of energy taxes to promote energy conservation by implementing progressive taxes and reducing the costs of electricity;
  • Consultation on enacting the“living wage”;
  • Remodeling of the Bermuda Public School System which will see the end of middle schools and the introduction of signature senior schools;
  • The implementation of policies and processes to streamline and improve Government services;
  • Implementation of a Unified Family Court and Mediation Centre; and
  • The “establishment of a licensing regime to regulate domestic production of medical-grade cannabis products” and allowing medical professionals to prescribe for the treatment of chronic medical conditions.

 Click here for the complete Speech from the Throne [9 November 2018].