The People's Manifesto

Appropriately, perhaps, a 'new' pressure group/labour movement marched on Parliament today and presented a document known as the "People's Manifesto" to Government.

A lot of people are frustrated with the lack of impetus on improving the job market by the current Government, despite efforts by Government MPs to suggest that progress is being made. I think it's still early enough in the OBA's tenure to say clearly if job prospects and opportunities have improved overall, as the economy still seems stagnant at best, and we're still faced with uncertainty with regards to tourism, casino gambling, the threats of industrial action, etc.

I've preemptively declared this group above as a labour movement based on the contents of their manifesto. This is mainly due to the suggested calls for a minimum wage, union membership for all, universal healthcare among others, in this document.

The request which will raise the most eyebrows (and red flags?), naturally, is the suggestion of income tax (point 2 in document). Bermuda's tax regime for so long has used a consumption model, so the thought of introducing income tax could provide grave concerns from most notably, the international business community.

Nothing definitively wrong with the suggestions in their entirety as presented of course, and pressure groups are more than entitled to declare their priorities.

I expect however, this combined with a fair number of the principals behind this movement to be strong PLP supporters (including a union chief), will lead to this being labelled an indirect offshoot of the Opposition party, and serving the effect of blasting the ruling Government from two sides, and potentially just leading to more of the same pettiness that we see in Bermuda politics... instead of a purely party-independent pressure organization with the potential to make each of the current political parties take notice and work harder to recognize and help solve the real concerns facing Bermuda.

Early days yet, still, of course.

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