*File photo
*File photo

The Cabinet Office advised on Sunday that Government has formally responded to the representatives of the People's Campaign.

In correspondence to the Principles of the organisation, the Premier and Minister of National Security, the Hon. Michael H. Dunkley, JP, MP, acknowledged the People's Manifesto and highlighted what Government is doing to address the economy, unemployment, education, justice, health and other matters of concern.

Premier Dunkley said, "After extensively reviewing the document with my Cabinet colleagues, we ultimately agreed that there is no difference between the goals of equality, jobs and justice articulated in the Manifesto and those of the Government."

The Premier stressed that one of the first priorities since Government came to office was addressing government's unsustainable debt. And he pointed out that arresting the debt was critical if there were to be resources available to address the socio-economic matters of shared concern.

Premier Dunkley said, "To address the situation and make possible the ideals we share, the Government adopted a two-track strategy to grow the economy and to curtail and control government spending. Our aim has been to rebuild the economic foundation and stabilize public finances in ways that restore confidence, opportunity and hope - generating tangible benefits to the people."

He added, "Despite the challenges we face as a Country, we are confident that we are moving Bermuda in the right direction, towards economic recovery, thus expanding opportunity and full employment for Bermudians. We appreciate that recovery is not happening fast enough for those Bermudians who are still facing hardship. And I shared with the members of the People's Campaign that this Government is pursuing priorities and applying available resources to bring relief to people as fast as possible."

One of the specific issues raised by the People's Campaign were concerns regarding interest and mortgage rates with the local banks. The Premier highlighted the fact that Government, via the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, the Hon. E.T. Bob Richards engaged Clarien Bank to discuss the concerns, which ultimately resulted in some progress being made. Last week the public will recall that Clarien Bank announced preferred CD rates for union members.

The Premier concluded, "Bermuda remains a work in progress. We agree on the fundamentals of equality, jobs and justice for all residents. In that regard, the People's Campaign and the people of Bermuda can be assured that I, my colleagues and other community stakeholders are working hard to make Bermuda a fairer place for all, ultimately ensuring a more prosperous Island for everyone in the long run."