The People’s Campaign at City Hall *Photo by Don Burgess
The People’s Campaign at City Hall *Photo by Don Burgess

Are you earning a livable wage? Do you feel every person in Bermuda should be entitled to do so?

That is just one of the points The People’s Campaign is making for equality, jobs and justice.

The group is made up of members of the community, unions and church groups and is not associated with either the OBA or PLP.

Rev Nicholas Tweed told an assembled group on the steps of City Hall on Thursday afternoon: “This coalition of concerned people of goodwill who have joined together to give voice to the condition of the country. As a group we are concerned with the growing frustration and mistrust of the political process in view of the continued rise in unemployment, growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, and the unequal burden of sacrifice being placed on the lowest and least and the most vulnerable members of our community.

Rev Tweed said the coalition has a shared love and concern for Bermuda and there is a need to “reset the moral compass of the island and its leaders” around a set of people’s issues.

Those issues include:

 

• That inadequate finances should not be a barrier to Bermudians going to college;

• That business in Bermuda place profits over people;

• That every person should be entitled to a livable wage;

• That those who receive the highest levels of income should be an equitable share of tax;

• That health care should be accessible and affordable to all.

 

Rev Tweed said the above should be used to guide those who are making decisions so they cannot continue to “implement policies in the name of the people that do not serve the interests of the people.

“The people of Bermuda are entitled to expect who are entrusted to lead are guided by the will of the people and make decisions based on the priorities that are consistent with the expectations, hopes and aspirations of all of the people.”

He said the People’s Campaign is concerned about the growing underclass of Bermudian society.

“We are concerned by those members who work one job and moonlight two or three jobs and barely make ends meet.

“We are concerned about those young people who matriculate though our education system and, yet, they lose hope because they come through and education system that cannot promise them a job. And if it does provide a job, often it is a job that does not provide them a livable wage.”

Rev Tweed told the Bermuda Sun “it’s not for him to come up with a figure” as to what a livable wage is in Bermuda as that’s something which has to be measured in proportion to the standard of living.

He said St Paul AME Church recently started a food programme and this week served more than 200 meals in one hour. The food programme is a partnership from St Paul AME, the BIU and the PLP on Wednesdays from 5:15pm to 6:30pm.

“I see people coming to the church almost weekly looking for financial help for this mortgages that they can’t manage; many of them have been made unemployed and are searching for jobs in the long-term and are unable to find work.”