HAMILTON, Bermuda, Jan 21, CMC - Premier Craig Cannonier has announced a 50 per cent reduction in the fleet of official cars used by cabinet ministers as his new One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) administration moves to reduce expenditure.
Premier Cannonier said while the OBA is still analysing the country's financial state, voters have clearly indicated that they “want and expect our government to be rational and organized as we face these enormous financial challenges that were inherited from the PLP (Progressive Liberal Party).
Bermuda's national debt stands at $1.4 billion while official figures show a high number of unemployed people here and Cannonier said that the government will reduce the “extremely excessive" use of consultants as had been the case by the former government.
"In 2010/11, the previous government spent upwards of US$100 million a year on consultants, which we believed to be extremely excessive. We will not duplicate their mistakes. We are confident in the competence of the civil servants to ensure that the policies of the government are implemented."
Premier Cannonier said that his administration will also seek to reverse the exodus of thousands of people.
"Ten thousand have left the island, they include families and businesses. They have taken their intellectual capital and spending power with them, both of which are vital for our survival," said the Premier, who also highlighted crime in Bermuda.
"How do we affect the violent crime rate in this country? We know that crime is down, but violent crime is what is creating the fear. We have to arrest the tide of violence.
"We have to stop the wars ... there are gang wars, families are at war, businesses are at war, politicians are at war, people are at war.”
"These are still early days, we are in assessment mode ...uncovering the realities of the state of the country. Where efficient practices have been identified, they will remain, where excess and wasteful spending has been identified, it will be cut back."