Some of Premier Cox’s first efforts as Premier are both encouraging and concerning. Her move to consolidate government projects via a procurement office is a welcome move and yet it is concerning that such matters may not be placed under the control of a transparent and independent body, though admittedly the full details are not yet available.
Premier Cox’s pledge to reduce the budget by $150 million is encouraging, though the last pledge to reduce some 10% from each Ministry went unfulfilled and increasing the size of cabinet is a discouraging move unless she thinks this will somehow offer more ability to have control over costs.
Premier Cox’s pledge to not revisit and revise the term limit policy is a discouraging one as all policies should be open for consideration given changing circumstances, no matter what they are. Taking a hard line will put her in a much harder place to get our economy back on its feet. It is hoped that she is considering alternatives such as offering fast tracked 6 year work permit terms to encourage growth of the local economy and a 2 year window to apply for term limit exemptions prior to the term limit date as such initiatives would allow her to keep her pledge while encouraging growth and reducing pressure.
Similarly taking a hard line on government jobs gives her limited options when it comes to getting our budget back under control. It is hoped that she is considering cutting back on the hours worked by non-essential government workers as a means to reduce budget strains. Something along the lines of closing government offices every second Friday would go a long way to reducing costs while limiting strain on our government workers and not leading to job cuts. It is not certain how well such an action would be received by the unions however, though hopefully they would be willing to compromise with some sort of concession as we all look to ways to pull us out of this recession and put ourselves back into good times.
None the less, we shall see what happens. It is tough to say what fruits a Cox Premiership shall yield and yet it would be unsurprising if many welcome the change none the less.