The 2013/14 Budget gave non-Bermudians and employers tax relief, while everyday Bermudians and seniors will see their cost of living go up, Shadow Finance Minister David Burt said today [Feb 22].
Budget highlights include raising the debt ceiling from $1.45 billion to $2.5 billion, reducing the fees for non-Bermudians to purchase property, commencing negotiations with the unions about reducing staff compensation, a two year payroll tax break for new Bermudian hiring, a 3% increase in vehicle licence fees, additional funding to increase police manpower and raising the duty on cigarettes & liquor.
Mr Burt said, “Today the OBA presented a budget that gave non-Bermudians and employers tax relief, while everyday Bermudians and seniors will see their cost of living go up.
Mr Burt speaking at the House of Assembly earlier today:
“OBA’s plan to increase the cost of bus passes and increase vehicle licensing fees for all Bermudians while leaving Bermudian employees out of the payroll tax holiday is symptomatic of a government that believes Bermudians must bear the burden while their corporate supporters reap the benefits; all this with no guarantee that job opportunities will trickle down to Bermudians.
“The budget’s proposed tax breaks for PRC holders while the OBA cuts Government Scholarships, Mature Student Awards and Further Education Awards shows that this government’s priorities are in the wrong place.
“Today’s budget lacked bold action, where bold action is needed. Today’s budget lacked relief for Bermudians, where relief is needed. Today’s Budget lacked vision, when vision is needed.
“Next week the country will hear our Party’s view of what a budget for today’s times should look like. We will present a vision for the future of this country’s finances that puts the interests of Bermudians first,” concluded Mr Burt.
View all our coverage of the 2013 Budget here.