Live Updates: Finance Minister Delivers Budget

February 19, 2016

[Updating] Finance Minister Bob Richards is set to deliver the 2016 Budget in the House of Assembly this morning [Feb 19], which will set out the Government’s financial plans for the upcoming fiscal year.

This will be the fourth budget devised by Minister Richards since the OBA’s victory at the polls in 2012, following after the 2013/14 Budget [coverage here], the 2014/15 Budget [coverage here] and the 2015/16 Budget [coverage here].

The budget speech is normally carried via radio beginning at just past 10.00am, and we will also provide text updates as able, as well as the full document, highlights, reactions and more.

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Comments (84)

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  1. San George says:

    He can take my entire pay check – you will need more police.

    Quo Fata Ferunt

    • Contrary to many peoples belief, Deputy Premier / Finance Minister Bob Richards Sir you have presented a perfect “Budget” for the coming years,(considering the rut Bermuda and its citizens face :-( )

      • The Original Truth says:

        Got a little brown spot on your nose Ray. You should wipe it off before it attracts flies.

  2. Big Owl little Tree says:

    For all you people out there who are smart enough to figure it out, PLP ruined our island so badly that the OBA is still having to do stuff like this to make up for it!

    Thanks a lot PLP! What do you plan on doing the next time in power? Might as well wipe the island clean, almost did the last time.

    Thanks to the PLP and its poorly understanding voters and supporters there is half an island too dense to understand that the PLP put us in financial debt SOOOO deep it will take decades to crawl out of, IF WE MAKE IT.

    All you people have yoru heads in the sand and have no clue about how stuff works and all you hear is buzzwords at PLP rallies, you never pay attention to the real deal, just hype. Well the real deal is the PLP destroyed us and we may not be able to pay off our debts the PLP CAUSED.

    And you PLP supporters are so dumb you blame the OBA on these things that the PLP DIRECTLY CAUSED!

    Paula Cox paid $1,000,000 (that is a MILLION FOR YOU SLOW FOLKS) per person who dealt with the hospial DESIGN. OBA had the place built, but the PLP paid MILLLLLLIONS to get ideas for it. Consultants? More like thievery!

    GROW A BRAIN AND VOTE OUT THE PLP NEVER LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN

    OBA is our saviours, and nobody is perfect and get some sense before you all blame everything on the OBA!

    Money does NOT come out of nowhere and I would estimate that half the PLP voters have NO CLUE how money and economy works, and have NO CLUE that the people of bermuda pay TAXES SO THAT GOVERNMENT HAS MONEY!

    I have spoken to PLP supporters who literaly DO NOT KNOW where the government money comes from. They think it is just printed out when needed! SOME PEOPLE ARE SO STUPID!

  3. high road says:

    let the hate begin

  4. history says:

    This government already has their minds made up to change the immigration law to favour expats.
    Similar to civil unions – they arrange hall meetings to discuss when their minds are made up.

    If they change this immigration law – there will be civil disobedience aimed directly at the xpat.
    (who have come here to work – not to be spoiled with the islands riches of the right to vote)
    Yes they have jobs and in many cases, they have jobs that a bermudian can do. They need to be weeded out by this gov’t.

    Too many bermudian people out of work.
    I watched some foreign guy( with a southern accent and on a rental bike) come into my neighbourhood to count telephone poles. Looked like he came right of the plane.

    A government is supposed to protect its people – not expose them

    • hmmm says:

      Well the SSM thing is the courts process…it is happening without the OBA.

      The Imigration thing is happening because of the courts too.

      The OBA has been working to modify these going to happen court rulings so that it is more acceptable with Bermuda and Bermudians..

      You dumb fools can’t see that…You know why? The PLP election engine is staining your mind. The PLP engine is making you a fool.

    • Bermyman says:

      The PRC who has been here 20 years is who is claiming residency, not the guy right off the plane counting telephone poles. Why don’t you ask BELCO what he is doing? How is that the Government’s fault?

      Civil disobedience means a mess- You ready for that!

    • My 10 cents says:

      Regarding the southern telephone pole counter.. my guess is that whoever was doing the hiring couldn’t find any Bermudians who would take the job. This country has a LOT of jobs open, but so many are “beneath” the average citizen, hence the need to bring in Expats.

      Do you believe that a company would rather incur the cost of the permits, time wasted, money and hassle of relocating people vs. hiring locally? Employers must prove beyond a doubt that all attempt to hire local QUALIFIED applicants have been exhausted before they can hire from overseas. The government is very clear on that.

      I’m Bermudian love my job and work hard for a hotel– you would be amazed at how difficult it is to get local applicants to even walk thru the door! We have entry level waiters and waitresses making $60k+ a year… but it’s beneath a lot of people to have to serve a tourist or god forbid– someone that they know.

      My 10cents.

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        Entry level waiters and waitresses making 60K+ lmfao where do I sign up?!?!

        • LiarLiar says:

          Definitely doable.

          The trade off is that one has to work split shifts, weekends, public holidays while dealing with customers in an utmost professional manner.

          My wife worked in HR for a restaurant chain, up until recently, and can tell you multiple stories of Bermudians deciding against the job offer when it was told to them that holidays are considered working days in the hospitality field.

          Unfortunately, the mentality of Bermudians has changed dramatically from our tourism heyday when just about everyone was directly or indirectly benefitting from the burgeoning tourism industry. Nowadays many see service jobs, such as waiters/waitresses, as being servitude.

        • Yahoo says:

          At several establishments all over the island…

        • smh says:

          On the Government Jobs site. But are you willing to do what is takes like turn up two day in a row?

    • Bullseye says:

      What islands riches? Hahahaha. Think about that for a second. You keep talking about people stealing things you don’t have.

    • Keystroke says:

      To be fair, there are a lot of Bermudians who would struggle to count telephone poles.

  5. This should be interesting, and by far the middle class will be hit the hardest, The wealthy will get all the perks and the poor will shoulder up the burdens to support the lifestyle of the rich,I thank God I am among the wealthy.

    • Former Union Member says:

      So happy for you.

    • smh says:

      I think you meant to say the civil servants with their enviable benefits packages and salaries will continue to have their job for life without having to face any cuts. Are they not middle class? Only the PS are rich and their salaries won’t be touched either. You need to get your facts straight

    • Noncents says:

      @Duane

      Why don’t you wait and see before jumping to uninformed conclusions?

  6. Triangle Drifter says:

    Don’t expect this to be very pretty.

  7. history says:

    to hmmm – you ******* **********

    I was OBA now I see the light
    IMy mind was tainted by the OBA (wolf in sheeps clothing)

    Just let that law be passed – and see what happens.

    There will be NO moRe respect for the foreigner
    Bermuda will be turned upside down

    • hmmm says:

      OK so SSM happens through the courts….What are you going to do???

      “Just see what happens”

      Don’t hide like a coward, tell us what are you going to do?

    • hmmm says:

      If you are referring to immigration

      Those people are already here and have been for a generation.

      What are you going to do if your fellow human next door who has contributed to your life and standard of living gets status?

      Please tell me.

    • asampson says:

      Soooooooooo scary LMFAO

    • BermyL says:

      When Bermuda starts to go down you will see those with money and means start to leave on the first flights and when all that money has left the suffering will be much worse.

      It seems like there’s a segment of the population that wants this to happen. Why? So that they can say ‘i told you so’???? I don’t get it.

      All I hear from the opposition is how bad the OBA are. They don’t offer any alternatives on how they would handle Bermuda’s problem.

      Getting rid of the devil’s isn’t going to pay our debt people. There’s a chance it makes our debt grow.

    • PhD. says:

      To “history:” are you threatening foreigners?? Because if you are, I can uproot my family and leave right now! And in my wake leave the 20+ Bermudians who work for me and my family without jobs. Is that what you would like? I can do that easily, you see, because after 25 years in BDA I have nothing holding me here – no right to vote, no status, no real estate… There are palm trees and beaches ALL OVER THE WORLD.

      So please, do tell, is my family being threatened?

    • Come Correct says:

      I knew a Filipino that was working late one night by himself (things some don’t do) and two guys rode up on a bike to rob the business. After he flying roundhouse kicked one guy out of his skin they both tucked tails and never looked back. If I were you I wouldn’t even think about harming a UK foreign national, I don’t think you’re even ready for the outcome of that. Make all the threats ypu want, act on them and ypu will be met with force.

    • Onlooker says:

      History – you sound like a fearful bully.

  8. history says:

    To hmm

    Shut your stupid trap.

  9. Keystroke says:

    This, from the speech. How can he make it any clearer? And yet we have some people already threatening expats. Without them, Bermuda is dead.

    Minister: Today, we need to encourage people to come here to live, to grow the population, to grow consumer spending, to grow earnings of foreign capital, to grow the tax base, to live in our vacant houses, and thereby grow opportunities for Bermudians.

    • Portia says:

      I agree…we should be reaching out to all those Bermudians who left this Island, because they felt it was no longer working for them, and encourage them to come back here to live, to grow the population and increase consumer spending…

      Why isn’t Bob speaking to them??

      • Double S says:

        Are they going to bring jobs with them?

        No point in anyone coming back to just become unemployed as an unemployed person won’t increase consumer spending.

        Need to attract foreign direct investment to create new jobs.

        If Bermudians alone could solve our economic issues, don’t you think we wouldn’t have the problems we have these days?

        • Portia says:

          But he isn’t just talking about “foreign direct investment” now, is he?

          He’s not just talking about getting rich people who own companies to set up businesses here – I don’t think any Bermudian would have a problem with that.

          He’s talking about loosening up immigration policies to allow NON-rich people to gain status to work and live here in their own right, and to allow their dependents to do the same. Basically, to occupy the jobs that Bermudians could be doing.

          So don’t go on with your nonsense about “foreign direct investment” (i.e. a hand full of rich folks) suddenly boosting our population…because we aren’t buying that gibberish anymore.

          • Double S says:

            “He’s not just talking about getting rich people who own companies to set up businesses here – I don’t think any Bermudian would have a problem with that.”

            That’s exactly what they (OBA) did when they enacted the Job Makers Act. And guess who is vehemently against this legislation and calls it anti-Bermudian? That would be the PLP and by extension yourself.

            I don’t care what you are buying, because your hatred would prevent you from seeing the truth even if it slapped you in the face.

            So I ask you again if Bermudians could sustain ourselves without foreign investment, why is there still unemployment?

      • Anon Ymous says:

        Let’s hope they are able to bring with them lots of foreign currency generating business to cover the IB companies you chase out, otherwise this island is in deep doo-doo.

      • BermyL says:

        The government can’t bring people back… How could they possibly do that? What will bring people back is jobs and opportunities and that requires foreign investment and foreigners to be here. You can’t expect them to fly in drop off tons of money and leave, can you????

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        They were the smart ones. Sold out when the market was still high & took off with one way tickets cheered on by people like the mob the other night.

        Come back to more of that behavior? Uh, no. Don’t think so.

  10. history says:

    To Hmm ( hole)

    If you think that 10 – 15 years is a generation then you must be measuring in dog years

    Your comments border on crazy.

    You think if I run out of sugar or $ , my neighbours from timbuktu, will help me to maintain my meagre lifestyle.
    I should have you as “foolish ” neighbour.

    • Double S says:

      You are threatening violence against people simply due to their nationality is different than yours and have the nerve to call someone else’s comments ‘crazy?’

      You are nasty.

    • hmmm says:

      The average is around 25 years for a generation, those people who have been here 20+ years for status are not that far off now are they, as all of them would be over 20 years !

      • Come Correct says:

        Why are you responding to an obvious product of the decreasing gene pool?

    • Yahoo says:

      For the 16 year-olds having babies, 10-15 years practically is a generation!

      • The Original Truth says:

        Than thank goodness in Bermuda there are many young woman nowadays waiting to get an education before having a baby. At least when they get back there may be a job for them in their own country…

        or maybe not.

  11. Born Bermudian says:

    So who remembers when the OBA where giving out lollipops?

  12. smh says:

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO not cuts to the civil service or their benefits including 100 CF sick days and now the rest of us have to pay more so they can keep their cushy jobs for life. The OBA are cowards

    • Blind Sheep says:

      Cuts to the civil service will not help the situation.

      • Ann says:

        So we the paying private sector should keep paying so they can receive all their benefits and we go broke, there has got to be some give and take and a happy medium. personally I don’t object to paying a bit more, but I resent it going to a population that in a lot of cases contributes nothing.

      • Yahoo says:

        Are you insane? Do you see how much is spent on the civil service? There are four departments with budgets > $100MM and tourism would be the fifth but they gave Big Shot Bill the keys to that money pit.

        • Rubber bong says:

          You do realize that the figure stated isn’t just salaries and wages don’t you? They encompass, maintaining infrastructure, capital projects, professional services, 3rd party contracts, fuel, material, etc.

          And explain ‘contribute nothing’. The public sector pays the same taxes that everyone else pays to use the same services the private sector uses. Public servants still need their trash collected like you. Still need to wait in line at TCD like you. Still go through the planning process like you. Etc, etc, etc…

    • ya got me rollin says:

      Cushy Jobs!!!You know that to be a fact or you just slapped those stupid thoughts together in order to write something.

    • Rubber Bong says:

      i’m not trying to be funny but what do you mean ‘pay more’? Public servants pay the same taxes too. They don’t have the luxury of having their other deductions paid for by their employer like many of the IB companies so in most cases are left with much less money than many others on the same pay. how many IB employees can say they have monthly deductions of $1400-1900?

      Also, civil servants get 8 uncertified days and 70 certified sick days.

      • smh says:

        Cushy is right. How hard is it to fire a civil servant? To make a civil servant redundant? Do civil servants have defined benefits pensions while we and the rest of the world have defined benefits plans? 8 uncertified days and 70 certified sick days…. these are things that the rest of us in the real world have to contend with and now pay more for you to keep your job for life in la la land

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        70 certified sick days lmfao….that’s RIDICULOUS. Us regular poor folks only get 10 a year! How do I sign up for a job in the Civil Service! Bet most people take most of those 70 days too!!

        • Been there! says:

          Ya stupid and soooo jealous!!!!

          You must have a Doctor’s certificate to take any of those 70 certified sick days. Are you saying that Doctors (local and overseas) are being dishonest and writing certificates just to make the $$$.

        • Rubber bong says:

          I don’t think you understand the difference between certified and uncertified days. Sounds like you may not know the details of your insurance policy too.

          Civil servants only get 8 sick days at short notice. After the 2nd day, a doctor’s note with the length of time they are to be off work must be provided. If a doctor has not authorized the worker to be off longer than the initial 2 days then the worker will have the additional time taken deducted from their pay. The initial 2 days are UNCERTIFIED. Any additional time taken consecutively AND authorized by a recognized doctor is counted as CERTIFIED.

          So from what you are saying to us is if you catch the flu and are out for longer than 10 working days you will not be compensated in anyway? And if you catch any illness after that for the rest of the entire year, you will not receive any compensation in any way?

          By the sound of it, you get 10 UNCERTIFIED days versus the civil servants’ 8. If that’s the case, maybe it’s YOU that gets the 100 days versus their 70

          • obasellouts says:

            the UBP/oba masters don’t want to know the truth about sick days.

            lol, This has been explained to them many times.

            I believe most businesses have accrued sick time but the dishonest ubp/oba ppl want to act like it is different with union members.

      • Come Correct says:

        70?! I have 0 now and only 8 at my last 2 jobs. Anyone can take an hour out of their “sick day” to go tell their doctor they had the hershey squirter and to write them a note. I used to sit in a room waiting for the doctor with the whole damn pad of doctors notes in front of me and every time he signs it it leaves the imprint of his signature pages deep. I could have mastered his signature within a few but I try my best to not be a dishonest POS in life.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      That is whats really irritating. The cushy life goes on as normal for the CS.

  13. Ann says:

    I personally did not hear anything that shocked me, we knew taxes would go up, what I didn’t hear was when we will be lowering the amount of civil service workers, as to which a great deal of our tax dollars go to. I would much prefer a welfare system where monies would be monitored a lot more closely.

  14. ya got me rollin says:

    HERE WE GO!!! LET THE VENOM BEGIN

  15. history says:

    If anyone thinks that Walton Brown has and will be orchestrating “real bermudians” to stand up against what this gov’t is proposing with immigration – YOU ARE DEAD WRONG.

    Real BErmudians (particular who have not yet had any of the Bdaeconomic pie) will object – if it is the last thing they do.

    Lastly this is our culture – that we wish to keep as is -for our children.
    Not simply give it away.

    It the tail trying to wag the dog.
    or is this an attempt to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    WE hear that they have jobs – well – WE WANT some of OUR JOBS BACK from these foreigners

  16. bago says:

    So….are we no longer a tax haven?

  17. The 6ix says:

    Yay nothing makes me happier than paying G.S.T. for goods and services on top of the astronomical prices that are here already………
    Wait am I lost???? Am-I- back- in- Canada????

    No I can’t be in Canada because the taxes I pay there would go to health care and other services I would use which allow me to visit my doctor 5 times a day if I wanted too, and not be charged a co-payment every time.
    I’m just stuck in “Good ol BDA” where my taxes pay for no substantial benefits…. Let me start packing my bags now and get the hell out of here….. Whose with me ;P

    • BermyL says:

      Where to? Canada – where you pay 30-50% income tax. I’d prefer to pay GST here and limit the government access to my paycheck to something between 0-6%.

      Your comment is pretty useless. The need to raise government revenue and lower their costs should be obvious to anyone with even the slightest amount of intelligence. No matter what the tax increase is someone will complain but most of the complainers won’t offer any alternatives, which then makes their complaints just a waste of other people’s time.

      • True Lies says:

        Actually if you live in Toronto and make 100K, then your income tax rate for both federal and provincial is 26.6%. Like The 6ix says, that gets you free healthcare, decent education, roads that don’t flood every time it rains, among many other benefits. Further, the cost of living is much less in Canada because you are not paying duty on nearly everything you buy. Even getting a haircut in Bermuda can cost up to twice as much, so adding 5% is substantial. All this for a country that doesn’t allow us to vote on issues that impact us, after years of paying rent, buying goods and services, and bringing friends and family as tourists.
        I’m with The 6ix, time to move on. Luckily for me, my company has plenty of other locations for me to choose from. I’d rather not donate money to a country that treats me with contempt.

        • Double S says:

          You pay more than 50% of your paycheck to a Government and you still consider healthcare, education and roads to be ‘free?’

          Of course the cost of living in a country such as Canada will be lower as you don’t have to import each and everything to sustain life as Bermuda does.

          But I agree with you in terms of contributions you and yours make towards the economy every time you spend a dollar or pay taxes here.

          And I don’t fault you for wanting to leave an island that is full of nothing but hatred and contempt these days as evidenced this week, but has been around for as long as I have been alive.

          Thanks for your contribution either way.

          • True Lies says:

            What calculator are you using that you think 26.6% is more than 50%? You must have gone to a Bermuda public school.

            • Double S says:

              I must’ve misread your comment as you worded it that both the federal and provincial tax was 26.6% each.

              But the 26.6% tax rate is for federal taxes while provincial rates (on >$100k income) is another 15% to 20%. Apparently it is your math that is also quite shoddy.

              So you might be happy to pay 40% or more to your Government (obviously you’re not as you are now in a low tax jurisdiction), but not all of us are.

              My bad on the error. But you didn’t have to be a di*k about it either.

              Canada’s healthcare system isn’t that great either especially when you have to wait months for basic procedures and appointments.

            • Lois Frederick says:

              I know people in Tornoto that make $8k and their take home is $4k after deductions. Sounds like 50% to me when everything is included, not just the income tax. Yes, they do have access to great benefits. When you go shopping there, you pay the now combined HST, which is 13% on a lot of things you buy. Based on the numbers, we pay lower taxes and the 5% GST sounds reasonable considering our situation and comparing ourselves to other. My business will be affected by it and I think it is nice to be able to digest it over the next year, rather than being surprised by it.

            • obasellouts says:

              Many people have gone to the public school system.

              Many drug addicted people have gone to private schools.

              Their parents simply ship them out when things begin to get noticed.

      • Portia says:

        Firstly – the income tax in Canada is only about 20% – 30% on average. Lower income folks pay 15% or less.

        Secondly – in the majority of cases you get tax credits on your income and on GST. You’re not getting that in Bermuda.

        Finally – levying a tax like this in Bermuda – one of the most expensive places on earth – is just ridiculous. This is only going to hurt already struggling families. Yes, government needs to raise revenue…I suggest we start with Bob/ Dunkley and Fahy’s paychecks.

        • Double S says:

          Dunkley and Richards pay checks, combined, are just under $400k.

          Great.

          Now where is the remaining $199,600,000 going to come from to close the deficit?

  18. Paul says:

    There is no great surprise in the budget , with a debt like ours left by the past Government it will be decades before we get out of it . Everyone shouts and screams that it is the current Government who must solve this problem now as it is their policies which caused it . Yes they promised 2000 jobs during the election but no one knew the true picture of this mountain of debt we had as there had not been any audited statements for a few years . The government does not create jobs , they can only encourage individuals and Companies to start enterprises that will employ Bermudians . If Government employees additional people all that does is raise our cost , our debt and our taxes . We lost between 3000 to 5000 people from this Island in the years prior to the last general election due to many factors both political and related to the world economy. This meant less people renting homes , less people buying homes , less people paying taxes. As a result there are fewer of us to pay the same amount of debt as a larger number in years previous . It has been said over and over again that we need somehow to encourage growth in business and at the same time encourage people to join our workforce from overseas . Yes there are still Bermudians unemployed but why ? Is it because they can not find a job that suits them to a tee? Is it that the vacant jobs don’t match the income that they want to make so they stay home and do nothing? Is it jobs that are above their education level ? Look in the paper and you will see many jobs from all different sectors. It may not be the exact job you want but make it due for a while until things become better , at least you are earning and not totally reliant on Government financial aid . Why are so many hotel and restaurant jobs being done by guest workers? Is it because it is shift work and people don’t want to do it. Change your way of thinking and apply for these type of jobs and you never know you may love it , but at least you are earning a paycheck. It is easy to blame others for the position you find yourself but maybe at times you need to look in the mirror and say i can do something about it and go out and try . Start with one job and do the very best you can at that job , your employer will notice and things will start to change , but it will take time . If you just bitch and complain than no one wants to listen to that. It is tough in the economy no doubt about it but it won’t get any better for you if you don’t go out and do your best to help yourself in a positive way .

  19. PANGAEA says:

    Taxing services ! that’s a hard one to swallow.

    May I recommend that Government explore more and all avenues to acquire sustainable income, there are only so many times they can go to the well and run the risk of breaking a Nation.

    Taxing from a mans table. Well ! that is another matter.

    Bermuda solely exists from the skin of a rice pudding,
    ” service “an un – definitive entity is our number one industry from the Bank Manager on down, what is it worth from a another, you make me weep ?

    I wonder why the Minister did not say any thing about a NATIONAL LOTTERY with several BDA $ winners, tax that.

    People do not mind if “a system ” is taxed,with one of those we would have to build a New Peoples Bank.

    One lucky visitor winner could win a free vacation, they they will come here by the thousands.

  20. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Seniors, our most valuable asset !

  21. asampson says:

    So tell us Mr Burnt how to run a successful business lol