Video: Premier David Burt On BBC World News

October 13, 2017

Premier and Minister of Finance David Burt appeared on the BBC World News programme ‘Talking Business’ with host Aaron Heslehurst as part of a round of media briefings at the end of a series of official meetings in Europe.

Over the last week, the Premier has completed meetings with European Union and OECD representatives in Brussels and Paris and also engaged with UK Ministers and other officials in London on matters of importance to Bermuda.

Speaking on the programme, Premier Burt said, “Bermuda is a leader in global tax compliance, transparency and is without question, a good global citizen.

“I was just in Paris on Monday and I met with the Secretary General of the OECD, and Bermuda’s ratings from the OECD on transparency are equivalent to that of the United Kingdom and Germany, and in many instances and many international ratings, we’re ahead of the United States.

“We believe that we are being a leader in this space and we will continue to exert our leadership position to ensure that Bermuda is up on the latest standards.

The BBC host then said, “But according to PWC, as of June this year, PWC say Bermuda imposes no taxes on profits, income dividends or capital gains, has no limit on the accumulation of profit and has no requirement to distribute dividends. That’s not necessarily on an international playing field, is it?”

Premier Burt replied, “I would say that Bermuda’s tax system, has been the same tax system that we’ve had since the 1800s.

“There will be very few people in my country, many of whom are watching, or businesses that would say they are under taxed.

“We have a 20 percent blended tax rate across the way in which we assess our taxation. That is equivalent to what you would find in the federal level side of the United States. So in our view, I think that we are certainly having different taxation system, but different does not necessarily mean that it is bad.

Asked about the Panama Papers, Premier Burt said, “The Panama Papers are a good example of Bermuda’s leadership position in this space. We’ve had beneficial ownership for 70 years, well before many other countries.

“Bermuda did not feature as the top 20 countries listed inside of the Panama Papers. That is because Bermuda has always been a leader in this space. Bermuda is, as we regard, the gold standard of an international financial sector.“

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Comments (29)

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  1. wahoo says:

    The host was an a$$ hoohoo, he was like some kind of manic squirrel throwing out his pre-scripted questions. I think under the conditions the premier handled himself well but the “tax haven” moniker should always be argued. Our international businesses choose to be here because it is more affordable simple as that, they could go to any number of other want-to-be Bermudas so we should all bear that in mind. We have a symbiotic relationship that does us all well.

    • Spanky says:

      Come on let’s be honest – “more affordable” to do business here in Bermuda? Really? These companies are here primarily because they do not get taxed on corporate profits by Bermuda and North America (at the moment) can’t tax them either. And that’s fine. There are other reasons I’m sure but saving hundreds of million of $$ on US taxes is front and center. We can dance around the term “tax haven” all we want but we need to recognise that it’s the stroke of a US presidents pen that could change all of that for us.

      I’m all for protecting Bermuda’s image and supporting the presence of exempt companies here on the island. We need them and should do more to welcome them here. Glad to see the Premier out there carrying the banner. It’s better than doing nothing and inwardly looking.

  2. Thank goodness he is smarter,better articulate than, more intelligent than and better educated than WE know who.
    Simply put….Putting BERMUDIANS FIRST!!

    • Athena says:

      Whose WE know who? The recently sworn in Junior Finance Minister?

      It certainly cannot be a reference to the Hon. E.T. (Bob) Richards.

      • Ringmaster says:

        Thank goodness Premier Burt can build on the foundations left by Minister Richards, and not the other way round. Nothing here was due to the PLP but the OBA. At least Bermuda benefits.

  3. Well done says:

    Clearly the interviewer had an agenda and the Premier did a very solid job defending Bermuda’s position. Many people work very hard to ensure that Bermuda meets International and best practice standards and it’s great that the Premier has this as talking points.

    Well Done!

  4. somuchless says:

    Bert says that Bermuda leader in transparency. Epic fail. He shoulda got a pie thrown in his face the moment he said that.

  5. Now thats what you call a Leader.
    Proud to be Bermudian.

    • wahoo says:

      You love being lead don’t you?

    • Ringmaster says:

      Get ready to be a proud unemployed Bermudian. This is the 1960′s and 70′s all over again.

  6. Beenthere says:

    Well done Mr Premier.

  7. Beenthere says:

    Somuchless…you’re a mess!

  8. think says:

    I generally do not support PLP (I’m an “OBA-er”) but credit where credit is due. He represented Bermuda well.

  9. JG says:

    Well done Premier Burt, not many are capable of maintaining their own position when faced with this new hyped up style of “Richard Quest” erratic interview. Reporter came across like he had just had a triple expresso and a pack of cigarettes.

    Premier Burt gave this reporter nowhere to go and hopefully ABIR and OBA give him some credit for representing Bermuda’s interests, keep up the good work.


  10. Real Onion says:

    “Bermuda leader in transparency….”

    Burt is a Liar.

  11. A Chap called Vanz says:

    In fact,we are so transparent that we have a website that details ministers travel expenses. Well, we used to.

  12. Stevie says:

    Burt looked uncomfortable. Clueless. Rabain going to be new Premier. E-Wart Brown pulling the strings. Brown going to be Premier again at some point.

    • So who in oba would have done a better job?

    • Cracker says:

      All this coming from a oba/UBPer. Did your 12 seat circus group find another clown to lead the next name change?

      • Anbu says:

        Thats it? Nothing better? If you’re gonna be a smarta$$ at least come up with your own material. Lmao. Muppet

  13. Longtail says:

    “We have a 20 percent blended tax rate across the way in which we assess our taxation. That is equivalent to what you would find in the federal level side of the United States……”
    True enough, but what most people miss is that while taxes are generally higher elsewhere – especially in Europe – those taxes usually include a national health scheme, government pension, etc. In Bermuda health and pension costs are largely paid for separately….. to compare our tax burden with other countries you first need to factor in these additional costs to assess our overall tax, health and pension burden.

  14. Beenthere says:

    But ste-vie…you are the clueless one…. and proved it.

  15. Really says:

    Good Job Premier Burt! I may not have supported the PLP, but must give credit on this one, the interviewer was a jumpy jerk and Premier Burt handled himself elequintly!