Column: Famous On Revising The 60/40 Rule

March 1, 2018 | 52 Comments

[Opinion column written by MP Chris Famous] 

Momma always told us, often via wooden spoon, “It is not what you say but how you say it. It is not what you do but how you do it.” As we all know mama, and her wooden spoon, was always right.

Approximately 4 years ago former Finance Minister Bob Richards spoke about the need to abolish the 60/40 rule regarding foreign investment/ownership in companies based in Bermuda.

In response to the proposal, I wrote a piece in the then Bermuda Sun pointing out a few critical issues and patterns of the then OBA government:

  • Privatization
  • Mutualization
  • Outsourcing

This was confirmed by former MP Bob Richards on February 21,2014 when he tabled the 2014/15 OBA Budget where he outlined the OBA’s plan to introduce legislation before the end of the session to enable the government to “Abolish, merge, modify or transfer Government” functions to “an entity such as a company, a public service mutual, a registered charity or a trust body”.

Fast forward to 2018, the present Minister of Finance David Burt has presented a case for relaxation of the 60/40.

60 40 - 40 60 TC Bermuda Feb 16 2018

Before we proceed let’s go back to what mama said: “It is not what you do, but how you do it.”

During the tenure of the OBA, they proved time and time again that they rarely had the best interests of every day Mr. and Mrs. Bermuda at the forefront of their policies and legislation

Prime examples:

  • Cutting scholarships
  • Imposing furlough days
  • Cutting the budget for public buses
  • Cutting the budget for Garbage trucks
  • No increase in pension for seniors for 4 years

What was that phrase again? “Money doesn’t grow on trees!”

There’s one thing political parties must keep in mind… “They can be voted in and they can be voted out.”

On July 18th, 2017, the OBA was voted out and the PLP was voted in.

We were voted in to represent not just the seniors who need an increase in pension but also the young lady looking to start her own accounting firm.

We were voted in to represent not just the civil servants who provide essential services such as the ferry service and maintaining our roads, but we were voted in to represent the Bermudian retailers who struggle to get proper financing from local investors.

As evidenced above, the biggest challenge we or any government has is to maintain balance whilst seeking progress.

As a forward-looking government, we have had to re-examine the nuts and bolts of the 60/40 legislation and reconfigure how it will best work for Bermudian entrepreneurs.

Imagine if you will for a moment that a few government workers are seeking to partner to start their own business. They have their business plan they have attended multiple courses at the BEDC and are ready to start their dream.

They go to all the local lending sources and are turned down for one reason or another. Where do they turn to now? Or do they just let their dream die?

Let’s imagine another real-life scenario. Mrs. Jones has an ongoing ‘Mom and Pop’ shop making baked goods. She sees a spot in Hamilton where she can perhaps open her own little bakery. But alas she needs $100,000 and the banks just are not lending that to her. Does she let her dream die?

You see one of our roles is to help facilitate the progress of our Bermudian people in every facet of life. Economic rules tell us that more successful small businesses contribute and equate to a growing and healthy economy. Small business employs Bermudians and contributes to our tax base via:

  • the payroll tax
  • custom duties

In turn, those customs duties and taxes provide:

  • Salaries for 5,000 Civil Servants such as; Firemen, Policemen and Sanitation Workers
  • Services such as; free Public Education, Future Care for Seniors and road paving

Some will ask why the shift in mindset towards relaxation of the 60/40 legislation. Well, to be frank, the OBA proved over an over that their policies were not geared to uplift the common Bermudian, so naturally there was resistance.

This government’s mandate is to oversee the evolution of our society, our economy and ultimately the Bermudian people.

So as with comprehensive immigration reform, the 40/60 will be crafted to ensure Bermudians come first whilst facilitating an attractive environment for investors.

It is not what will be done…it is how it will be done.

- Chris Famous can be contacted via email at Carib_pro@yahoo.com or Twitter at @ryderz777

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Comments (52)

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  1. nerema says:

    Chris Famous may have written the first paragraph himself, but that’s about it.

  2. Double S says:

    “Some will ask why the shift in mindset towards relaxation of the 60/40 legislation.”

    Simply because you are a partisan hypocrite. That’s why.

    • You OBA supporters are like de Tea Party, everything Obama did they critisized and objected to,but see no wrong in Trump and his frequent F!@# ups.
      Like you saw no wrong in OBA.
      24-12

      • Stevie says:

        24-12..24-12.. grow up bunion juice.

      • Mrs Brady says:

        Union juice you forgot to mention the sailboat race for rich whites costing 100 billion dollars.

  3. Hey says:

    Cut the crap Chris. You were against it now when it suits you personally in your political capacity you are for it.

    Didn’t take long for power to change you. stop using the sweetening articles harking back for emotional political gain. That is manipulation pure and simple.

  4. Justin says:

    Bah hahahaha!!! You are in full reverse now, aren’t you?! Bermudians can apply for small business loans right now through to BEDC up to $100k so you’re example below makes no sense.

    How you beat Bob Richards explains everything about what is wrong in Bermuda. The people get the politicians they deserve.

    I guess you’re right about one thing – it just depends on who is delievering the message… People obviously want the message coming from someone who looks like them.

    • What?? says:

      The maximum loan you can get directly from BEDC is $20K through their micro loan programme. They also have a loan guarantee programme where they will guarantee 50% of a loan to a max of $100K. Since the banks are requiring 100% collateralization for business loans the 50% gurantee is often of little help.

      • Justin says:

        Yes, I stand corrected. Either way for a small business $20-$50k is plenty. Famous just grasping at straws.

  5. inna says:

    Can someone summarize this letter for the rest of us?

    • Double S says:

      i) I was against relaxing the 60/40 rule prior to the 2017 election.

      ii) I am now for relaxing the 60/40 rule due to a favorable result in the 2017 election.

      or

      iii) My Party tells me it is now okay to approve of the relaxation of the 60/40 rule.

    • we had to deceive you... says:

      two letters would suffice:

      BS

  6. Dimwit........ says:

    You are so smart! I wonder what the OBA had planned to do once or if the rule had changed.

  7. Lol says:

    Sure Chris, if the OBA had reversed 60/40 you would be crying anti-Bermudian. Your ‘real-life’ scenario is misplaced too. If a dream doesn’t make economic sense, why pursue it? That’s just bad business. Forever campaigning you are.

  8. Jared says:

    Its not what you say, its what you do….so far that is NOTHING. DO SOMEHTING

  9. David says:

    Now he’s in favour getting rid of the 60/40 rule? You just can’t make this stuff up. The most Famous of them all :)

  10. Mark says:

    Spin spin spin = more trump/plp nonsense

  11. campervan says:

    This guy could talk a camel through the eye of a needle.

  12. spinspinspin says:

    This is amazing. S**t all over the OBA, then steal the policy they put forward that you initially dumped all over, take the credit for it, and justify it all with a quote from your mama?? This is next level, borderline incoherrent spin. Well done sir.

  13. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    Guys are hypocrites lmfao…giving away $600,000 for free for no reason plus close to $200,000 for a report on a report that guys already knew! You have no clue…

  14. Well written, Chris!
    You have written WELL and intelligently, unlike your predecessor!!
    Yes. Get what must be done, keeping foremost in ALL P.L.P.MINISTERS’ MINDS:putting Bermudians’ first.
    Thank God for your P.L.P. presence. Continue on!!!

    • Anbu says:

      But this is the obas plan. Typical tho lmao.

    • De Pleeple says:

      Yes Mr. Famous you are a very smart man and de pleeple will agree wif you all de time even when you do stuff the plp said they would never do.

  15. Noncents says:

    What a bunch of spin. OBA – bad idea. PLP- good idea. Rubbish!

  16. Guy Smiley says:

    What a horrible reasoning for following the OBA initiative. Laughable.

    Lots of space on how PLP is going to help little George open their own small business but the funny thing is, in the list of cuts OBA did, nothing affecting small business was listed. They actually increased the BEDC lending didn’t they? lmao!

  17. jt says:

    I think what you meant to say is that what matters is who does it. Don’t pretend for a moment that any approach the OBA might have taken on this would have received your approval.
    Regardless, the people are looking forward to a balanced budget – as promised.

  18. Guy Smiley says:

    PLP keeps going on about voting in, voting out, landslide victory etc. What they never mention is how the PLP went about getting there. You divided the people and hookwinked them to the polls. You made it emotional. You lied and you have backtracked and the 60/40 is only one of many examples. Suddenly now you are following OBA steps in getting Bermuda back in shape and still no thanks given. No shame in your game.

    PLP was voted out as well. Your support base lied to your face. You were not fit to run this island. Don’t forget that. We voted you in and we can vote you out.

    • Politricks says:

      Don’t forget they have also promised to cut financial assistance.

    • Stand For Truth says:

      Guy Smiley: The UBP/OBA was a tyrannical government and only those who are defenders of oppression will continue to support them. But those who stand for REAL justice and equality will NEVER support them no matter how many times they change the letters of their party.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Tyrannical? Really?

        Christ, hyperbole doesn’t even come close to describing the utter stupidity of your comment.

  19. we had to deceive you... says:

    It is unfortunate that Mr. Famous forgets conveniently that the items he lists:

    Cutting scholarships
    Imposing furlough days
    Cutting the budget for public buses
    Cutting the budget for Garbage trucks
    No increase in pension for seniors for 4 years

    were all necessary because of the fiscal mismanagement of the PLP when they were in power.

    Truly we see again the “we had to deceive you” mantra of the PLP in:
    repealing same sex marriage
    wasting taxpayer dollars to confirm the airport deal was a very good one.

    No matter how you say something; if it is a lie- it is a lie.

    Please do not claim amnesia for the reasons that austerity measures had to be put in place post PLP.

    • DS says:

      BS tue cuts were to advance the oba platform. You also must forget the global economic downturn that impacted our tiny island.

      • Double S says:

        Yeah the global economic downturn forced the PLP to incur hundreds of millions of so called ‘cost overruns’ on capital projects and rack up annual deficits of near $400mn. It also caused the PLP to receive five CONSECUTIVE qualified audits on the consolidated funds (note: qualified audits = bad).

        Of course everything is the ‘global economic downturn’s’ fault. Of course it is.

  20. yo says:

    if my ace boy starts a weed business that’s means I own 40% of it? with 60% foreign ownership

  21. LOL says:

    Why again does Bermuda need anywhere near 5,000 goverment employees?

    • sandgrownan says:

      It doesn’t. Unless a good chunk of them are a) lazy b) useless.

      You decide.

    • nerema says:

      We need 5,000 government employees because according to Chris Famous they all want to open little businesses to keep them busy during the day, supported by foreign ownership, which will miraculously appear now that the 60/40 rule is 40/60.

  22. Bermudian Thinker says:

    The New Flip Flop of the party

    • Mark says:

      I think everyone who Flip Flops like this, including the most famous one – Flip Flop Furbert – should have a ton of flip flops or sandals thrown in their front yard. LoL

  23. nerema says:

    So in summary Chris is telling us:

    Anything not our idea = B A D
    60/40, airport, closing schools, you name it.

    Anything our idea = G O O D
    60/40, airport, closing schools, you name it.

  24. Oh really says:

    PLP and all their supporters are nothing but a bunch of fools. All that voted them in should feel sick and disappointed with them already. Lord pray for this island cause who knows where it will end. Maybe another Jamaica

  25. Spanner breath says:

    Maybe he can break down all the jobs they’ve created!

  26. Stephen Thomson says:

    The relaxing of the 60/40 policy is, on balance, a good idea for Bermuda in my view. Most of the politicians on both sides of the isle will probably support a relaxation.
    Where I am critical of Mr Famous is when he attacks the OBA for implementing very reasonable austerity measures due to the mind boggling debt that they found themselves saddled with.
    I wonder what any government in this island could do with an extra $500,000 per day or $180 million per year that is currently being spent on interest on our $2.5 billion debt?
    Interest rates are climbing rapidly now. Debt service payment will grow rapidly. Remember how we got here and it wasn’t the OBA Chris. Now that you have been elected, try hard to represent all the people in Bermuda. It will be tough for you but give it a try.

  27. Rocky5 says:

    Very interesting how Mr. Famous has been appointed #1 PLP Spin Doctor. He’s spinning so fast, BELCO could shut an engine of 2 and use him instead!!

  28. steve says:

    Mr Famouse,for most of the population you personally are not judged by how you say things, you are judged by what you write or what others write for you (lately). Perhaps you are growing in knowledge…i will continue to monitor the situation. I will say something else, it is a sign of majority to change your mind(and if this is the case, i do not hold it against your character) I hope you are growing and this isnt just more PLP BS to feed the masses.

  29. Um Um Like says:

    Presenting Chris, Plp’s newest flip-flopping hypocrite.

    Well done all you sheeple. Now we pay this idiot to speak.

  30. Grand Overseer says:

    OBA plan – pay off the unimaginable debt the PLP put us in.

    PLP plan – increase PLP wages, hire more government staff (we all know who they are, and how many perks they get), threaten to cancel major developments which give hundreds of Bermudians jobs, and which would generate millions for our island.

    I wonder who thinks money grows on trees.

  31. Enough says:

    LOL. This article……..

  32. Ty says:

    “Momma always told us, often via wooden spoon, “It is not what you say but how you say it. It is not what you do but how you do it.” As we all know mama, and her wooden spoon, was always right.”

    Momma ALWAYS said with the wooden spoon. “if you don’t listen – you must feel”

    Chris – You can’t even get that part right. You are hopeless.

  33. Rocky5 says:

    Famous should win 2018 Grammy, Emmy, Tony, Oscar and Nobel Prize for Purest & Best BS ever created!!

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