OBA: ‘Becoming A Tax & Spend Government’

July 29, 2018 | 33 Comments

“A new tax passed by Government is backdated to April 1 and will leave people facing a potentially huge bill,” the One Bermuda Alliance said, adding that this is “fast becoming a tax and spend Government.”

Senator Justin Mathias, the Chair of the OBA, said that Government passed the Payroll Tax Amendment Act which “allows it to tax dividends paid to a person – but does not include employees of an exempt company or the dividends paid out by firms listed on a recognized stock exchange.”

He said that “OBA Senators attempted to send a message back to the House to amend the Act when the Senate met on Wednesday by removing the exemptions” but “Senator James Jardine led the independents to side with Government against the OBA.”

Mr Mathias added: “I am not sure that people are aware that this new tax is backdated to April 1. Those that have filed their tax returns are going to have to re-file them.

“It seems Government is desperate for revenue as it is not meeting its own revenue expectations.

“We have now essentially created income tax in our country and the only people that are affected are Bermudian, and not the rich ones, which is not like a labour Government which usually taxes the rich to help the poor.

“The OBA wanted to remove the exemptions because it is discriminatory and makes the local businesses take the burden instead of international exempt companies and those who get dividends from stock exchange companies.

“This preferential treatment, seen from the point of view of the European Union and the OECD, could get us classified as a tax haven.”

OBA Leader and Shadow Finance Minister Jeanne Atherden said Government had “failed in its pledge to reduce health costs – the standard premium rate and the standard health benefit have both increased – and it has introduced new other taxes like the $10 million sugar tax that will hit small Bermudian firms.”

She said, “The Premier was happy to introduce some payroll tax relief in his Budget earlier this year and boasted about how it would give people more money. Would he like to tell us how much of his much vaunted relief has now been wiped out and how much extra people are paying because of all the cost of living increases?

“This is fast becoming a tax and spend Government which is putting increased burdens on Bermudians who should never forget that the PLP has been in power for 15 of the last 20 years, and whose policies are responsible for the Bermuda we see today.”

Shadow Minister for National Security Michael Dunkley added: “With available economic indicators such as the recently released Retail Sales Index showing the potential slowdown or even retraction of the economy and the fact that business costs continue to rise, with general increases in overheads including electricity and Government fees, this hits local businesses hard.

“It is discriminatory, unfair and create inequity as exempt companies and companies listed on a recognized stock exchange are not liable for the new tax.

“This tax may not be felt straight away, but people need to start waking up to what is happening and ask: is this Government really putting Bermudians first?”

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Comments (33)

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  1. Jachai says:

    Yeh, I agree. Voted for PLP, and same old can’t deliver.

    • Well that bad Airport deal sealed your doom.
      25-11

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        How was she bad?

      • sandgrownan says:

        Well, it’s not a bad deal is it. Just because you keep repeating the lie, doesn’t make it true.

    • hmmmm says:

      Mr. Justin Mathias speaks with a mind that just loss PLP 25 seats oba/UBP 11 seats.

      At the end of the day his party hasn’t figured out or refuses to speak about why so many Bermudians refuse to vote oba/UBP.

      Have you found a real leader for the party, because everyone knows she’s a Temporary placement while Dunkely pulls her puppet strings!!!

      • Double S says:

        Another overwhelmingly intelligent rebuttal from yet another PLP supporter.

      • sandgrownan says:

        How about you answer the question?

        And we know why Bermudians voted PLP. Think George Carlin.

      • Wahoo says:

        You have not once spoken to the point that is being made. Rather you repeat the same emotional bs that we expect from plp and her supporters.

        • hmmm says:

          Biggest joke is I never voted PLP before. I always voted UBP & now oba/UBP team. Now go change the name or find other members that were stupid like me. If you lost my vote as strong as I supported you OMG the next 24 years will be hard for you to swallow as more people jump ship to PLP.

          • Wahoo says:

            You never voted ubp or oba in your life. You are a plp troll still avoiding making any real comment on the above.

  2. Island boy says:

    Voted for the PLP as well, guess I was wrong.

    • steve says:

      watched PLP in action for 20 years. They ineptitude scares me…aint nothin changed

  3. Vote for Me says:

    Is Sen. Matthias criticizing Sen. Jardine?

    Mr Mathias added: “I am not sure that people are aware that this new tax is backdated to April 1. Those that have filed their tax returns are going to have to re-file them

    Sen. Matthias is not familiar with the Tax Returns. The deadline was extended from July 15 due to changes being made by the Tax Commissioner’s office to the software. Therefore no online tax returns have been submitted that cover the period April 1, 2018 to June 30 2018. He should also be aware that the intended changes were previously announced and all payroll administrators would have been prepared for the changes.

    The retroactive $10k allowance for dividends that I heard Senator Jardine discuss last Wednesday will result in a refund for everyone affected, which is a good thing.

    It is interesting to see the OBA lament the position of the so called ‘small men’ when they were prepared to let the children of non Bermudians work for the summer and thereby deprive opportunities for Bermudian children.

    • Redrose says:

      The $10k is for the year – not very much at all in that context; re back dating – who was aware of that? And why the need – it is just a revenue grab from this tax and spend government

      • Vote for Me says:

        The comment about the $10k allowance refutes Sen. Matthias’ claim that tax payers face a big tax bill. That is not correct. The fact is that tax payers will pay less tax than they otherwise would be liable for if the $10k exemption was not introduced.

        The critique offered by Sen. Matthias about the comments made by Sen. Jardine is not correct.

    • Kevin says:

      you are so missing the simple point the plp the ones you folks voted for are very short on creativity and big on tax and spend hell that’s all they have done for the 15 years they have been in charge …but guess who doesn’t get it …you you you …..when will you finally give up the racial card and get Bermuda on a path for real recovery …… I am at wits end trying to figure out what you see as progressive …please I can only hope some will finally see the writing on the wall
      PLP no way forward
      I didn’t vote them and am very proud of it

  4. Toodle-oo says:

    “It seems Government is desperate for revenue as it is not meeting its own revenue expectations.”

    “This tax may not be felt straight away, but people need to start waking up to what is happening ..”

    Not a surprise at all for those who know what’s going on . The unknowing however will wonder what’s hit them with the spiraling increase in cost of living. Just like the sugar tax that a ‘survey’ showed that the majority were in favor of. Wait ’till that one trickles down !
    This island is in serious , serious trouble but all that seems to matter is 25-11

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Like it or lump it I refused to participate in that *censored word* ‘survey’ because I perused it in its entirety first and could clearly see that it was ‘loaded’ to get a predetermined result .
      Many others have already stated such .

      • Infidelguy says:

        This government is squeezing as much as possible out of as many people as they possible can. Wait until the 50% sugar tax kicks in on October 1, 2018 and then another 25% on top of that on April 1, 2019. I think this will have some dire consequences for some sectors of the economy because. I don’t think they really did their homework prior to tabling that legislation. But let’s wait and see what happens!

  5. Please can we talk about the National Debt says:

    I would really like to hear what the Premier/Minister of Finance’s position is in respect of servicing and controlling Bermuda’s very large national debt.

    The PLP Govt has gone eerily quiet on the matter.

    • Vote for Me says:

      I heard the Premier on the radio last night. he reiterated the PLP goal to balance the budget for 2018 / 2019.

      Remember also that the PLP generated $1.2b in debt as at 2012 but the OBA doubled that amount to $2.5b by 2017. There are often various additional comments about that but the facts are the facts.

      • sandgrownan says:

        That’s disingenuous and you know it. The debt doubled under the OBA because the PLP had committed them to servicing the existing debt and nothing with which to service it – i.e. a huge budget deficit.

        But you confuse budget deficit and debt. You cannot tackle the latter without first dealing with the former. That’s what the OBA were doing.

        • Double S says:

          Notice how the same commentators never reference the $400mn PLP deficit that was left to the OBA, who in turn reduced that by more than halve in less than five years. And all of that without laying off a single civil servant (ie biggest Government expense).

          Now if they would have closed the deficit immediately by slashing Government spending then they would have crushed our economy further and would have been called all sorts of names. Instead they followed the suggested glide path to deficit elimination and debt reduction as recommended by the SAGE report to close the PLP $400mn annual deficits.

          Disingenuous arguments is all the PLP supporters have when it comes to this topic, as reality of the situation has an inherent PLP bias.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        How many times must it be said that that so called ‘doubling of the debt’ was to keep up with financial obligations incurred under the PLP AND to keep all civil servants (government employees) gainfully employed ?
        Had we done what Barbados did what do you think would have happened? It wouldn’t have been a pretty sight and the fallout would have taken a century to recover from .

      • Question says:

        Vote For Me “the facts are the facts”.

        Except when they aren’t.

        The PLP increased the debt from $350m to $1.7bn in 7 years.
        In the following 5 years the OBA took the debt from $1.7bn to $2.5bn.

        It’s typical of the PLP to spout myths and rewritten history.

    • sandgrownan says:

      That’s because they don’t have a clue. Deer in the headlights stuff, utterly bereft of ideas.

  6. Boring says:

    They keep us busy with burtech and their and equality nonsense while they tax our rear ends what a joke

  7. Joe Bloggs says:

    Becoming? Really?

  8. james says:

    I too voted the PLP and am very disappointed as my cost of living has gone up so much in the last year alone. Opposite of what was promised. Very disapointed.

  9. Oba has got its nerve.
    Such trashiness!!

  10. Michael says:

    The PLP is just terrible at managing money. The OBA did a MUCH better job. We would have had a balanced budget if they were still in.

  11. Gray Matter says:

    So, PLP supporters are turning a blind eye to what is in fact being done to them by their PLP government. PLP government is taxing Bermudians and Bermudian businesses to pay for their grand spending plan. They have not cut spending. PLP will maintain their spending by taxing the crap out of us. Congrats to the PLP and their supporters – this is a losing strategy.

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