Video: Finance Minister On Pre-Budget Report

January 21, 2019 | 43 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Finance Curtis Dickinson is holding a press conference this afternoon [Jan 21] and we will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 6-minute replay is below

Update 4.49pm: Minister Dickinson said, “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here today.

“Today we are issuing the Government’s Pre-budget Report in advance of the 2019/2020 Budget. This document will provide everyone with an opportunity to understand the focus of the next Budget and to allow us to hear from you, from the people of Bermuda . . . your thoughts and your concerns.

“We encourage everyone once they have read the Pre-Budget Report to submit their thoughts, recommendations and concerns by email to openbudget@gov.bm and to attend the public meeting that will be held.

“In keeping with our 2017 General Election Platform pledge on openness and transparency, our budget process is clear and transparent and our Pre-budget report explains the factors driving the Government’s fiscal policy decisions while giving everyone the opportunity to make their views known.

“We anticipate that this report will give the public a better understanding of our aims and objectives as well as encourage debate on the budget strategy and how effectively it copes with current economic and social priorities.

“This report will also provide an opportunity for stakeholders such as business and social groups to understand and comment on options for the next budget. This can give stakeholders confidence that the administration’s budget policies are grounded in longer-term fiscal and budget strategies.

“As we did last year, we will have a series of meetings in the coming weeks with members of the International Business community, the Chamber of Commerce, local businesses as well as the Trade Union Congress [TUC] leaders.

“Once the consultation period has ended, on 31 January, we will evaluate all responses we have received as we finalise the Budget. For the public’s convenience, we have posted the Pre-budget Report here and once again, we encourage you to submit your comments to openbudget@gov.bm.

“On Friday 22 February, I will deliver the 2019-2020 Budget Statement in the House of Assembly. The goal of the 2019 Budget will be to ensure that all Bermudians benefit from our economy’s success while we grow Bermuda’s economy.

“We want to hear from you. So please take a few minutes to read the Pre-budget Report and let us know what you think!

“I thank Junior Minister the Hon. Wayne Furbert for his work on this report and the public officers in the Ministry of Finance who have assisted in its preparation.”

The full Pre-Budget Report in Advance of Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (43)

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  1. politricks says:

    Can someone please explain how instituting rental taxes and a GST will make Bermuda’s cost of living affordable? All these tax rises will simply be passed on to the consumer who will tighten their belts even further as their disposable income becomes less and less. This is not the way to go PLP, especially in his already fragile economy.

    • DeOnion says:

      Cost of living? What about the costs of running a small business? I am worried stiff about the implications of these tax rises on my business. I cannot sleep

  2. question says:

    So here it is. They are going to impose more new taxes, all while the Premier is on a vanity trip to Switzerland, paid for by taxpayers.

    The socialist elite, ramping up the fleecing of Bermuda.

    • Ringmaster says:

      Davos. Described in the UK Daily Mail today how no one of importance now attends. Davos has had its day. It’s become a byword for absurdity and a narcissism of the elite”. Pretty much sums it up as to why Premier Burt has gone.

      Raise more taxes to spend on frivolous trips.

      • DeOnion says:

        Even if it were still important, burt will only get to meet the bit part players who have minimal if any inlfuence

    • sandgrownan says:

      Where is civil service reform in the budget proposal?

  3. Bluebwoy says:

    Oh no…..

  4. More taxes says:

    So more taxes for regular folks…how are we going to survive this?

  5. sandgrownan says:

    More taxes…get ready for the next exodus. And there goes Curtis’ honeymoon. As inept and boneheaded as every other PLP Finance Minister before him.

    Count how many insurance companies are looking to setup in Cayman.

    • Joe says:

      Ha, I doubt any of them will leave, insurance companies and bankers will never leave this money pitt. Any taxes imposed on them will end up in your insurance and banking fees.

  6. Double S says:

    These guys are out to squeeze every last cent out of the population. No need to print retail sales trends going forward as they will all be negative as the public will have less and less to spend in the real economy.

    • Red rose says:

      In anticipation of this, i have already scaled back spending on clothes etc. I am concentrating on things like schooling – overseas!

  7. WSP says:

    These muppets have no clue how to stimulate our economy.If these new taxes are implemented we should take to the streets like the yellow vests in France.

  8. inna says:

    ” The goal of the 2019 Budget will be to ensure that all Bermudians benefit from our economy’s success while we grow Bermuda’s economy. ”

    Basically, Bermudians will pay more taxes today so the PLP can squander it all away tomorrow!!!

  9. Rocky5 says:

    That’s some scary reading! This little Island’s in a hellva a financial mess thanks to PLP & LAWDY BE PLP lunatics gonna try to Tax us out of Debt while our Economy is SHRINKING!!!

  10. Mark says:

    Who is the rent-a-crowd guy next to him with the deer in heqdlights look?

    • Red rose says:

      Flip flop…. the plp has more ubp leaders than the oba!!!! Hahahaha

      • wahoo says:

        I think it costs the taxpayer about $15k per year to rent the guy and he never gets to speak….I wonder why.

    • jerry says:

      that’s the old UBO leader and karaoke singer guy

  11. sandgrownan says:

    “I thank Junior Minister the Hon. Wayne Furbert for his work on this report …”

    LOL…what did he do, the colouring on the front cover?

  12. inna says:

    Bie that is your Pree-Muuur!

  13. Toodle-oo says:

    This from a government that says it will lower the cost of living but has no clue whatsoever how to stimulate the economy. Confidence in Bda has and continues to plummet since mid 2017 , there is no arguing it .
    To all those that love to squeal ’25-11′ like it’s something to be proud of guess what ? You’re all going to be the main victims as the smart money will be shipping out even faster now and your employers first choice will be to lay you all off. But government won’t get rid of a single soul as they try to maintain their support base.
    Farewell to a once stable and prosperous miracle in the middle of nowhere .

  14. Trump supporter says:

    Well done woters..

  15. Proven says:

    Whole check and all de rent can’t cut de debt – got to cut the civil service or you bie’s are one and done!

  16. sandgrownan says:

    Wonder how many companies have a “don’t hire anyone else in Bermuda” policy now…it does exist, just wondering how prevalent it is.

    Bermuda is strangling itself.

  17. Truth is killin’ me... says:

    Go ahead and listen to your consultants and push these taxes through PLP. You’ll do more damage to yourselves than the OBA could ever dream of doing! Taxes on residential rentals? Yeah right. You better listen to the people and not your highly paid consultanats. Next election will prove I’m right.

  18. aceboy says:

    Lots of shiny new cars being driven around by MPs which I find odd given the state of the economy.

  19. question says:

    Not a word in there about reducing spending.

    Who, exactly, attended Davos?

  20. Joe says:

    whilst we throw stones at the now sitting PLP government, lets not forget the OBA was no better. There will never be a government in BDA that will fix these problems because we are a divided people and as long as we are divided there will never be fair progress. This is the result of a government with no ideas on how to grow an economy because the economy doesn’t want to hire its own, advance its own, reduce the wage gap of its people. Greed, racism and the crabs in the bucket mentality hinders us all. Big business gets tax breaks under the BS trickle down economics umbrella which they use to bring in more foreigners and pay them slave wages that Bermudians have to now compete for. Our black community struggles to grow their small businesses and now some white businesses are suffering the same fate. This will continue to work its way upwards decimating the working class altogether until they create an island for the elites. Change has to start with the people not matter your skin color, put your differences aside and your party allegiances and pay attention. Not everyone will be apart of the elitist no matter your skin color.

  21. gustav says:

    much more taxes
    you get what you voted for

  22. Bullseye says:

    These guys are completely irresponsible with money yet somehow giving them more is going to solve the problem? They have a billion dollars to spend. How is this not enough?

    Substantial raising of the foreign currency purchase tax…. REALLY???? Everything is imported you dimwits! You just raised the price of EVERYTHING!!!

    Giving the government more money is not a solution. They need to spend the money more wisely – plain and simple.

  23. Scorpio77 says:

    This is spectacular ineptness and ‘reaching for the lowest hanging fruit’ economics. Need more money?? Sure, just find whatever tax you can and raise it! Or, create thimble-brained new ones like SUGAR TAX which has now spread out to NON-SUGARED ITEMS as retailers look to make up any shortfall in revenue in other ways. CONSEQUENCES, unintended……or otherwise? You tell me.

    Raising taxes in this way WILL NOT stimulate the economy. Rental tax as a supplementary tax on land tax for homeowners will be passed onto renters. All our goods and services are paid with foreign dollars. Increasing the foreign purchase tax makes those goods even more expensive. Guess what happens? The vendor/service provider will pass that onto the consumer. CAUSE AND EFFECT, people.

    I implore all Bermudians to look past your political allegiances and see the bigger picture here. We’re getting FLEECED!!!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      *I implore all Bermudians to look past your political allegiances and see the bigger picture*

      Never going to happen. Look to ‘Joe’ above for proof of that .

    • Concerned says:

      Well stated. I commend your clear explanation of how these poor decisions will effect everyone. As always the middle and lower classes will feel it most. Alas, we all know what happens to an economy that shrinks its middle class….by poor governmental policies, laws and “initiatives”.

  24. truthhertz says:

    The PLP has said numerous times that their plan was to reduce health care costs and the overall cost of living.

    Can a PLP MP, supporter or supporter of these tax increases explain how the increase in the Financial Services Tax coupled with the introduction of the GST will lower insurance costs? On my bill for my auto insurance policies and health care policy it notes the dollar amount of the premium that is directly related to the imposition of the FST.

    Can someone please articulate how any of these numerous tax increases will achieve the PLP’s stated campaign goal of lowering the cost of living in Bermuda? Somebody, anybody please help me understand…

  25. Joe Bloggs says:

    Right now I give about 5% of the cost of my weekly groceries to the bag packer. Am I going to be expected to cough up even more money or will someone else pay the bag packer a “living wage”?

  26. Joe Bloggs says:

    Ok, now I am worried.

    The phrase “Substantial increases in the foreign currency purchase tax” actually means devaluation of the Bermuda dollar against the US dollar.

    “A new GST of 5%. This would apply to “non-essential” services, including catering, insurance, vehicle repair, air tickets and so on” means every trip abroad will cost 5% more and the application means insurance is getting a double whammy because of the increases to financial services tax (see below).

    “A withholding tax on locally generated dividends and interest” means income tax on local investments. I guess I should invest overseas from now on!

    “Increases to financial services taxes, including bank and insurance fees” means the cost of insurance and those monthly bank fees will be going up again.

    “Reforms to the payroll tax to make it somewhat more progressive, both at the company and the individual level” means taxing the rich, but those same rich people create jobs for working class people with their spare money. If Government takes that spare money, there will be fewer or no new jobs for locals.

  27. Ringmaster says:

    Under a PLP Government, debt will never be paid down, nor is it likely there will be a budget surplus. Any surplus will be spent just as it was between 2006 and 2012, when not only was there an annual surplus in most years but money was borrowed. The 2008 financial crisis never affected Bermuda in a meaningful way. Revenue has not changed very much, just expenditure. The main change is the exodus of expats, and now retirees. Less people paying taxes but more civil servants.

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