Column: Are You Better Off Under The PLP?

July 18, 2019

[Opinion column written by Shadow Finance Minister Nick Kempe]

Two years after the PLP was elected, can you honestly say that today you are better off? With a raft of new or increased taxes, it is hard to believe that anyone’s wallets are fatter now compared to 2017.

Increased land tax, new and increased sugar tax, a business dividend tax targeted at small and medium Bermudian companies only and the foreign currency purchase tax to name a few. On top of those taxes are increases in private health insurance costs caused by legislation passed by this Government.

We were promised scores of Fintech jobs and millions of dollars in investment under a series of MOUs [and almost MOUs] signed by the Premier last year. We are told about the number of Fintech corporations but we are never told of jobs, let alone the promised investment.

We want Fintech to succeed, but if it does not then what policies exist for the economic stimulus this country desperately needs? There are none – that is why we have asked over and over again: where is the plan? The silence has been deafening.

The PLP oversaw an abysmal 13 consecutive month decline in the volume of retail sales. Government’s own reports show that the only glimmers of positive economy activity since the election are down to construction projects such as the airport and hotel projects started under the OBA.

There are no construction projects which have been initiated by the PLP.

The OBA projects are nearing completion. What happens to our economy and most importantly, what happens to Bermudian jobs when those projects are finished?

Perhaps not surprisingly given all the above, business confidence has collapsed. The last two surveys recorded successive falls and business confidence is at an all-time low.

Without a clear vision from Government setting out a wide-ranging plan for economic stimulus, it will stay low and get lower. The Government’s toxic rhetoric and legislative attacks on private enterprise do little to inspire investment confidence.

The survey recorded three main concerns – tax [until quite recently, tax had not featured as a concern], the cost of doing business and immigration.

No, the One Bermuda Alliance does not want to open the floodgates to foreigners. It is a nice bit of deflection from the PLP but is simply not true and we will always fight to ensure Bermudians have hope in a future here.

But with a declining population and with thousands of people having left the Island, the PLP must come to do something about our immigration policy and our declining residential and working populations.

The PLP was quick to blame blacklisting for the collapse in business confidence but a follow-up survey held after Bermuda came off the EU blacklist had the same results.

It was nothing to do with blacklisting, which will be seen in years to come as a particularly grave failure by this Government and which jeopardized Bermudian jobs.

It is not just businesses that have lost faith. Consumer confidence has also declined notably and now sits at the lowest level for the past five years.

This is a short recap of the last two years of non-achievements by this Government. The tragedy is that they have another three years in Government – how low will confidence in this Government’s ability to manage the economy be then? I dread to think.

- Nick Kempe


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Comments (24)

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  1. Toadinthehole says:

    Nope. Worse off – paying more tax than ever beforr

  2. Better says:

    My small business is much better off as I could not get anywhere with the OBA politricks! I am now open and making a very good living thanks to my brothers in the PLP!

    • Smh says:

      Thanks Zane. It’s always good to be part of the PLP F&F plan. Unfortunately the rest of us are stuck with highlighter taxes and cost of living

    • Toodle-oo says:

      ATV tours ? ?

    • question says:

      So you have a small business that benefits from having higher taxes, higher healthcare costs, and fewer potential customers.

    • BoutThyme says:

      What’s the name of your small business? We love supporting new small businesses.

    • Truthhertz says:

      Uh huh. Sure.

    • Mark says:

      Friends and family? Getting paid for not showing up??

    • Anbu says:

      Lmao. And i woke up a billionaire this morning. Hahahaha. Full of it mate.

  3. Better says:

    Anther 3 years? Try another 7 years Nick as your OBA has chosen to use JetGate Cannonier as its premier elect! Dumb move and no one to blame but yourselves!

    • sandgrownan says:

      You elected JetGate DREB where real tax payer dollars were misspent with GlobalHue. But yeah, keep voting against your self interest because it’s your team.

      I think you made the dumb move.

    • 2Bermudaz 2bermudaz says:

      You are funny – clearly you are worried about him. If I were the PLP I would be worried about him.

  4. watching says:

    Much better than I would have envisioned under a continuing OBA government.

    • Mark says:

      You must be one of the Kool Aid servers?

    • Truthhertz says:

      How so? Is is the higher taxes but less government services? Is it the higher cost of living brought about by the PLP’s decisions? Is it the unreliable hus service or the cut back in trash collection? Is it the declining retail sales? Or is it their lies about being a transparent government whilst fighting against all requests for disclosures on a number of fronts? Is it the education system which still remains a mess?

      Seriously what part of BDA life has improved in the last two years for the majority (friends and family hook ups don’t count as progress)? Serious question.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Must be a civil service job on the taxpayer dole.

  5. Conspiracy Theory says:

    milk drinker!

  6. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Increased land tax, new and increased sugar tax, a business dividend tax targeted at small and medium Bermudian companies only and the foreign currency purchase tax to name a few.”

    Nick, all of that is true, but you could be more specific if you want to be an effective member of the Opposition. How about “a 25% increase in foreign currency purchase tax”, which is the truth. How about “the implementation of income tax for Bermudians, but not ex pats, who work at their own business”, which is true.

    The PLP continue to run circles around the OBA when it comes to getting its message out. What kind of message is the OBA trying to get out? I cannot tell and if I cannot tell, what makes you think I will vote OBA?

  7. Pangaea says:

    If you want to play it safe you can always go independent.

    The growing independent people consists of all those who for good reason who did not vote in past elections.

    What we see and hear today exhibited by both parties is not healthy for a country who is struggling to get out of debt.

    • Kathy says:

      Agree 100%. The people of Bermuda deserve better. Better than the OBA and better than the PLP. We are tired of the politics in Bermuda. We need a concrete plan to bring Bermuda together and pay our way out of debt. We cannot succeed in this country until we the people of Bermuda are willing to pay off our own debt (and without blaming the other side)!

  8. Proven says:

    Yes – because we have dignity!

  9. truth says:

    My family and business are by far are better cause we are in an environment that is run by a government that is user friendly, provides opportunities, listens to the people and also assist locals.

    Unlike the previous government who ONLY considered certain segment of our community and expats.

    And I was a staunch OBA supporter

  10. De Truth says:

    my family and I, our business, and most people that I know are better off due to a government that listens to its people, provides opportunities – unlike the previous government that only wanted to provide economic stimuli to a certain segment of the population and expats.

    OBA forgets that us Bermudians live here – and permanently too