Fahy: Increase Business To Create Jobs

March 21, 2012

Speaking in the Senate this morning [Mar.21], Senator Michael Fahy said the One Bermuda Alliance would address the debt by increasing opportunities for international business which will create jobs and increase payroll tax collected.

“We would streamline the work permit process all the while protecting jobs for Bermudians and enhancing opportunities for Bermudians by suspending payroll tax on every Bermudian hired for two years,” said Senator Fahy.

Mr Fahy said the OBA would cut the cost of Government by freezing the size of the civil service allowing it to shrink by attrition without layoffs, cutting consultants and frequent lavish travel, reducing the size of Cabinet, reducing Ministers pay by 10% to lead by example, cutting down the number of GP cars and setting up car pooling,

He also spoke on moving government offices that pay rent to lower-cost, out-of-town properties owned by government and terminating the Grand Atlantic Project because “the Government is having difficulty selling the units that have been built.”

“We will reform Immigration to make it work for the people by suspending term limits for a period of two years, while the matter is thoroughly reviewed. Term limits are job killers for Bermudians,” said Senator Fahy. He also said the OBA would streamline the work permit process to reduce the hassle factor and increase speed.

To stimulate hiring and encourage businesses, Senator Fahy said the OBA would grant any employer a two-year payroll tax exemption for new Bermudian hiring, streamline the approval process at the Department of Planning to facilitate job-creating projects, reserve 20% of government spending on goods and services with private sector suppliers for small business, and require Government to pay its bills in less than 30 days.

Senator Fahy also spoke on welcoming Job Creators by changing government attitudes toward job creators, make incentives for job creators more practical and effective, and implementing a “Concierge Service” for new clients of Bermuda.

He said they would review company law to attract investment by “recognizing the 60/40 ownership law for corporations is an outdated impediment to foreign investment,” and by “recognizing that Bermuda needs foreign capital to redevelop the Hamilton and St. George’s waterfronts – two projects that can revitalize tourism.”

“The PLP says that they have invested in Bermuda’s infrastructure, but we are not getting value for money,” said Senator Fahy. “Just looking at capital project overruns I can find where the money was wasted.”

He said the project to build the Heritage Wharf was originally budgeted for $35 million — but cost $65 million — which resulted in $30 million being “gone.”

“In a report by Auditor General Heather Matthews, it was said that costs for three safety and emissions testing centres rose from $5 million to $15 million – $10 million over,” said Senator Fahy.

He said Berkeley was some $50 million over budget, spoke on the Court building, and said “think what we could have done with the money.”

Senator Fahy said, “Recently, the PLP did what was expected and essentially labelled the OBA as pro business and the PLP as pro labour. The truth is that both parties should be both. Why?

“Because both these arms of society contribute much to our well-being. The government is keen to suggest we only care about big business – we care about bringing big business to Bermuda to create jobs.

“Much has been said by government about efforts to get Bermudians employed in the service industry – I support that – but you need people in Bermuda to serve!”

“This Government says that they are compassionate – I say nonsense – where is the facility for the most vulnerable?” said Senator Fahy. “Where are funds for the Sunshine League and caring charities to truly help the needy? I will tell you – it is going to foreign lenders.”

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Comments (35)

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  1. jt says:

    Bring’em back – we all need them.

    • Maddog says:

      Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards says the One Bermuda Alliance needs his vast political experience at the helm as it tackles the Progressive Labour Party at the next general election.

      He described his opponent, Senator Craig Cannonier, as unknown and unproven, warning he doesn’t have the background to lead the official Opposition into battle.

      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        This has nothing to do with the points made above. If Mr. Cannonier becomes the Premier I would expect that he would be a leader that listens to the people and his ministers when making his decisions. Is that not part of being a great leader weighing all the advise given?


  2. no strategy says:


    Sad thing is half of these things have already been done!

    • Truth (Original) says:

      You’re in La La land, my friend.

      Half of these have been done ? Please pick out which half for me.

      -streamline the work permit process all the while protecting jobs for Bermudians and enhancing opportunities for Bermudians by suspending payroll tax on every Bermudian hired for two years

      -cut the cost of Government by freezing the size of the civil service allowing it to shrink by attrition without layoffs,

      -cutting consultants and frequent lavish travel,

      -reducing the size of Cabinet,

      -reducing Ministers pay by 10% to lead by example,

      -cutting down the number of GP cars and setting up car pooling,

      -moving government offices that pay rent to lower-cost, out-of-town properties owned by government and

      -terminating the Grand Atlantic Project

      -reform Immigration to make it work for the people by suspending term limits for a period of two years,

      -grant any employer a two-year payroll tax exemption for new Bermudian hiring,

      -streamline the approval process at the Department of Planning to facilitate job-creating projects,

      -reserve 20% of government spending on goods and services with private sector suppliers for small business, and

      -require Government to pay its bills in less than 30 days.

      - welcoming Job Creators by changing government attitudes toward job

      -implementing a “Concierge Service” for new clients of Bermuda.

  3. no strategy says:

    If you want plants, water the ground.

    This guy just runs on!

  4. Pastor Syl says:

    @ no strategy: Please detail which of the things suggested have been done! There are some that have been talked about, but so far as I can tell, none of them are actually in practice.

  5. Spooky says:

    @Mr Fahy…..so they can hire more foreigners????? come on…… THINK!!!

  6. Shaking the Head says:

    @ Spooky. Yes, and that is also what the PLP has now realised needs to be done. Of course knowing it needs to be done and doing it are two completely different things, as the PLP cannot now backtrack and support this. Bermudians are becoming unemployed because there are less non Bermudians in the workplace. The signs are everywhere, for example, why do you think retail sales are continuing to fall? I won’t try to explain why this is as the PLP have done such a good job in convincing people that getting rid of non Bermudians is good.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      PLP has not convinced anyone getting rid of non Bermudians is good. PLP has approved more permits than ever in the history of Bermuda. Retail sales are continuing to fall with non Bermudians employed in the retail sector I’m not blaming the non Bermudians for this but showing that your statement is false. The fault of retail sales falling is due to poor management, poor buyer purchases & unreasonable pricing of goods that can be bought online for cheaper. PLP are to blame for many things but this is not one of them.

      • Rick Rock says:

        Tommy, I disagree.

        Retail is suffering due to one thing: less people live here now. Nothing to do with how many Bermudians or non Bermudians work in retail.

        However less people live here now because of government policies, like term limits, that have redirected International Business away from Bermuda. Over the past few years, IB has quietly been relocating its people and operations to other places, and not replacing them. So in a department of 6, the 3 non Bermudians are somewhere else, now working with 3 local Swiss or American or Irish employees. The 3 Bermudians that used to work with them here are, in all likelihood, still trying to find new jobs.

        That’s why, for example, the number of cars sold has dropped dramatically, and the quantity of food sold has dropped. It’s nothing to do with “unreasonable prices for goods that can be bought online for less”. It’s because people are leaving the island in their droves, and new ones aren’t coming in to replace them.

      • Shaking the Head says:

        The success Bermuda enjoyed up recently has been largely because International Business expanded. IB by its nature is run and dominated by non Bermudians in senior positions. This has a beneficial trickle down effect for Bermudians – ask any Bermudian in IB. As senior IB people have been leaving, and will continue to leave,thiis has impacted the jobs of Bermudians. Have you seen the number of properties for rent, and sale? A direct result of non Bermudians leaving. Those jobs are going with them, they are not being filled by Bermudians. What new jobs are being created? Presently none. That is what I believe Senator Fahy, and many others in fact, is referring to. Promises of new hotels are fanciful. There is a glut of office space and condominiums so no new construction jobs. My comment on retail sales is linked to the reduction in the number of people here. There was a mention somewhere else that 2,800 jobs have gone. Add families to that and the evidence of less people spending money is clear.

      • Tommy Chong says:

        @ Rick Rock please read my comment again I have typed that I’m not blaming the non Bermudians for this retail decline.

        @ Rick Rock & Shaking the Head yes I realize that term limits are a problem for IB but you must realize thats only a piece of the problem pie as it is too expensive to run a business here. Unless one of the parties solves the problem of the expense IB will still not see Bermuda as a lucrative place to do business because liabilities outweigh the assets. Bermuda cannot entice a company with tax exemption & then hit them with high rent, electricity, transportation, grocery & other living fees. The idea of saving through tax exemption gets squashed when looking at the big picture.

        If term limits are to be thrown out as bias as it reads they can only be thrown out for IB & not the rest of the Bermuda Businesses or Bermudian employers will abuse this. Most of the other nonprofessional employees hardly spend in Bermuda. Just venture to a grocery store on a wednesday & you’ll see groups of these non bermudian workers walking around with the same grocery cart. They fill one grocery cart with the same amount of groceries one IB worker’s family husband, wife & children will consume but they are more people than a family & they are all adults. If you have a problem with term limits you should have a problem with this because these people who are NOT Swiss, American or Irish or NOT Chinese, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Mongolian & the list can go on but they are from ONE nationality who has somehow had workers here who have gone past their term limits while IB by the book follow the term limits. This is not fair for IB or Bermudians & only benefits the employer. I’m not against a limited amount of this certain nationality being hired but when thousands of work permits are approved from this nationality while its hard for IB to get a few permits approved from people of all different nationalities there is something seriously wrong with the immigration system here. Even in the past when the Portuguese were getting permits approved it was only for a few professions like construction or landscaping not for almost every business in Hamilton as it is now for this group.

        • Mad Dawg says:

          You’re getting on your hobby horse about Philipinos again. It completely undermines any credibility you might otherwise have.

          • Tommy Chong says:

            Who typed anything directly about Filipinos? Your the only one here except for my response now who has. Well, maybe I did mention Manila on another post below but you are commenting on this post where nothing at all has been mentioned. Like the saying goes who the shoe fits. Since your on the subject & want to discredit my post please explain to all how thousands of their permits get approved over all others. How do all these employers of SO MANY different DIVERSE TYPES of businesses come to hire their employees from only one country? If you don’t know maybe a certain MP of PLP might since they’re so good at getting lights turned on. (pun definitely intended on that one)

            A bit of advice to employers when your going to do something that undermines the public don’t do it so blatantly because not all of us are so gullible.

    • Frank Talk says:


      In the final analysis firms arrive and leave Bermuda based on the fiscal, regulatory and tax landscape in other jurisdictions.

      In the the lean times the term limit policy (which is absolutely necessary in cases like ours) and high cost of doing business magnifies this impact – indeed they are used by some as an excuse as they walk out the door.

      Anyone calling for Sheik Mohammed’s head over Dubai’s term limit policy?

      Of course Bermuda’s situation has been exacerbated by the growing sense of political instability wrought by Dr. EB.

      Not many of you will remember, but Bermuda did have a growing investment management industry right up until 1997 – when the US tax laws changed. From that point of view I’m not quite show who the OBA is hoping to attact under this initiative.

      There is a very real risk under the OBA’s proposals, that we will roll out the red carpet and no one comes to the party. Then what?


  7. Tommy Chong says:

    Senators Fahy’s plans are too lose & will allow the employers who abuse the current immigration privileges to do it more so. There are already a group of foreigners from a certain nationality who have organized it so they get their passports done in Bermuda so they don’t have to go home to get them. They have done this so they can work around our immigration laws. Now the oba is talking about streamlining the process! The only permits they should be streamlining are IB permits not all the permits. There are employers here who do not have an IB business who keep getting their workers permits renewed every time its up now it will become easier for them to do so if oba is elected. The only plan that will get IB back here has nothing to do with permits & all to do with the high expenses IB has to pay out yearly to run a business here. Cut the fat off the expenses & setting up a business here will look more appealing. So on the fence I still sit as none of the parties has a well rounded plan yet.

    • navin johnson says:

      Tommy I do not know if you have ever had any dealings with immigration as an IB employer but can tell you that what is said by Government regarding less red tape and more red carpet is,like much of what they say,political speak…..they have improved but it is far from a pleasant welcoming experience..hard to believe anyone can sit on the fence with this Government….we also need the group of people of a certain nationality that you refer to do the job that Bermudians will not do…sadly, when some Bermudians see that group the Xenophobia comes out. Some IB companies will set up shop here but no where near enough to stem the tide of departures they will stay and farm out the work done by locals to overseas back offices as soon as feasible…..get off the fence Tommy and realize that change is needed to have any chance…..you can do it Tommy

      • Tommy Chong says:

        Navin as you have read I have no qualms against IB workers being hired but to state that this group of people of a certain nationality that you refer to do the job that Bermudians will not do is far from being true. We have young people who don’t further their education which leaves them with little job options. These young would gladly do these jobs but when they hand in their resumes it gets trashed & the employer goes to the immigration to get a permit & spreads this misconception that you believe. Then there are the young people who go to Bermuda college & study Business Management or Accounting & graduate just to have the same thing done to their resumes as the ones who I pointed out don’t further their education. No one can convince me that the Business Management & Accounting courses in Manila are any better than the ones in Bermuda it just boils down to the employers being prejudice. There already has been a poster here who admitted working in the largest bank in Bermuda & practices prejudice hiring practices. If you go to the largest bank in Bermuda & to the smaller ones & compare the workers it will become very apparent that there are prejudice hiring practices going on there. If the two smaller banks can hire an almost fully Bermudian staff than why can’t the largest one do the same? There are other Bermudian business owners who do the same while there are people led to believe the misconception that thousands of out of work Bermudians would rather starve than become waiters, accountants, managers or other positions the certain nationality have. Its not xenophobia its just a blatantly obvious fact that anyone who has lived here for at least ten years should be able to see. This fence is very uncomfortable to sit on but I will have to because whatever profession my children choose to do I want them to have a competitive chance in an already overpopulated island to do it. We need MANY! MANY! MANY! more IB workers but we don’t need so many NONprofessional workers that we have & their permits should be going to IB workers who spend money in Bermuda not send thousands back to their country.

  8. CBA says:

    They complain that the OBA has no plans, then complain when they bring out their plans. Sad. Look at the current government. Really?

  9. Hmmmm says:

    PLP inits current form are done. They don’t even acknowledge the damage they have done. Town on weekends is dead, restaurants bar one or two are suffering big time. Jobs are being lost left right and centre. Current PLP hav eno clue what to do and are pretending all is OK, because they invested in some mythical infrastructure. What they did was spend to excess now Bermuda only gets 83 cents out of every dollar it earns. Ministers took a 5% pay cut…cabinet should have taken a 17% cut just like our pockets that they raided effectively has.

  10. Cancer says:

    Well we know the flip flop party will deny deny deny and never admit to anything. If any of the incentives above have already been put in place it’s because of a recommendation that was given by the OBA and taken on by the flip flop party.

    The incentives and policies suggested by the OBA shows they have done their homework and that they are ready to serve Bermuda. With their fresh new young candidates – both balck and white – it shows this party has vision, foresight and the ability to put Bermuda back on the right path which the PLP has destroyed. The OBA will not take civil cirvants jobs so don’t believe the scaremongering tactics by the flip flop party. They have destroyed Bermuda and it will take the OBA some time to fix the damage. With crime, education and country debt in total turmoil and chaos this island needs something new and exciting with political insight and planning that will take us into the next generation. The flipPPLoP have run out of ideas and it’s time for them to retire from politics. PLP P lease L eave Politics! !!!!!!!!!!!

    • LOL says:

      Stop calling the UBP I mean OBA a flip flop party…..because they are the true KINGS & QUEENS of flip flop. Call them the UBP/OBA.

      In June RIP.

  11. Gvt Mechanic says:

    I’ve posted this before, but I’m posting it again. My sister (a Bermudian) has just lost her job as a nanny to a British couples two children as they left the island on the 1st of March. The couple between them earned around $300k per annum. As well as my sister, they employed a Bermudian cleaning firm, a Bermudian pool service, a Bermudian landscaper. They were members of a golf club and regularly ate their at weekends, they also paid my sister extra to have the children two evenings a month so they could go out on “date nights” spending money in locla restaurants, the cinema etc. They paid rent to a Bermudian landlord who has not been able to re-let the home. In addition, my sister now lives with me and my family as she cannot afford rent without a job. They paid social insurance, payroll taxes and pension etc They paid for groceries to stores who employ mainly Bermudians, they gave regularly to Bermudian charities – the wife was so involved in one charity the Director cried when she said she was leaving.

    Why did they leave this “paradise”? They were made to feel unwelcome, shouted at in the street for refusing to give a beggar more money (they had given him $5, constantly told that they could have their permits withdrawn at any time and made to leave by their Bermudian employers. They left to find stability and peace for their family.

    This is one family and the effect their leaving has – let’s get rid of them all then eh?? Shame on my fellow Bermudians and shame on this Government.

    • White American says:

      Stop Bull SH##. No one leaves this country for those reasons, have you seen the problems in the USA and Canada. Dam, yes you Bermudians have problems here but nothing on the level of my Country. This Island is paradise. Both PLP and OBA need to grow up and stop trying to win political points. The same thing is happening in my town due to the election in November.

    • Shaking my head says:

      Well said and really puts things into context. Thank-you!

      • Shaking my head says:

        Sorry my post was towards Gvt Mechanic (White American jumped in before me). And to WA’s comments, I happen to know 3 ex-patriots who I was sad to see leave. Wanting a feeling of stability was the common denominator for all. Sure, there’s political bantering in other countries as well but at least these families know they won’t be treated as outsiders and be forced to leave at a moments notice in their home countries. Trading a sub-tropical paradise for stability – I’d choose the latter.

        • Gvt Mechanic says:

          @Smh – thanks for your response.
          @ White American – do you have children? This family left for stability. They wanted their children to be raised in a country that welcomes them, where they can attend school from start to finish, where they will not be subject to any racial or social abuse because they educated themselves well and have a bit of cash. Sure the place they have gone doesn’t have pink sand beaches nor is it surrounded by the ocean, but they can stay there for the next 10/15 years without being under threat from Term Limits – where they gone? Chicago! Go figure.

          • S Brown says:

            I know of 5 ex-pat families that live here and love it and love the people. Go figure

  12. Triangle Drifter says:

    Within the PLP there is a very real lack of understanding of how a sucessful economy works. This should not be surprising. Look around the ranks of the PLP, see any self made business people? Oh there are plenty who have attained a position within a company or, more common, have come through the civil service, but none who started with an idea & made it grow.

    Jobs do not magically drop from the sky, unless they are civil service jobs of course. Jobs are created by a growing business. The success of the business comes first. Jobs come as a result of that growing success. A basic that the PLP just cannot understand.

  13. star man says:

    Ewart’s PLP/BIU Party exemplify an absolutely stunning lack of vision.

  14. Cancer says:

    @Lol… Again you got it backwards – the PLP are the flip flop party. That’s what’s they’ve become famous for – flipfloppimg! How do you think the got the name flipPLoP?

  15. kevin says:

    I am sure that all the anecdotal evidence here about people leaving is true but that is only a small part of the story. The bottom line is companies will come here and stay here as long as it is economically in their interest to do so. All this talk about term limits is very superficial and depending on what happens in the next US election we could be in for much worse. If the US laws change to remove all the tax benifits of being here then the companies will leave regardless of whether we have eliminated term limits or even if we have granted them citizenship, they will leave. Its all about the benjamins and nothing else!!

  16. VOTT!! says:

    I get so frustrated at times reading some of these posts.

    At the moment there is a general lack of confidence amongst the International Business community in the PLP government’s ability to effectively manage Bermuda’s economy.

    This lack of confidence leads to uncertainty.

    Business does not like uncertainty.

    Businesses mitigate uncertainty by moving employees and job functions to jurisdictions that are perceived to be more stable.

    we must restore confidence.

    Confidence will be restored by replacing this current current with a government that truly understands the needs of IB and implements policies that will restore confidence in Bermuda…something we used to have in spades.