OBA’s Fahy: Refund Land Licence Fee

March 2, 2012

Speaking in the Senate earlier this week, Opposition Senator Michael Fahy said while he commends the Government for reversing the Land Licence policy, if they are “serious about acknowledging the error licence holders should be refunded their licence fee.”

Earlier this month Minister of National Security Wayne Perinchief said the policy requiring couples of whom one is non-Bermudian to buy a land licence will be revised.

“All of us have been approached or lobbied to change this aspect of the law,” said the Minister at the time. “The practical consequences for these couples has often been to unduly and adversely affect their ability to purchase a home.”

Senator Fahy said, “The policy that was put in place was to stop fronting and protect land for Bermudians. I could not agree more with the need to protect land for Bermudians – our most precious asset.

“The policy implemented however went further than it should. It required Bermudians who married non Bermudians to obtain a licence to purchase a home and restricted their ability to purchase a second home. That was discriminatory and wrong.

“It typically took six months or more in most instances to obtain the licence and the licence was attached to the particular property.

“The Government said that this was done to prevent fronting – and it may have done in some instances – but what it also did was to make a mockery of good governance and made me and people like me feel unwelcome in their own country,” continued Senator Fahy.

“I am married to a non-Bermudian – I might add I now have three Bermudian children. Falling in love with a non-Bermudian has cost people like me approximately $4000.00. There was a licence fee of $1375 and legal advice required since the way Government announced the policy was unclear.”

“The policy helped created an anti-foreigner sentiment; it had an effect of depressing the property market, made Bermudians in their own country feel unwelcome, brought feelings of resentment towards non-Bermudians by Bermudians and caused many to hold off in making purchases in the country of their birth.

“Whilst I commend the Government for reversing this policy, they deserve no more than a few words of praise. Some people actually sold their second home for fear of being prosecuted.

“If they are serious about acknowledging the error licence holders should be refunded their licence fee. I accept many Bermudians cannot afford one home. That is sad and disappointing and is an indictment of where we are today. But discriminating against legitimate married people is and was wrong.

“My comments are not advocating non-Bermudians coming into Bermuda and buying up masses of land – it is about allowing a Bermudian who marries and has children the right to invest in their own country without restriction. Like any other Bermudian,” concluded Senator Fahy.

Senator David Burt replied, saying: “I’m happy that Senator Fahy agrees with the government’s responsibility to, ‘Protect land for Bermudians – our most precious asset.’

“These rules were put in place to stop fronting. The negative effects of this policy on Bermudians married to non-Bermudians have been acknowledged by the Government and there will be revisions made to the law.

“Such couples, of which there are many in Bermuda – myself soon to be included – will now have the option to buy one property without a land licence. For additional investment properties, a licence will still be required.

“The public should also be aware that following the grant of status to a spouse of a Bermudian, the licence requirement does not apply and couples can purchase additional investment properties without restriction. The Government must strike a balance and must, as Senator Fahy says ‘Protect land for Bermudians,” concluded Senator Burt.

The law came into effect in 2010, and required property owning couples of whom one is non-Bermudian to obtain licences costing $1,375.00.

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Comments (80)

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  1. jipped says:

    I agree with Fahy. Thanks you for standing up on speakign out. I paid the licensing fee which was nothing other than a punishment for marrying a foreigner, a human right that should not put me at a disadvantage when trying to buy a property.

    It was WRONG and the money should be paid back, i dont care if you want to call it a reversal or revision to the policy.

    • Tell the truth Fahy says:

      Fahy only looking out for his wife not Bermudians from Ppee L pee or UBP/OBA. His wife’s not a Bermy gal.

      What a BS he is.

      • sandgrownan says:

        you’re a prick. I want my money back too. And my legal fees. And damages. PLP tossers.

        • Fools of Fahy says:

          We can get the money back and more once we stop listening to fools of Fahy. By the response he gave it appears his wife sent him to defend her. she must be the Boss in his house. I want half eddy half. Eddy Murphy was so right!

  2. Bewildered says:

    This whole scheme still makes no sense. For the first 10 years, a Bermudian married to a non Bermudian reuires a licence for the second, third etc. property. After 10 years, there is no restriction as the non Bermudian obtains status. How does this protect land as stated by the Minister? It is purely a revenue source. Also, as it is illegal for a non Bermudian to own propoerty under a certain value, how does having a licence make it legal?

  3. all clogged up says:

    Hey Mike I’m in your corner….gimme my F*&KING MONEY BACK!!!!!!!!!

  4. Cancer says:

    PLP ain’t giving the people NO MONEY BACK! MUST BE CRAZY!!!

  5. Trident says:

    I want reparations for slavery’s centuries of free labour

    • My two cents says:

      I am so surprised the PLP didn’t give you any. You know the people’s party?

      • star man says:

        From whom, Vance…? The Government. Ri-i-i-i-ight.

        • YES MATE! says:

          Vanz wants to get paid for someone else’s work. How PLP of him. You work, we get paid. PLoP! Flush!

    • Barracuda says:

      I want reparations for having to listen to your rantings.

    • Organic Bermudian says:

      I agree and what about the atrocities done to BERMUDIANS under the UBP with land rights and OUTRIGHT stealing??? For far too long many NON BERMUDIANS have profited from LIES AND DECEPTION to those of you who do not fall in this catergory NO NEED to RESPOND to those who have GET OVER IT!!! Many of US BERMUDIANS have suffer GRAVELY under the UBP and their DECEPTION GO TO THEM for a REFUND!!!!!

    • please wake me says:

      your sick!!!

    • sandgrownan says:

      Who enslaved you?

    • jt says:

      Wow – ur old.

  6. Specialgirl4you says:

    No do not give back the money. This policy was a good one. Now as time changes, revisions were made. We must look out for born Bermudians first and the generations to follow. Get Over it Fahy, and stop focusing on such a small matter of what you paid several years ago. No policy or law gives people their money back, after revisions have been implemented. It is not heard of, nor is it done.

    • Small matter? says:

      Small matter for who? You?

      For those of us who had to pay this ridiculous fee, it is more than a “small matter”.

      However, I do agree that I’ll likely not see that money again as it has already been spent by Ewart on one night in a cushy hotel in India…

    • all clogged up says:

      yeah right…..ppl like specialgurl probably a renter for life anyway, would never afford a mortgage….so wants everyone else to suffer….look specialgurl, your government built housing for you at my expense. Buy what you can afford and leave the other realestate to those who can afford a 2nd home

      • Organic Bermudian says:

        And you sound like one of the HORRIBLE EXPATS that think WE are ALL LAZY and LACK AMBITION!! BERMUDA FOR BERMUDIANS!!!!!

        • star man says:

          I have a feeling that you just “don’t get it.”

        • Tired of nonsense says:

          Horrible expats huh? Just another example of the Party of Hate

        • sandgrownan says:

          Organic muppet more like. Bermuda needs expats. Surely you can that into your empty little head?

          • sticky says:

            Hey specialgirl, you are right my family lost all their property to build Francis Patton School under complusary purchase, land they had brought and paid for. So olets see how much we get back

  7. Specialgirl4you says:

    I want reparations for the land taken from many born Bermudians years ago across Bermuda, why did you not fight for that Sen. Fahy? Now you fight for people who are not even real born Bermudians? Well it says alot of who the OBA/UBP are looking out for?

    • Moojun says:

      He is fighting for born Bermudians… we born Bermudians who have married non-Bermudians. Why do we get penalised because of who we have chosen to marry? and why do our born Bermudian children get penalised because of who one of their parents has chosen to marry?

      Perhaps you’re right though, perhaps the PLP should just pass a law stating that all Bermudians can only mary other Bermudians. That’s progressive isn’t it.

      • star man says:

        That’ll be great for the gene pool.

        • all clogged up says:

          LOL extend bed space at MAWI

          • YES MATE! says:

            You’d end up with more spashulneedsgirls if you pump out the gene pool.

    • Bewildered says:

      If reparations are to be made, why hasn’t the PLP who have been in power for 13 years, done anything about it? Take it up with your party, they are the ones who apparently call all the shots these days.

      • Organic Bermudian says:

        ONLY A FOOOL thinks as you SPEAK I bet you BELIEVE the PLP are the 40 THIEVES also!!!!

        • star man says:

          They ARE! They’re the New 40 Thieves, the New Elite, and much worse than the originals were who, at least, knew what was best for the Country.

        • Tired of nonsense says:

          nah…just the 26 thieves

    • alsys says:

      I’m a real born bermudian. And he’s fighting for me. He’s fighting for my children, my bermudian children. My fiancee couldn’t own the house anyway so why would he have to have a license?? So far we’ve heard it was to stop fronting. Could have done that by actually, you know, making fronting illegal…

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I refuse to be licesed to own a house in my own country. You didn’t punish the non-bermudian, you punish me. And you really. How many mixed status couples put their houses (primary and additional) on the market after this. Talk about depressing the housing market. I know a couple of couples that left the island after this. I bet everyone does.

      As to your first point, um, Sen Fahy is like 30 something? The man wasn’t even alive during segregation! Talk about making a stupid point.

      • star man says:

        Believe it or not, ‘fronting’ was already against the law. So… the Land Licenses for non-Bermudians was an illegal CASH GRAB by Ewart’s PLP/BIU Party. Too bad it didn’t work.

        Don’t you lot know the difference between RIGHT & WRONG??!!

        Now give the people their money back!! There is no reason in hell NOT to give it back! Just DO THE RIGHT THING, for cripes sake!!!!

        This illegal cash grab was unconstitutional, and once it goes to Court, it will have to be ALL paid back anyhow!

        What a bunch of unethical immoral jokers these lot are. Seriously.

    • trees says:

      I’m a born Bermudian and to hell if I would have paid that licence fee! Sen Fahy have every right to fight about it, diffenence is I would have chosen jail than pay.

      If I was around in the past when my family was forced off their land, I would have fought then, however it is now in the past. It was their choice to fight or not.

    • Hmmmm says:

      Greedy, me me me . OBA are looking out for all Bermudians. You are looking out for you. A product of the PLP…. Another epic fail.

      • Organic Bermudian says:

        FOOL FAHY and the OBA are not the MORAL voice of BERMUDIANS if they were they could share with me HOW they would LOWER OUR DEBT, CHALLENGES EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES (that clearly are CORRUPT), Put PRISONERS out to work on Create a BETTER IMMIGRATION SYSTEM to ROOT OUT those here ILLEGALLY, those who use FALSE CREDENTIALS to obtain employment here, The SLAVERY/EXPLOITATIONof Phillipino CHILD MINDERS EXPLOITATION of ALL GUEST WORKERS!!!

        • star man says:

          Don’t think for a minute that the OBA is gonna give Ewart’s PLP/BIU Party any ideas of how to heal the Country! Not in your life!! And not just before an election, that would be suicide.

          You may want to look in the mirror before calling anyone a fool. Name calling is frowned upon here.

    • YES MATE! says:

      Specialneedsgirl you Pee el Pee are the ones with the government checkbook, so you need to ask them about the reparations you want.

    • jt says:

      ur a good example of the need for Bermudians to marry non-Bermudians SG4U.

    • Rick Rock says:

      He is fighting for Bermudians married to non Bermudians. A bit beyond your comprehension maybe.
      Try to keep up, it isn’t that hard.

  8. Cole00Cash says:

    As a born Bermudian married to a non-Bermudian, I have always felt that the policy of requiring a license in order to buy land in my own country is completely ridiculous. In fact, Sen. Fahy is speaking up for real born Bermudians. They just happen to be married to non-Bermudian spouses. Should there be a license fee for black Bermudians who marry white Bermudians?

  9. Cancer says:

    This was just another flip flop policy by the FlipPLoP PLP that didn’t work. That’s why their losing in all the polls and why the OBA will whoop their butts at the next election! The PLP have never been for the people and have taken this money to help fill the kitty jar! Don’t look to have it back!

  10. Joe says:

    Land taken from many Bermudians? Nonsense. More hogwash.

  11. Jim Bean says:

    hey specialgirl4you – why not ask the plp – they are the ones granting sdo’s over stolen land at tuckers town. what about all the fractional units and land sold to foreigners – you are xenophobic and are a prime example of what is wrong in bermuda. are a you a real born bermudian? no such thing!

  12. pebblebeach says:

    Good luck with that…

  13. Cancer says:

    Yes specialgirl4you is A prime example of what’s going wrong in Bermuda! As a blind loyalist she is unable to see the damage being done right in front of her. She looks at things in one way! See the light specialgirl!

    • star man says:

      She/he is a PAID PLP/BIU Party blogger – not a “blind loyalist.”

      • Victor says:

        Are they looking for more paid bloggers? Does one need to be an experienced fiction writer of can novices apply? Who pays? Government as usual?

        • star man says:

          WE pay! Ewart’s PLP/BIU Party confuses Party with Government all the time. The taxpayer is paying for most of their Partying. They really don’t have any deep pockets financing them AFAIK. They massively insulted all those potential donors long ago. Jokers.

  14. Victor says:

    Fahy is right but what I do not understand is why he is pandering to people who are going to vote OBA anyway. He needs to steal a step on the PLP and learn how to lie to your face, or perhaps he’s just too nice and decent a guy.

    One thing the PLP and especially Ewart Brown and Derek Burgess have done spectacularly well through the years is rewrite history. The reality is that 98 if not 99% of Bermudians who own their own homes do so through their own hard work and the hard work of the generations before them. This myth that land was grabbed from poor tenant farmers so that the already well off could somehow have more needs to be examined more carefully. In particular, the Mid Ocean CLub and Castle Harbour projects in the 1920s were not wholly avaricious deeds; they were the beginnings of modern tourism that went on to create thousands of jobs and an overall lifestyle that could only have been dreamed of back then. It was the foresight of these Bermudian visionaries that brought the likes of Furness Withy (Ocean Monarch, Queen of Bermuda and Castle Harbour Hotel) and Juan Trippe (Pan Am and more importantly The Bermuda Land Company) to make huge and unheard of investments here in that period.

    If Brown and his pal Bazarian could pull off a twentieth of what these men achieved, they would be considered successful. As it stands now, they have so far failed, especially themselves.

  15. kevin says:

    I really wish people on this site would be more respectful to each other and skip the name calling. If you cant be respectful of others views how could you have any expectation that the disrespect that is now taking place in our community will ever get better. My own view is that Mr Fahy is indeed correct that any policy that does not treat all Bermudians equally is flawed. However I find it interesting that as a senator although he believes that fronting was a problem, he has never articulated how ending it might have been achieved better. He wants a refund to cover his personal loss but what about the losses fronting inflicted on all Bermudians?

  16. Specialgirl4you says:

    Sen Fahy is not looking out for all Bermudians, He is looking out for his own interest. If he was he would have addressed the concerns of the “fronting” behaviours that was done by non-bermudians and Born Bermudians. He also did nothing to ensure or protect that the younger generation would still be able to purchase land or a home in the future, after all Bermuda’s land-mass is not huge, and it is overcrowded in Bermuda per-square mile already. Sen.Fahy is seeking to gain a political point only, by suggesting a very mute point that he wants his money back. Come on a polished politician does not request such a thing. It shows his lack of political smarts at best.

    • Funny stuff says:

      You are hardly qualified to comment on anyone’s smarts, political or otherwise…

    • star man says:

      What a pile of crap! Fronting was already illegal. The dopey land license law was just a cash grab by Ewart’s PLP/BIU Party. They are desperate for money!

      “He also did nothing to ensure or protect that the younger generation would still be able to purchase land or a home in the future …” What the hell could he have done, he is not the Government. You lot are. Not for long, though….

      • star man says:

        And them not giving the money back PROVES MY POINT that it was a cash grab. Busted!!

    • Mad Dawg says:

      When two government ministers got planning rejections overturned by another government minister, who later had to resign because of the incident, were they being “polished politicians”, or is it ok for PLP insiders to have secret deals to enrich themselves?

    • YES MATE! says:

      Hey specialneedsgirl please tell me what a “mute point” is. I’m familiar with “moot point” but this mute point you talk about, I’ve never heard of. Have you ever heard of a dictionary? If you have, do you know how to use one? If you have heard of the big book of words, the dictionary, why don’t you use it? Could it be that after shotgunning Pee el Pee kool-aid that you feel intellectually gigantic? You truly are a sad, sad individual.

      • yup says:

        Well I don’t think any one has heard of a “mute” point. I am assuming it is silent. But I have never seen it written anywhere either. LOL

    • Pastor Syl says:

      Special girl, you forget that Sen. Fahy was not in a position to do anything to “ensure or protect the younger generation.” As part of an Opposition that holds less than half the seats, the OBA has no control over what happens in the House or the Senate, a fact the PLP has taken pains to rub their noses in on several occasions.

      I thought mentioning he was also included among those who were targeted by that xenophobic, spiteful, and short-sighted law, gave his speech a personal touch. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it. At least it was closer to the truth than the Premier claiming she felt the pain of those who had lost jobs and were struggling to make ends meet while refusing to cut her $400K+ salary – o! I forgot, that’s history, isn’t it.

    • jt says:

      SG4U – statistics on effectiveness of this in stopping fronting, please. Otherwise you and PLP are just assuming it was a big help. Regardless, wrong is wrong. The revised version continues to discriminate against Bermudians.

  17. Jim Bean says:

    specialgirl4you – you are a sad sad person. what other stupid attack comes next?

  18. Cancer says:

    Specialgirl – your becoming really famous because of your silly PLP rhetoric! Think it may be time for you to retire from blogging. Maybe a change of name wud do you good once you come back! Lol !

  19. LaVerne Furbert says:

    Senator Fahy needs to tell us how he beacme a Bermudian. He is now a “Bermudian” married to a “non-Bermudian” who in 10 years will also become a “Bermudian” at the expense of who?

    I think the Government should give him all of money back,including whatever he paid to become a Bermudian.

    • Joe Public says:

      What you mean he one of the paper Bermudians. : ( dam I’m voting for a ex pat next election at least they got my interest at heart.

    • WTF says:

      Laverne – please define the difference between a Bermudian and a “Bermudian”. Also please explain how his wife would become a “Bermudian” at the expense of someone else.

      Are you Bermudian or “Bermudian”? How did you become a Bermudian or a “Bermudian”?

    • Rick Rock says:

      LaVerne, the current and previous two PLP Premiers married non-Bermudians. Did you ask the same nazi questions to them?

      And why the “” marks around the word “Bermudian”? Are some Bermudians not really Bermudians in your mind? Was Ewart not really Bermudian because he was in fact American when he became an MP? Were the last 3 premiers spouses never really Bermudian? Are you suggesting there should be special rules that allow some “Bermudians” to be treated as an inferior class to “real Bermudians”?

      How would you tell? What would be the basis of your discrimination between two equal people? It’s interesting, given your position on the Human Rights commission, that you apparently see it as ok to discriminate between one Bermudian and another based on race, national origin, accent, appearance, political affiliation.

    • sandgrownan says:

      It hurts Laughvan Fruitbat to realise that Bermudians granted status, through marriage or other means, are legally exactly the same as Bermudians born in Bermuda.

      Her tiny little mind hates that. She also believes the “real” Bermudian mantra as if there is somehow a leagues table of Bermudianess. At the end of the day, she’s a bitter, twisted, discriminatory individual who thinks the PLP discrimination of Bermudians, particularly women who had children, was entirely justified.

      She and Spashalneedsgirl represent the very worst of Bermudians. They are a disgrace to humanity.

      The friendliest people on earth. Yeah right.

    • Riley B says:

      And i think the poison dwarf is still on the Human Rights Commission.

    • jt says:

      He cannot be a “Bermudian” – one look tells you that – right Laverne?

    • Fed Up Bermudian says:

      So wait a second- if someone’s been in a abusive and crap marriage for ten-plus years, gets their status, divorces, but chooses to live here because they have genuine love for this country and its people and they think they can contribute positively to a society in which they wish to raise their Bermudian children, they’re Bermudian or ‘Bermudian’, or less Bermudian than you???

      My American ancestors who fled their countries of origin- when they were naturalized as American citizens, were they American, or were they ‘American’?

      I think you should pay the Government back for all the time and space you’ve taken up and the racial divisivenss you’ve preached. Seriously- all you want to do is divide.

      Try this one on for size- There are many naturalized Bermudians who are loyal and loving toward their adopted country, are they less worthy to be here than those who have been for generations but do nothing for their country? Besides, how did the ‘generational’ Bermudians get here?? Were they native people, or did they come from somewhere else and became Bermudians???

      Unlike you, there are many who choose to be here. Their choice frequently has nothing to do with ‘getting one over on Bermuda’. These naturalized Bermudians were not lucky members of the Priveleged Sperm Club, whereby the accident of the place of their birth, they are entitled to hate anyone who immigrates and have the right of racial hatred and xenophobia. Seriously, you demean others so beautifully, where do YOU get that right??? Were ALL of your ancestors Bermudian? Or, were some ‘Bermudian’? Get real and stop the hate mongering. I have tremendous respect for our Premier who removed you from office. Bet you even hated the fact that stuff that you discussed around the Senate table was printed on white paper…SMH. I bet you found a way to be disgusted with that. You really need everyone’s prayers, because your blindness is astounding.

  20. Truth be told says:

    @ Sandgrowan

    Your the same version as Laughvan Fruitbat, but a OBA/UBP version. Have you read the sick things that you have wrote on here. You mirror her and are just as sick. You both need help.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      No. I just want my f&$king money back and an apology from these a&&holes for discriminating against their fellow Bermudians. They have become what they professed to loath. Fruitbat is the most vocal, but she’s not alone.

  21. WTF says:

    I thought that her comment suggested an inequality between the two, or a resentment from one to the other, but I just wanted to believe that a former Senator wouldnt dare utter such contemptuous and discriminatory comments. I wonder if this type of resentment is the ‘party line’. It must be, since she was an apointed senator. Points to note…..

    • jt says:

      Former Senator is not the worst of it if she still has anything to do with the human rights commission. Disgusting. The fact that the HRC would not read her commetns and remove her tells you how ineffective they are. Where was the HRC over the land licences matter?

      • WTF says:

        No response from Laverne Furbert. Was the question too tough? I would like a response because I’m travelling soon and need to know whether to go in the Bermudian line or the “Bermudian” line at immigration when I come back. Will my passport be valid if it is determined that I am “Bermudian”? Oh – never mind – I’m OK – just checked – it says the holder is registered as a Bermudian not “Bermudian”. Yeah – go get em Laverne, damn “Bermudians”!

      • Pastor Syl says:

        LaVerne was removed from the Human Rights Commission soon after Premier Cox took office – and rightly so, since she, LaVerne, made no bones about stating publicly her prejudicial feelings toward various segments of our community. I never understood how she got appointed to that commission in the first place. I guess that was another one of Dr. Brown’s unfunny jokes on us.
        @ jt: one is appointed to the commission, the commission cannot remove them. Nor for that matter do they have the teeth to enforce any sanctions with regard to human rights violations, even yet!! Every thing STILL is at the discretion of the Minister! Have you ever heard of such?!
        Time for a change!

  22. White Bermudian male says:

    As a business man that travels every 2 weeks I can tell you they have 3 lines at the airport. One reads visitors while the other two read holder is registered as a Bermudian and work permit resident.

    If your a visitor go in the visitor line.
    If your on a work permit, long term resident, or dependent enter in this line.
    If your a Bermudian or spouse of a Bermudian like I am enter the holder is registered as Bermuda line.