Video: Shadow Minister On New Airport Fees

July 18, 2015

Following a debate which saw Opposition MPs raise objections, a Bill increasing airport fees by $20 per person passed in the House of Assembly last night [July 17].

Shadow Minister Lawrence Scott said they were “not in favour” of the increased fees, as two months ago the departure tax was raised from $35 to $50, and now an additional $20 has been added, which he said makes “Bermuda that much more expensive in an already competitive market.”

“In April of this year, they increased the departure tax from $35 to $50, and now, two months later, they are increasing the security fee from $4.25 per person to $8.25 per person, in addition to instituting a new fee, which is $16 per person, which is for the development of the airport,” Mr Scott told Bernews.

“What this means, is that there would be an additional $20.00 per person, per ticket, that is going to be charged or put on top of our ticket, which makes Bermuda that much more expensive in an already competitive market.

“It makes us that much more expensive to a potential tourist or potential visitor coming into Bermuda, but it also makes it that much more expensive for the average Bermudian that is going out.

“What this is, is an additional tax, an additional cost of living, on top of what we are already doing and for those that are struggling already, it makes it just that much harder to be able to leave the island, whether it be for medical or for recreational.

Mr Scott — who works in the airline industry — said it “seemingly contradicts exactly what the Government says they want to do”, to attract more business to the island.

“Especially when last week, the Minister of National Security and the Premier had to go to Chicago to talk to United about trying to entice them into keeping their service year round instead of being seasonal.

“This also increases the cost of doing business for airlines, this increases the cost of doing business for basically any and everybody for your international businesses.

“This is a Bill that will have ramifications across every demographic, across every department and across every sector of our economy moving forward,” said Mr Scott.

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Comments (47)

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  1. FAN says:

    really trying to keep us Bermudians stuck on this island. don’t even make sense advertising seat sales now! then they wonder why airlines want to discontinue their service here. that’s cause its no longer a deal to fly. smh!

    • Dude says:

      sorry but if you can’t afford an extra $20 you should be staying home anyway! you know how many times I’ve been on vacation since the PLP drove my American boss out of the Island with all their rhetoric? NONE. He took my job with him when he left. Along with six other Bermudians.

      • Paul Revere says:

        Blah blah. Hardly believe ya bull****.
        You ppl continue to try and blame the PLP, yet ya beloved OBA/UBP been in power for 2+yrs.
        Time to take some responsibility for ya parties lack of action.

        Bob and his forecast has been dead wrong since day 1, thus his continuing borrowing of funds and trying to shift blame on the PLP.

        I guess Fahy plan of allowing all the non onions to become onions isn’t as fruitful or productive as they thought. I am sure they still sending most of their paycheck overseas to support their families back home

        • The Truth and Nothing but the Truth says:

          It should be $100.00!! WTF PLP`ERS this is your doing, 2+ years, aceboy SHUT UP !!! CRY BABIES!!

      • Who's Askin' Jus' Askin' says:

        That is such a BS statement. The name of the “business” game is to move where business is CHEAPER and unfortunately for you, me and so many others, our companies went with the tide and left for greener pastures. This is not PLP OR OBA’s fault. Stop with the political “rhetoric” and state facts, don’t regurgitate misguided information.

        Now in regards to your “if you can’t afford an extra $20 you should be staying home anyway” STFU…..These fees aren’t only going to be put on the Bermudian trying to leave Bermuda, but the foreigner who wants to VISIT BERMUDA. Look at the bigger picture and stop being so short sighted. When prices go up here it affects the Bermudian FIRST but the visitors always suffer!!!

      • Supporter says:

        This is exactly what someone would say when they have theirs and don’t worry about others enjoying life or getting theirs. “I’ve got mine but you don’t so you don’t deserve it.” Nobody said anything about the OBA or PLP. It’s about people struggling.

      • NO MORE WAR says:

        Dude, you need to get off of that high horse you on or is it stupidity?

      • I and I says:

        Sorry you feel that way dude but most likely your boss left because he was anti PLP.

      • I and I says:

        Sorry dude.Most likely your boss left because he was anti PLP.

      • Outkasted says:

        Another one ” it’s the plp’s fault”

  2. Onion says:

    Ok, so where is the government supposed to get the money?

    • Supporter says:

      Certainly not off the backs of people who are already struggling financially.

      • Ed says:

        People who are struggling financially shouldn’t be wasting money on trips.

        • Supporter says:

          You (or anyone in your family) ever need to “waste money” on a medical emergency overseas? Hopefully not!

      • Zevon says:

        Perhaps if they’re struggling that much they had better not fly away on trips.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        If it is a burden to a struggling family to pay an extra $20 on a ticket to fly out, the more important question is why are they spending what is obviously limited financial resources for a trip off island. It sucks, yes, but is it a burden to struggling families, not likely, that would be the collapsed economy and government revenues that are forcing the government to increase taxes in certain areas. What is obvious is that this increase was designed to try and avoid burdening those hardest hit.

        • Supporter says:

          Bet you’ve been away on some of these wasteful trips…. hopefully none of them were for emergency medical treatment.

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            If they were for medical, then that is covered by insurance, if it is an emergency, then it wouldn’t be commercial and as an air vac. And as far as frivolous trips, any I take are few and far between. On average I can afford maybe one or two trips a year, and it has been a long time since they have been frivolous. My spouse and I work hard and long hours for job security and the money we have, and as much as we would prefer that government taxation was less burdensome, we understand that the legacy of government financial unsustainability has lead us here and now we have years ahead of us to make the government financial institution self reliant again and the Bermuda economic environment competitive and ahead of the curve again

        • Tough Love says:

          Yes, because all trips are just frivolous. No one needs to travel to watch their grandchild graduate from college, or to see their elderly relative who moved away years ago and their children are saying that they won’t last long. Or even flying away to afford to buy clothes and shoes for their children because Bermuda’s process are ridiculous. Nope, they must be travelling to spend time with Mickey mouse.

          Secondly, being trapped on this island, not being able to leave, does something to you. You get restless and stir crazy. But let’s ignore that too because obviously there is a handbook on how the poor must operate and all the rich people have it so they can remind us what not to do if we are poor.

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            Your counter was almost viable except “Or even flying away to afford to buy clothes and shoes for their children because Bermuda’s process are ridiculous”… Seriously if you are flying away just to buy clothes, you would save more buying local without the airfare. I will concede there are reason to take trips beyond vacation, never said otherwise, but the percentage of departures these account for is not high and is even lower when you factor to the percentage of that number are people with restricted resources. But ultimately $20 extra dollars per person for a single trip will not be a prohibitive in such urgent circumstances.

            As for island fever,I will leave you with this… if you cannot find contentment within, you will never find it without.

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    Out of interest it might be interesting to see what our so-called departure tax compares with airport user fees tacked on to airfares for other airports. Most, we do not even see because they are already worked into the fare.

    • Zevon says:

      An example. Passengers leaving the UK flying to the USA pay Pounds 83, which in dollars is about 2x what we charge.

    • Johnny says:

      If they are already worked into the fare why should we have to pay extra?

  4. Just a matter of time says:

    No surprise I saw this coming. This is part of the precalculated revenue stream for the CCC airport project. They gots to get their profit someway..! $70 departure taxes. Yet another OBA blunder. Can’t wait for 2017.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Neither can I, the airport will still be under government control and there will be thousands of visitors flying in for the AC, this higher departure tax will be a good revenue stream… Or is it because you want to vote back in the PLP so they can return back to their financial policy of spend far in excess revenues and burden our children with an inevitably collapsed government services and unsustainable debt. Sure they will probably give us all sorts of social services, but without the ability to sustain them, they would collapse and shutdown eventually anyway… but they won’t tell you that.

  5. Terry says:

    Where else are Government going to get monies.

    I have heard these types of comments since the 60′s.

    Flying costs money.
    Taxi’s and hotels abroad.
    Shopping.
    Rental cars.
    Night life and Disney et al.

    Wait till the end on the month and Cup Match.

    No problem there.

    Fancy clothes and shoes and hats.
    Crown and Anchor.
    BOOZE.
    Entrance fee.
    Food.

    Sitting upstairs and waiting for the departure.
    Eating, drinking, stuff from the merchants in the departure area.

    Connecting flight.
    BOOZE.
    Food.
    Tee shirts.

    Buying all that stuff to bring back.
    Pay duty (yeah right).

    Beachers and moaners.

    If you can afford all the above you can pay an extra $20.

    Your charging it 96% of the time.

    Go ahead.

    Lets get 100 dislikes.

    Truth is a beach.

    Shalom.

    • Tough Love says:

      For the record, no matter what the song says, not every Bermudian drinks!

      You must have that handbook I was talking about.

      And you missed the point about our competitors being CHEAPER!

  6. Common sense is like deoderant…the people who need it most…never use it…if you insist on deterring people then for Gods ‘sake legalise medical marijuana…to balance it out!

  7. ImJustSayin says:

    how much more before the bubble burst? We heading in the direction that Greece is in. Taxing the crap out of its people.

  8. Farmer mon says:

    As a Bermudiam born person that left for better opportunities abroad. I always ask myself why would i go back to bda other then for holidays like Cup Match and Christmas?

    Its way too expensive for simple things like food for my family and this does not help knowing that I will have to pay more for plane tickets.

  9. Moonshine says:

    So I guess it is safe to assume that the new Airport is happening…

  10. bluebird says:

    If we were to CUT the Goverment which lives beyond its means like $220Million a year borrowing
    we would not need to raise TAXES you cant have your cake and eat it.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      That is kind of what they have been trying to do. Course everytime they try to make cuts or reign in the areas that are being over utilized unnecessarily, people get up in arms. Personally, I think they should charge a higher fee on H class vehicles, go even further and create a luxury taxed system… Where the assessment number has a single occupant, classes A up to C at standard fees, any class higher is a higher fee; 2 occupants, up to class D or E at regular fee, 3 occupants, Class F; 4, class G; etc….

      • Tough Love says:

        Let’s start by taxing the rich people first. Payroll taxes on all income, no $750k cap. See what that covers before making those who can least afford it pay more. Our taxes are still way less than America.

        • Triangle Drifter says:

          Great idea. Done before. Have a short & selective memory do you? See if you can find Mr ‘gets things done’ LT Col Burch & ask him how his policy towards the rich job creators went?

          They got on planes & left, taking the jobs with them.

          Forgot that did you?

          There is just so much that people will stand to be taxed then they take their money & go elsewhere. They don’t come back just because you say you will be nice to them again either.

    • Let’s get “it” right. Had we not been put into a 2 plus billion dollars debt by the former Progressive Labour Party, then maybe we wouldn’t need to increase many things, including airport fees…Oh by the way, we will benefit an reap profits off of the new airport that’s to be built…Soon come :-)

      • sebring says:

        i hear you but it is very bad for the oba to continue borrowing at a rate 5 times faster than the plp when in reality , they should have quickly amended the sudsides for the hotels as they did with the water front deal to stop the giving away money to the already here rich and aim it to atract new money only, further more why is there no need for all politicians to register all of their assets yearly including beneficial ownership to pin point if any tax money is benefitting them.
        and building an airport now is beyond stupid !it’s like struggling to pay your morgage because your income is down but you going to rent the property next door because it has a pool.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Excellent suggestion. Cut Government expenses. Start with the biggest one. Payroll. Chop the size of the the civil service which somehow managed to grow 50% during the PLP years without producing anything more.

      How does that suit you? What is the Government payroll every week?

  11. Just a matter of time says:

    @bluebird. Why don’t we cut the corporate welfare that are concessions? No one wants to talk about that. It’s now a yearly entitlement and these businesses operate in a culture such that they are too enabled by the Govt subsidies to be creative. It’s now an automatic part of their budget.

  12. Just a matter of time says:

    @BABB and Ray. Stop the nonsense. Some of the best years for corporate Bda happened under the PLP Govt. Some of the best years for tourism happened under a PLP Govt. Some of the best years for social programs and progression happened under a PLP Govt. The distraction of continually blaming the PLP Govt while ignoring the global financial crisis as a cause that reduced our own revenues is getting very old. The distraction that businesses took flight and tourism numbers declined solely because of the PLP and not for macro economic reasons are equally old. Our product has always been fragile especially against huge competition and we got hit hard in a way that no one foresaw. Not even the then UBP Opposition. Stop the nonsense.

    BTA can’t decide if we should be promoted as a Caribbean or British culture confusing our product yet the CEO gets his bonus anyway. All eggs in the basket are being pointed to the Americas Cup which is a flawed vision in attracting tourist numbers if we are still an unaffordable destination. And we are losing precious revenue streams for an airport on the backs of all travelers. Oh and expect the departure tax to increase further to satisfy the airport developer’s future ROI. Custom duty could take a hit due to decreased local travel as a result. Meanwhile amidst their distractive narratives of PLP bashing, the OBA quietly pass this law and that benefiting the foreign worker, quietly give away our land and quietly push a non Bdian agenda under the guise of being pro Bdian. Really where are the 2000 jobs promised for Bdians? Since the OBA were elected nearly 2000 jobs have been lost despite their promise. They are now nearly 4000 jobs in the hole. Stop talking about looking under the hood of the past administration as an excuse for the delay. All this talk about past alleged misappropriations, $800 million missing etc. Bottom line is that they had empty ideas from their 2012 campaign promises. They had no plan dealing with a civil service who through no fault of their own are entrenched with stifling bureaucracy that dates back way before party politics. The outdated laws still in play give an insight. The budgets and financial statements are published every year for the public to see. Seems like the most people being employed here lately are foreigners. Now of course with the huge Bdian migration to anywhere else, we now ‘need’ the foreigners. How convenient. Can’t wait until 2017.

    • My, my, my as “Joe” would’ve stated. Lets get real all of you diehard Progressive Labour Party supporters! Show me / us where had the P.L.P. been beneficial to the Bermudians and the future of Bermuda? That’s the 2 billion dollar question…Yes, the O.B.A. are borrowing only because we’ve been in a rut due to poor management while under the Progressive Labour Party’s leadership. End of story!

  13. Jay says:

    Why do we always hav to suffer and pay more?? Does anyone know what the bermuda regiment’s budget is? I never hear about them cutting back….

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      It has been many years but the last time I looked the Regiment budget was about the same as the Fire Service.

      Place 2 calls. One to the regiment & one to the Fire Services & see who gets to your door first.

      The Fire dep will be there in minutes. The Regiment 48 hours if you are lucky.

  14. Legal Eagle says:

    Our tourism competitors are doing well as tourists already consider Bermuda too expensive!Any additional cost to tourists coming to Bermuda is arogantly stupid and counter productive OBA!! Don’t agree with the PLP’s constant foolish criticisms of everything you do-but they’re right about this-And their exorbitant cost critism of the BTA,incl undeserved secret bonuses!! Aggh-is there no hope political stupidity will ever end????

  15. Need Peace says:

    @ Raymond Ray – for your information the debt left on the books before the OBA was just over $1bn. To date it is at @$2.385. With no capital projects in almost 3 years. This is NOT a party issue, it’s national. If you’re too party-blind to see the difference, you are part of the problem.

    The OBA are hellbent on building this unnecessary airport! Driving the costs up to give it to a foreign entity! !!! What the hell is wrong with you people??? Your hatred for the Opposition is forcing you to accept unwise decisions? Please, the Opposition is NOT the government you should be holding to account. The way they are spending money will occur to you further down the road when it’ll be too late.

    If this government is not held to account for ALL of their misdoings, it will get worse because they will feel untouchable! Get your minds right and help put an end to this tyranny! To Terry- Act like you know and stop being a controversial idiot!

    • clearasmud says:

      @ need peace you make very good points but so many people on this blog are unable to view our present financial situation objectively. Yes the Government inherited a mess but they have also make some mistakes. For sure the Finance Minister is trying to downplay some of his miscalculations by sayin that the loan facility is not really borrowing when it clearly is.