Video: Minister Richards On “BBC Newsnight”

April 5, 2016

Finance Minister Bob Richards appeared on the ‘BBC Newsnight’ programme to discuss the ‘Panama Papers’ and the suggestion from the UK Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn that the UK should consider imposing “direct rule” over British Overseas Territories if they do not comply with UK tax rules.

An 8-minute video of the Minister’s appearance has been posted online, showing the Minister answering questions about our tax structure, the feasibility of the UK instituting direct rule, and the ‘tax haven’ allegations.

Minister Richards pointed out that Bermuda is not mentioned in the ‘Panama Papers’, and told the BBC, “I have to remind you, that the UK is mentioned in those Panama Papers, but not Bermuda.”

The Minister also pointed out that Bermuda has taxes, and told the BBC that “everytime I put up taxes I get howls of complaints from the residents” so the “notion he can run a country without taxes is not really realistic.”

Earlier today, the Bermuda Business Development Agency [BDA] said, “Some of the recent reporting on the ‘Panama Papers’ perpetuates the myth that all offshore financial centres are the same.

“The fact is: Bermuda is different. While there may be businesses, service providers and lax regulatory environments around the world that enable illegal tax evasion, Bermuda is not one of them.

“Bermuda is different. Bermuda has an extremely positive global reputation built on transparency, compliance and cooperation—these attributes have been differentiating hallmarks of the jurisdiction for decades.”

The ‘Panama Papers’ — a leak of 11.5 million files from the database of offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca — have dominated the international news headlines in recent days.

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Category: All, Business, News, Politics

Comments (47)

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  1. NCM says:

    Go Bob! Tell em’ like it is.

    • Onion Juice says:

      But he Fuzzied de Land Tax cost.
      SpongBob, take ya head out of de hood.

      • jt says:

        Thank goodness he is doing this interview.

        • sage says:

          “The Minister also pointed out that Bermuda has taxes, and told the BBC that “everytime I put up taxes I get howls of complaints from the residents” so the “notion he can run a country without taxes is not really realistic.” Yes the truth comes out, we tax the hell out of struggling locals with a non-progressive tax regime, and Bob thinks this means we are not a tax haven, not sure who he thinks he is fooling but judging by the comments by the local sheeple here some people are buying it. The question never was, can you run a country without taxes.

    • Sailboat says:

      I don’t even like Minister Richards but well done with this interview. Tell the Bermuda story and set the record. And tell it again…

      If the UK don’t like how we do business then kick us off the block. #thebeamouttayoureyeEngland

  2. mixitup says:

    Why is he even on BBC? Our name wasn’t called Bob, now is the time to sit quiet not throw Bermuda’s name into the fray… SMH

    • NCM says:

      Yes, our name has been called – by the UK media. And other media around the world. We are lumped in with the other less scrupulous jurisdictions which does us harm. Bob needs to get out there and tell our story. Otherwise there is no comment from us and plenty of comment from the UK media and bloggers who invariably get it wrong.

      • BermieGirl says:

        Look at the cartoon on the front page of the online Daily Telegraph which says it all. The caption is “There’s a triangle in Bermuda where all our money goes”.

    • Longtail says:

      The old ‘head in sand’ routine….. judging by your frequent comments ‘mixitup’ that seems to work well for you.

      • mixitup says:

        Just glad that I have a following….. But who are you again?

        • jt says:

          You haven’t been following this at all if you’re asking why he’s on bbc so it’s better that you don’t comment on it.

  3. Raymond Ray says:

    Two words, well spoken.” Deputy Premier

    • NO MORE WAR says:

      I do not think he did an excellent job. He was ok and seemed more like a robot. And why on earth was he telling the lady that interviews him that residents complain about being taxed forcing the lady to correct him, letting him know that she wasn’t referring to regular residents being taxed.

      • Bermyman says:

        Did you want a theatrical performance? Assimilate our tax situation with the taxpayers in the UK, makes total sense.

      • Onion Juice says:

        Because we are de easiest targets

  4. Ride says:

    An excellent job.

    He scuppered her entire plan to ridicule Bermuda by presenting the plain and simple facts; 70 years of transparency and cooperation plus a constitution that blocks unilateral seizing of control.

    She then tried to get him to ridicule the other overseas territories and he didn’t take the bait.

    Finally she was left with the paltry independence question that got her nowhere as well.

    Well done Bob. Set these people straight. They should be checking their own houses as the UK is in he Panama Papers. That is one of the reasons they are insinuating smoke in Bermuda to their public.

    Really well done.


  5. Matt says:

    Killed it

  6. Andrew Paul Scaife says:

    Well Done Bob Richards….that was to the point and so very articulate…….and with such an Unfloundering Response….you have done Bermuda and our ‘IB’ proud Sir!!!! Of course, be it, from an attack by the ever slowly diminishing Media Outlet…..that we used to hold in such High regard ;) …….. #shameful

  7. James Thomson says:

    This was an important moment for Bermuda.

    The political wave is building globally and Bermuda is being dragged down by misinformation and cosmetic knowledge. Bob Richards put up a sober, intelligent and comprehensive response – a great ambassador for our transparency and cooperation.

    Newsnight is an influential news program in the UK but the Bermuda government needs to keep up the tempo and help reshape this toxic narrative. There is a clear and present danger to Bermuda if draconian steps are taken and the next waypoint is the anti-corruption summit in London in June. Bob Richards has just given us a leap forward, but we need more of our elected men and women to step up and make the case to the public that Bermuda is the gold standard.

    - Bermudian in London

  8. Coffee says:

    If Paula Cox hadn’t signed the required TIA’s …. You all would be singing a different damn tune ! As a matter of fact , fools were singing sour as she was shoring up the reputation of this domicile , including BOB UNDER THE HOOD . So now he gets to pontificate !

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Bermuda’s transparency and cooperation with other juristictions was already well established before the PLP were even elected. And many of those TIA’s were signed with nations we didn’t even have dealings with, are were made pretty much redundant.

    • Onion Juice says:

      To them, that does’nt count.

    • jt says:

      I cannot recall anyone denying Ms. Cox’s role in adding strength of argument to our already sound policies. Her shortcomings came with the poor handling of our finances when she was responsible foe them.

  9. San George says:

    The U.K. can simply suspend the constitution – ask T&K. The OBA has no respect for the Constitution any other time, neither does the opposition. They invoke reference to it when it suits them. This is a lawless country.

  10. Hmmm says:

    Could David Burt defend us that well?

    • sage says:

      Would he refer to residents howling over tax hikes as proof we are not a tax haven?

      • Zevon says:

        His idea was to just borrow more. There’s a limit to how long that will work.

    • mixitup says:

      Likely Better than Bob, Who I thought was marginal at best.

  11. HISTORY says:





  12. joe says:

    Good job Minister.

  13. Zevon says:

    Yeah. Nailed it.

  14. Bermyman says:

    Well defended Bob, the wicket still stands.

  15. Jeremy Deacon says:

    Well done Bob. Newsnight reporters are good – you did well!

  16. Barbara D Cooper says:

    How wonderful to see and hear our intelligent and knowledgeable Finance Minister Bob Richards explain that Bermuda is NOT a tax haven. This information needs to be perpetually broadcast worldwide so that all countries GET OUR MESSAGE ONCE AND FOR ALL. It is appalling that because others are spreading such rhetoric (through lack of their own ‘homework’) we must constantly defend our Island for it’s honesty.

  17. Rene Clarke says:

    Bermuda does not tax foreign companies that incorporate here apart from a tax on corporate services providers. Foreign companies pay an annual fee on a tier level. Ireland taxes foreign companies at 12.5% and they have no shortage of companies incorporating there. Bermuda should tax foreign companies, they are getting a freebie at the expense of Bermudas reputation. If they howl about it so what, they can leave and go to Ireland and pay 12.5%. It may be more beneficial to Bermuda if these companies were taxed as Bermuda would lose the tax haven label and USA companies which pay around 33% tax would have less fear of moving overseas. There has to be a cost benefit analysis tax vs notax obviously Bermuda needs to lose the negative stigma,whats being done seems to be falling on deaf ears.

  18. swing voter says:

    no sarcastic, anti-colonial rhetoric …..just facts. He earned his salary on this one. I hate to think how some others would have delivered.

  19. Forethebest says:

    A statesmanlike presentation of the facts.

  20. Jus' Askin' says:

    Bob for Premier ;-)

  21. San George says:

    Biden does not speak for Obama. Where is the guy who has the title? Oh, oh; just photo ops. and “the Bermudian people know me rhetoric” for him.

    Quo Fata Ferunt

  22. Elizabeth says:

    Mr. Richards, your interview should be studied; I think it may have been the most perfectly executed interview! You were articulate, calm, knowledgeable and respectful and you asserted our position in the most unflinching and unapologetic manner. IT REALLY WAS WELL DONE!!!