Richards: ‘We Have Double Standard Going On’

February 6, 2017

“We have a double standard going on here,” Finance Minister Bob Richards said according to a report from the Guardian,as “we have a much more transparent, much cleaner system than the countries that promulgate these rules in the first place.”

Bob Richards Bermuda February 6 2017 TC

The Guardian published their report today, saying: “The government of Bermuda has hit back at efforts by members of the UK parliament to end financial secrecy in offshore havens.

“Speaking ahead of a meeting on Wednesday between Theresa May and the leaders of Britain’s overseas territories, Bermuda’s deputy premier pushed back against proposed legislation that would create public registers naming the owners of offshore companies.

“A cross-party group of 88 MPs, led by the tax campaigner Margaret Hodge, is backing an amendment to the government’s criminal finances bill that would force British territories to follow the UK in making public their company ownership registers by 2020.

“Unlike most tax havens, Bermuda does keep a central government record of who owns its offshore entities. This information is available to other governments on request, but not to the general public,” the Guardian report.

“Richards said there was no obligation for Bermuda to lift the veil of secrecy when the US states of Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada continued to keep ownership information from the public.”

“People are pressuring overseas territories because they feel we are defenceless, in some way easy pickings,” said Richards. “They are moving the goalposts on us almost every three weeks.”

The Guardian said that Minister Richards “said the UK should get its own house in order before making demands from its dependencies.”

“The UK is a tax haven,” said Richards. “You have more billionaires resident in London than any place on earth. They are not here for the weather, they are here for the tax climate. We have a double standard going on here.

“We have a much more transparent, much cleaner system than the countries that promulgate these rules in the first place. The popular notion that somehow there is something nefarious going on in a small island that is relatively successful is a false.”

When the were proposed amendments were first announced late last year, the Government of Bermuda said they note “reports that a group of British MPs is seeking to press for Amendments to the Criminal Finances Bill, requiring British Overseas Territories to publicly disclose the beneficial ownership of enterprises which they host.

“Bermuda notes that it has maintained a register of such information since 1947, to which all proper international tax, criminal, and regulatory authorities have access, while preserving proper respect for the privacy of individuals and corporations.”

Minister Richards, along with Premier Michael Dunkley, are in London this week for a series of meetings.

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Comments (27)

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  1. Dock Yard bie says:

    Richards: ‘We Have Double Standard Going On”

    That’s funny I thought the OBA was model after the UK. Is that not where all you’re consultants are hired from to give you advice on how to win the 2017 election.

    • Steve Davis says:

      Yes a Political party is modeled off of the United Kingdom a commonwealth! And the PLP is modeled off Zimbabwe. Makes total sense, I mean you could model anything off a country, even Dockyard!

    • joly says:

      PLP has no legs to stand on complaining about overseas consultants. Cambridge Analytica and its related companies, anyone?

  2. Terry says:

    Bermuda should be so grateful that Mr. Richards has taken on the lions den.
    Having ties to Britain means nothing when it comes to running our affairs.
    His Father was a dedicated and humble man.

    Just because we all have BELCO bills does not mean the send people around to your house and say ‘pay up by next week’ even though it’s 15 days till due.
    In reality Britain is so screwed up they know not what they want because of their debt.
    They want the EU then they don’t because it really did not fit their agenda in the beginning and they are getting screwed and the tea drinkers finally want India back.

    Stay the course Bob.

    Once your gone we are totally screwed along with Mike and all the MP’s.
    No one is perfect but rather have someone trying to save a sinking ship that those from the opposition hauling the goods off the decks.


    • LionBDA says:

      “They want the EU then they don’t because it really did not fit their agenda in the beginning and they are getting screwed and the tea drinkers finally want India back.” What are you rambling on about? Generalising 60million people – clever. Pour yourself another rum and coke

  3. sandgrownan says:

    Could you imagine Burt making such an argument? Or anyone in the PLP for that matter?

  4. Frieda says:

    Independence is one solution to this.

    • reddamtibi says:

      We cant even grow enough food to feed ourselves – Independence is a dream that will never be realized – we are Crown Property – always have been most likely will always be…

      Consider our selves lucky the Crown is even allowing the subject to be debated…

      • PBanks says:

        To be fair, neither does Singapore. A more important factor into becoming a successful independent nation is quality leadership and decision-making. Right now I don’t think there’s any confidence that Bermuda has a surplus of such skills.

      • Bill Andrews says:

        We couldn’t grow/collect/fish enough food in 1680…

      • Grow up ? Bermuda can stand on it’s own any day. Call for Independence and join hands with IB , and take on the world. But in order to do that, you need golf balls .Sooner or later we will have to show our true colors.

  5. San George says:

    Your getting a taste of how you treat people.

  6. Joe Bloggs says:

    Thank you Minister for saying what many of us have known for a very long time. Just because we are a small island (or archipelago) does not mean we are in any way behind the times.

    • bdaboy says:

      ” Just because we are a small island (or archipelago) does not mean we are in any way behind the times.”

      ….but, we are. In many, many ways!

  7. Tulani O. Bulford says:

    Good job Minister Richards.

  8. Bill Andrews says:

    We have probably 6 billionaires who own vacation houses here, for which they paid a very high purchase price, high purchase tax (stamp duty), and high annual land tax. In London, if your house is unoccupied, I understand the council (land) tax is substantially reduced…

    • Y-Gurl says:

      Only reduced for about 6 months then you pay the full wack

  9. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Double standards have been set in place ever since the time of the 40 thieves who created our unfair tax system in the first place.

    We complain,yet the Almighty Powers turns a deaf ear and do nothing except collect their pound of flesh.

    Our Pres tax system is unjust yet nothing is done about it, while the cost of living is ridiculous.

    Our tax system appears to favor the wealthy.
    You don’t think they are going to tax themselves do you ?

    A great proportion of the governments revenue is generated from the backs and sweat of the working man and women while the idle rich get away with it.

    Our seniors are are not immune to the tax burden as many can not afford to heat their homes. Our seniors have more than paid their fair share, their jobs are taken away from them at 65 yet the taxes remain,to support poor judgement and the excess of Government’s policies.

    The ordinary people of this island are taxed up to their eyeballs with over 25 taxes in place,it did not used to be that way.

    The comprehensive SAGE report along with many others appears as you well know to be collecting dust.

    A great portion of our tax dollars go to pay for the national debt. I ask how this country became a debtor nation with not much to show for it,our infrastructure is pathetic.

    Vast quantities of revenue go uncounted for while the national debt spirals out of control.

  10. Alvin Williams says:

    The central point in wanting to control your destiny is to declare your independence and the major motivation in that is to control your economics. Britain is threatening Bermuda’s economics. At long last we as a country have arrive at the finale point where we will have to declare our independence to protect our economics.

  11. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    We the People ,grease the wheels of Government.

    Are we looking for a more effective solvent Government yet we do nothing about it.

    We vote for our favorite paid politician and send them into battle with only the clothes on their backs, conversely we never get to debate our favorite politician from one year to the next, makes me wonder if they are just puppets to the higher Party Power.

    Party Politics divide the nation , divide families with in the same house hold. What is missing ? It is unity !

    Our biggest concern is the terrible state of our economy as the Government would declare otherwise.

    There are willing people ,including our many talented seniors sent home at 65 now out of a job, they all have a variety of skills accumulated over the years laying dormant.

    Most likely the only way we can solve this unfortunate dilemma
    is to hold more frequent “Public Town Hall Meeting” and to further create and advisory board to support our favorite politician in order for our country to get us out of the terrible financial mess we find our selves in.

    They silenced and threw out their Favorite Politician for speaking his mind.

    “The truth will set you free” !

  12. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Good Afternoon.

    As I cry out on behalf of the seniors and the less fortunate living in our island paradise, we need to clean our “own house”

    The topic chosen by Bernews as above is :-

    Richards: ” We have double standards go on”

  13. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Mr Richards ,did you just wake up from a deep sleep,and just realize that Bermuda has been running on double standards since its discovery,,,,,,welcome to the real world,,,,,Rip Van Wimkle..Peace.!