OBA: Confidence Down Due To Mixed Message

October 24, 2018

Nick Kempe“Business confidence has plummeted due to mixed messages and actions emanating from the PLP members in Government,” according to Shadow Finance Minister, Nick Kempe.

“Sometimes it’s destabilizing messaging by front and back benchers alike that the Premier allows to fester unchecked for too long before finally correcting, and sometimes it is direct actions that are fully supported as PLP initiatives,” Mr Kempe said.

“Here are some examples: ‘Surprise’ talk of independence; raising taxes on everyday Bermudians and local businesses; seeming constant delays in immigration processing; apparent exclusion of the business community from the Living Wage conversation; general anti-business and anti-immigrant rhetoric from PLP and their combined support base and the erosion of independence and exertion of tighter political control in bodies such as the Gaming Commission.

“Add to that, the $1.2m paid to a former PLP Premier, the dividend tax on local companies and a sustained and costly campaign against the LGBT community’s rights and you get an idea of the overall messages that are coming from this Government which businesses find unsettling.

“Instead of continuing to drive the Government machine to be more efficient and less tax hungry, the Premier has decided to put the hurt to the middle class to feed Government spending. The new dividend tax legislation was a clumsy solution to a real problem that effectively used a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.

“Working partners are taxed the same as non-working partners and owner-operators are now taxed well beyond their notional salary to name a few issues. An obvious solution would be to enforce the existing notional salary. If certain notional salaries are misaligned, correct them and enforce accordingly.

“CEO’s of reinsurance companies earning tens of millions of dollars a year would have felt no personal financial pain from this new tax. Instead Bermuda’s small and medium business owners, the core middle class, is being squeezed out. It would seem that taking risks and creating value will not be incentivized by this Government.

“Addressing the residential population and an aging demographic is key to both economic growth and our crippling debt. We are projected to have almost 25% of our population over age 65 by 2026. This obviously has massive pension and health care cost considerations.

“As a number of business leaders have highlighted recently an increase in immigration will provide economic stimulus and a much needed broader tax base to fund our social programmes and ever increasing debt.

“The Premier will have a hard time selling the need for increased immigration given his Party’s continued anti-foreigner rhetoric. However, without addressing our shrinking working demographic nor tackling Government spending, I can only assume the Premier will simply continue to try and tax Mr. and Mrs. Bermuda into prosperity.

“Sugar tax, commercial land tax and dividend taxes do nothing but eat into the buying power of lower and middle class Bermudians. With the extra tax burden and no other source of national economic growth, is anyone surprised that retail sales continue to slump?”

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Comments (25)

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  1. DeOnion says:

    Yup – yet apparently ‘morale is high’ over at the PLP which has obviously not picked up on what everyone else now realizes: that the economy is tanking and Burt is not delivering.

    • JAYBIRD says:

      Hold on now – he did prevent the Belco thing from escalating into a full on strike, and then probably developing further into a full on general strike. No way an OBA govt could have accomplished that. Just saying…

      • inna says:

        Hold on a minute- you know full well that if the OBA was still the government, there would be no need for an excuse to strike other than the fact that OBA is in power!

        What happened to all the mold in the schools?
        What happened to comprehensive immigration reform?
        What happened to the rent-a-group?

      • total recall says:

        No, he didn’t. He just took credit for it.

      • aceboy says:

        He CREATED that whole debacle. Open your eyes.

    • inna says:

      No wonder the rent-a-group has been eerily quiet, it all makes sense!!

      • Sorry Sir says:

        The People’s Campaign was a direct response to the OBA winning the election. Nothing else. That’s why you don’t hear from them anymore.

        They were a pro-PLP propaganda, anti-OBA machine only created to destabilize our social fabric and place blame on the OBA.

        No OBA in power = No People’s Campaign.

    • TO DeOnion:
      You sound like a migrant.

  2. meanwhile the Cayman Islands says:

    business is booming and they are clearly open for business.


    • Mrs Brady says:

      Cos they don’t despise foreigners, they welcome them.

  3. BS says:

    Mean while: that is because they are using an immigration system not unlike the one that we once had . Fair to say we took our selves out of the game .

  4. 2 Bermudas says:

    De Pee El Pee won’t care as long as there is a ‘real Bermudian’ captaining the titanic. Titty milk drinkers!! Ha ha ha!!

  5. Politricks says:

    Just wait until the next budget when they will impose greater taxes on the island as a whole along with the imposition of a living wage. They have literally no choice as an increase in our deficit will result in a credit downgrade and thus our mountain of debt and ability to borrow that much more expensive

    Not too sure why the powers that be can’t figure out that the more people pay in taxes the less disposable income they have to spend in the real economy.

    Increasing taxes simply to fund the civil service machine and underfunded pensions will not make this island any less expensive nor will it stimulate the economy.

    We are in for a world of hurt come February 2019 with the results to be more falling retail sales and contracting GDP.

    • Sara says:

      Can you read my mind? Everything you wrote is what I have been saying and it’s like people just don’t understand it. Taxes will continue to go up and it is all the fault of the PLPs mismanagement of money back in 2007-2012. To vote them back in was just unreal to me. It made me Ray that most Bermudaians just don’t really understand how Bermudas economy works and how the effects of debt.

    Your oba party’s message was ALWAYS CLEAR…

    Do YOU think that can be easily forgotten?????

    • sandgrownan says:

      What was that message exactly? In your warped narrow minded view? What did you think? Or were you told what to think? Or were you the one doing the telling?

      • To SANDGROWN:
        Slavery was a part of certain people’s narrow-mindedness and monetary gain.
        Warped view??
        Slavery was the MOST warped behaviour of a crazed group of people onto a humane, loving group of people out of Africa!!!
        Find YOUR homeland!

    • wahoo says:

      You seem unCLear yourself…

      What CAN be easily forgoTTen??????#%

    • LaV says:

      Your message is clear. You’re a racist, xenophobe and homophobe.

  7. wahoo says:

    Man when you put it all in list form like that it is even more unsettling. Thank you plp, rent a crowd, curb and peoples camp pain for making us all look so ignorant. Hope they are still giving you those nice tee shirts.

  8. Dready says:

    The ”people’s Campaign’ was just a brainwashing tool.. Tweed gets his reward and the sheeple will suffer as the politically connected reap untold rewards

  9. Stormy daniels says:

    It’s a shame people voting with heart instead of brain.

  10. Alvin Williams says:

    I doubt if the OBA would have been able to step in the BELCO depute and the millions spend on the America cup which drain the funds from the rest of government when they were in control. Maybe government detractors should ask those sort of questions.

    • wahoo says:

      Maybe you should ask yourself why the union got involved when two non union workers were made redundant. Ask yourself also why the law was broken. Also ask yourself if the whole thing may have been orchestrated so that Burp would look like he is doing something. Ask yourself why the bus never comes and why are there so many rats in my yard. Make a effort to venture outside of your ring of hate and meet some really good people.