OBA: ‘Appears Absence Of A Cohesive Strategy’

January 9, 2019

“My Shadow Ministers have been calling for months to hear what Government’s plan is for the economy, healthcare and immigration as it appears there is a complete absence of a cohesive strategy, so for the Finance Minister to chide Senator Nick Kempe about his EU Substance comments misses the point.,” OBA Leader Craig Cannonier said.


The Opposition Leader’s remarks follow after comments made recently by Shadow Finance Minister Nick Kempe about the Economic Substance Act, which was passed to meet new guidelines set by the European Union.

In response to Senator Kempe’s remarks, Minister of Finance Curtis Dickinson had said, “I would urge the Leader of the Opposition to, as best he can, restrain the exuberance of his Shadow Finance Minister, and help him to understand that partisanship should stop at the water’s edge when dealing with these important international matters.

“If the Shadow Minister would like to know the actions the Government is taking in this regard, I am happy to meet with him, just like I met with the Opposition before the debate, and my predecessor the Premier met with the Opposition on no less than 3 occasions in 2018 to ensure that they were kept up to date on this important matter.

“As the Minister of Finance I will lead this Ministry with the seriousness it requires and I would recommend that the Shadow Minister understand that not everything needs to be the subject of a politically charged press release.”

Mr Cannonier’s Comments

Mr Cannonier said, “My Shadow Ministers have been calling for months to hear what Government’s plan is for the economy, healthcare and immigration as it appears there is a complete absence of a cohesive strategy, so for the Finance Minister to chide Senator Nick Kempe about his EU Substance comments misses the point.

“The OBA has been supportive of the Government throughout the process to getting the EU Substance legislation to and through Parliament and no public commentary was made until the legislation was made public.

“What the OBA raised at more than one meeting with the Finance Minister in the lead up to the tabling of the Act, was: what do the assessment studies say about the effects of these new regulations; what is the plan to capture any potential upside as a jurisdiction leveraging our competitive advantages over other jurisdictions and, what is the plan to prepare Bermudians who may be negatively affected?

“The Minister needs to focus on the getting the regulations done by June 30 and not telegraph his intentions to international competitors and, in that, he can count on the OBA’s support during that process.

“We are more concerned about the larger plan to try and either off-set the effects of this legislation or to make the most of it, and to communicate and prepare Bermudians for change.

“We believe that making the most of Substance requirements will require companies to transfer more jobs to Bermuda, some of which should be filled by Bermudians first and foremost, but many will most likely have to be filled by guest workers.

“The Premier committed to the compliance route in November 2017 and requirements were defined in June last year, so none of this should come as surprise. The Substance Act was passed in the House almost a month ago and still no plan has been forthcoming.

“I do not think that waiting a month before asking the obvious question shows “exuberance”, but rather measured restraint. In private meetings and at industry panels the Minister of Finance seems to agree that immigration and tax incentives will be necessary to seize whatever opportunities may come with EU Substance so why no communication on this front?

“Where is the Premier on all this? Bermuda needs to be able to focus on more than Fintech. The Premier has said that he will succeed where the OBA couldn’t on passing the much needed immigration reform, so when is this going to happen? With many internal and external crises that could be tackled in part by an increased population, why is this not a priority?”

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Comments (16)

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  1. Retro says:

    Burt, this is your moment ! Be your own man and put Bermuda before politics. Immigration reform will have you remembered for all the right reasons.

  2. wondering says:

    “My” should be replaced with “My Cabinet colleagues…..” we still speak in the colonial slavemaster tongue of ownership

  3. eyes wide open says:

    Burtcoin is out to lunch!

    • wahoo says:

      He laughing with his mouth full that he pawned off the ministry of disaster to the new guy.

  4. 2 Bermudas says:

    I would imagine the Finance Minister is probably busy trying to figure out the 2019 – 2020 budget. We are right against the debt ceiling and running over a $100m annual deficit. Tough work!!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Naah , piece of cake. They’ll just come after our money in the bank . Like Greece did . Of course it’ll be very , very selectively tailored legislation.

  5. Not exactly says:

    Thank you Craig for again stating the obvious. The PLP seemingly has no plan whatsoever. They are quick to attack the messenger, but unwillingly to ever accept any blame for their many obvious shortcomings as a Government. Where is the political leadership? Where is the Premier in all this?

    • DeOnion says:

      There is no leadership.

      Cannonier CANNOT be trusted. He has NEVER come forth with HONEST information on the JETGATE SCANDAL!!
      He will not get votes….no matter what good he is attempting to do now!!
      Rather sad and pathetic!!

      • Come Correct says:

        What about Ewart’s jetgate? You ignore facts on one side so you’re completely irrelevant.

  6. Rocky5 says:

    Everyone knows, standard PLP response to ANY criticism is to IGNORE message & ATTACK the messenger because this is what their large Conservative Right Wing base wants

    • DeOnion says:

      Yes – tactics that are now old and see through

  7. Johnny B says:

    They don’t care about Bermuda at all…only themselves and blocking equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

  8. PANGAEA says:

    They can always increase the suger tax it is only the thin end of the wedge like land tax started out to be.

    W & E there is a very large sink hole near Toms tavern

  9. Loco Yoko says:

    This coming from the guy who gave us both Crockwell and Pettingill, and we all now know how they spent their time as Government ministers… My personal view is that Jetgate was the tip of the iceberg with those three.

    Don’t even get me started on Bob Richards, a shallow, vainglorious little man who did not even know nor care what and why existing tax codes were set as they were before deciding to cause struggling retailers more serious pain – his words (I was in the room) ‘what do you care, you’ll all be up 30% with the America’s Cup.’ Shallow and ignorant beyond belief, which is indeed why the airport was not the only prize national asset he gave away. Hint, take a really close look at the cruise industry, WEDCO and who is now getting the benefit. I will remark, it would probably have been better if he was corrupt – (he is not dishonest) – Bermuda and Bermudians would have gotten a better deal.

    As for the Milkman, of course it has always been all about Michael. Which is exactly why he fed Cannonier to the wolves first time around. Jetgate could have been handled very simply at the time – do an Ewart and ignore it.

    • Titty Milk Drinkers says:

      You need to lay off the titty milk. It’s cause you to imagine things that aren’t there and ignore cold hards facts.