Shadow Finance Minister On Pre-Budget Report

January 22, 2019

“This PLP Government is again raising taxes on Bermudians without sharing sacrifices by curtailing its own spending and has failed in its platform promise to balance the budget by 2019,” Shadow Minister of Finance Nick Kempe said.

Senator Kempe said, “Increasing taxes when the economy is performing poorly is never a good idea. However, if the sacrifice were shared by Government, the budget could be balanced this year, more could be spent on infrastructure to combat the effects of global warming or more money put towards paying down our debt in order to reduce the burden on younger Bermudians.

“The Pre-Budget Report dedicates no fewer than six pages to ways in which it would like to increase the tax burden by another $150m. Small businesses and everyday Bermudians are already suffering under the tax burden and yet there is zero intention in this Pre-Budget Report to curb total Government spending.

“The Report mentions an Efficiency Committee report completed in September 2018. The OBA would like to know what savings the report highlights. If savings are to be achieved, why is Government spending not going down in 2019/20? Will that report be released in the spirit of transparency to allow Bermudians to review when participating in this pre-budget process?

“The pre-budget report is very light on an economic plan, it states that ‘Government is focused on stimulating the local economy’ – it would be great to know exactly what is being done to justify that statement.

“Time and again the Premier has refused to state the number of Fintech jobs being created despite last year confidently predicting that jobs were just around the corner. Has the money from the various Fintech MOUs been included in expected revenues or was that all smoke and mirrors too?

“On page 23, the Report states an intention to take forward the work of the Bi-Partisan Committee on Immigration Reform, set-up after the previous bi-partisan Immigration Working Group finished its report in October 2017.

“It is starting to feel like a case of death by committee. What are the timelines for completion of this process? Many major economic challenges faced by Bermuda are intricately linked to Immigration so communication and leadership are desperately needed.

“If you are as concerned as we are at the number of tax increases and that there is zero commitment from Government to sharing the sacrifice, please let your concerns be known.”

The Government’s Pre-Budget Report follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (74)

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  1. watching says:

    does Kempe realize that a pre budget report is not a final report and therefore what is written in this does not absolutely mean that the final budget will reflect it?
    I thought this guy was sharper than he is shaping up to be.

    • question says:

      Idiot comment.

      • Same old UBP party tricks says:

        The only idiot is you and the 25 to 11 beating you received. The previous proposal was also suggested to the past failed oba/UBP Goverment.

        They refused it because they thought it would get them voted out. After the beating they received last election it made little difference.

        • question says:

          Did you even read the comment I replied to?
          All you people have is “25-11″. It’s frikkin moronic.

    • Double S says:

      How come you didn’t post under the PLP’s pre-budget article which highlighted the slew of taxes that you and I are going to have to fork out which directly contradicts their promise to contain and reduce the cost of living in this island?

      Do you tacitly agree with all the new taxes then?

    • Truthhertz says:

      The funny, and scary, thing is, is that when the PLP does introduce all these new taxes you will be the first to defend them despite making Bermuda that much more expensive. Who will you blame and attach then?

    • 2 Bermudas says:

      Definitely a Pee El Pee voter. Titty milk…

    • Red rose says:

      Agreed, idiot comment

    • sandgrownan says:

      Er..this is cynical attempt to appear consultative. A month or so out from the budget, it’s already decided.

      It’s still a sh*t proposal, though.

    • Johnny B says:

      Good point, I am now relieved that NON of this will go into the final report. Thanks for clarifying “watching”

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Serving up the green beverage loaded with highly taxed sugar.

      Government departments drew up their budgets months ago, or should have, & deadlines have passed. Right now the budget should be well on its way to the printers.

      Also right now departments are busily spending the last of their 2018-2019 money. Notice how many new government vehicles have appeared on the roads in the past few months. Gotta make sure all the money is spent.

      The “We want to hear from you” effort is a load of bovine scat. Nothing will come of it. Way too late.

  2. Kenneth says:

    Wow!! no comments from the peanut galleries…….God knows that the country could not withstand another OBA administration. Not after what they did during their tenure as govt.

    • Double S says:

      Yeah, I agree. I mean a Government that slashed the PLP’s $400mn deficit by more than half, got numerous hotel projects up and running, legislated the BTA into existence who have successfully overseen the rise of our tourism product again, saw the PLP’s consecutive qualified audits returned back to unqualified status (with the PLP’s first one reverted back to qualified status) as being disastrous for the island.

      Now the glorious and infallible PLP who are now going to tax you to death and make this island just that much more expensive whilst overseeing our economy back into a recession can be considered to be a successful Government.

      Bermuda is truly another world.

    • Come Correct says:

      What you mean start to balance the budget? God forbid we get out of debt lol.

    • A Little Wisdom says:

      And who created the financial mess that the OBA had to address? Wasn’t Paula trying to address that before the OBA came into power? The PLP was the Government that put Bermuda on the rocks then and is determined now to see that it sinks to the bottom. Thanks sheople for putting the PLP back in charge. I hope there are enough life jackets and scuba gear so that we have enough survivors to build another deliverance.

      • Ringmaster says:

        I have to agree with Kenneth. The OBA failed to address the budget deficit by significantly reducing Government costs. Had they taken the painful but necessary steps to get rid of at least a thousand surplus middle management admin staff there would now be less debt and probably a current account surplus (like Barbados) They didn’t and debt increased resulting in increased taxes.

        • Onion says:

          That’s a lie. They dropped the deficit dramatically without layoffs during a recession.

          It’s the PLP’s fault their good work had to happen in the first place and is now being undone.

        • sandgrownan says:

          LOL, can you imagine the uproar..all those on state welfare (the civil service) dribbling and drooling up to Parliament..

        • LocaliCartel says:

          Sorry if I’ve misunderstood, but are you suggesting that Bermuda should model itself after Barbados? (currently in selective default)

          • Ringmaster says:

            @LocaliCartel. No, but Barbados was forced into laying off several thousand civil servants which brought their current account back into surplus. Bermuda cannot continue with the size of the current civil service. Small pain now will be better than large pain which will be sooner rather than later.

  3. Furbert says:

    24-12, Suck it OBA! We won, you lost! PLP for the PEOPLE!

    • Double S says:

      Hahaha. Only a sheep would post a comment like that after the PLP revealed how they are going to tax the last cent in the ‘people’s’ pocket. For what people exactly?


    • question says:

      The usual sophisticated argument.

    • kevin says:

      You didn’t win you lost you lost our future and your childrens future you put it in the hands of clueless adminitrators…if you feel good about who you voted for you need help. You will pay and pay more than you ever expected

      this plp administration are useless and they know it …only way to raise revenue is to tax us …but I don’t have a house on rent and nor do I rent so guess who is going to pay this new tax …not me but so many of the faithful green machine will… glad your happy keep on gloating 24 – 12 cause you will be paying 24- 7 – 365 days a year

    • Rocky5 says:

      How long do PLP Politicians have to keep on promising “Heaven” and delivering “Hell” before Voters catch on and stop getting swept away by useless rhetoric??

      • frank says:

        to be honest mr.and mrs Bermuda can not afford any more taxes
        when you come after seniors rent money something has to stop
        and what is a service tax hell we already pay 17% for a $12 hamburger.
        move some government staff into government owned buildings
        have you seen that lush office that the bta have in the mall
        get rid of some of those government cars
        and some of those high end trucks that the parks dept have

    • Counting Numbers says:

      I thought it was 25-11

    • Rocky5 says:

      People who are forever ready to charge “others” with “greed & mismanagement” never apply that words to the PLP Government are just living a life of complete denial.

    • John Does says:

      So when all the expats and global companies have had enough of the high costs of Bermuda and relocated their staff to another office location whats the PLP solution to pay the people?

      • That Boogieman comment was said in 1998 when de Government changed, and more people came.

        • Double S says:

          And guess what it all came true didn’t it, moron? Hence why your inept Government is looking to tax the last cent out of your pocket as they simply don’t know how to grow or manage an economy.

        • John Does says:

          In 1998 stuff was booming, and Bermuda was the only place at the time where reinsurance was. Reinsurance companies are struggling and are trying to cut costs. Relocation has been happening for quite a few years now, this is just going to make it a hell of a lot faster. Moving back office saves over 50% per head count. Lets see if you are LMAO in 5 years.

        • sandgrownan says:

          It took a while, but the simple fact is that 5000 people left the island. That’s, conservatively, 1500 jobs. Those 5000 needed goods and services. Those 5000 spent money in the economy.

          So wrong, yet again, OJ. Note that as the PLP squeeze the economy then it becomes less and less attractive to be here. I know, factually, of companies that have an unwritten “don’t hire any more in Bermuda” policy, and others that have Cayman “options”.

          Given you have to deal with xenophobic leadership, an uncontrolled immigration department, and a lousy taxi service (lol – can’t even get taxis and buses running), it’s simply not worth it.

          So, well done.

        • Trufth says:

          Oh yea? Tell that to the mass of people that just lost their jobs. 70 or so people believe in this boogieman. And more to come.

        • Come Correct says:

          Yeah, the pot washers you always complain about sending their money back home.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          It’s been explained 100 times why that short blip happened. Now try to explain to us why confidence in Bda has plummeted since the last election. tic toc

      • gustav says:

        Bitcoin will save the island

    • rumsoak says:

      Ignorance is bliss bwaaaaaahaaaaa

    • Truthhertz says:

      So a party that is about to tax you to death and make this island even more expensive is a party for or of the people?

      Which people would that be may I ask, because it can’t be for the average person?

    • Red rose says:

      God help the people – the plp cannot

  4. Rocky5 says:

    Real home truths & hard facts are seldom allowed to contaminate the so-called “beautiful” vision of the PLP. What matters to their true “believers” are “the ringing slogans”, endlessly repeated….

  5. Rocky5 says:

    Like so much that is claimed by the PLP, their so-called compassion for Bermudians has seldom been subjected to any factual test – until now. Their deeds here deeply reveal their low opinion of the people they claim to be championing!

  6. Politricks says:

    If you think the sugar tax and commercial land tax increases enacted last year brought about higher prices, just imagine what will happen if they pass even a 1/3 of the tax proposals ( in addition to the living wage) they unveiled, Bermuda will become literally too expensive for a lot of people.

    • Ain’t Happening says:

      The plp has deluded themselves into believing there is this vast tsunami of potential immigrants who want Bermuda status and all they need do is open the floodgates. With the ever-increasing taxes, social ills etc they will ultimately figure out they’ve guessed wrong.

  7. Imagine if Bob Richards increased taxes like Curtis Dickinson is going to do. Tweed and fools would be walking for months on end. Really people you voted for them now deal with it.

    • Fact says:

      Everyone needs to pay their own way so let’s get on with it!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      If this was not so pitifully sad it would be hilarious. 25/11. You asked for it. Now you have it. AGAIN.

      Better put your marching shoes on again & find that smoothie slurping hunger striker. Only you can throw this inept bunch out.

    • But he told Seniors money dont grow on trees, and you just dont get it, then turn around and pulls $77Million out of his @$$ to host a sailboat race for Billionaires.

      • Come Correct says:

        Which came in under budget (a term the plp doesn’t know) and brought a return of over 300m. You truly are an idiot.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Also been explained to you 100 times but obviously you still don’t understand anything about ‘ROI’
        At least you’re not still referring to 100+ mil so something must have finally sunk in. LMAO

  8. Yo says:

    If the budget is not complete already they are clueless this is a PR stunt to make folks think they have buy in

  9. Red Flags says:

    This is a serious warning sign to all Bermudians about the state of the country’s affairs.

    The chickens have come home to roost. When there is no option but to tax and spend them you can rest assured that the administration has no idea how to stimulate economic growth.

    I think it’s hard for any Bermudian regardless of their political beliefs or otherwise not to be concerned.

    BERMUDA is already very expensive and if Curtis Dickinson gets his way it will become much more expensive.

  10. Daren says:

    Half the plp didn’t even have full time jobs until they we’re elected

  11. Daren says:

    And tweed isn’t bermudian he’s from jersey or some s#!t like thst

  12. Landlord says:

    What do PLP supporters think about island wide rent increasing by 5%? This means your $2500 rent is now $2625.

    I am a landlord and I can 100% guarantee you this will not be affecting my pocket, just my tenants who ironically are PLP supporters.

    • Well if they cant afford to pay rent they can file for Social Assistance.

      • question says:

        So “PLP logic” is to tax people more than they can afford, and then pay them “benefits”, paid for by taxes of course, so they break even.

      • Come Correct says:

        Where do you think the money for social assistance comes from? Whatever job you do, you make it clear you get paid from the neck down.

      • truthhertz says:

        Did you really just say that? Do you really mean that?

    • PBanks says:

      If your tenants have to move out and you can’t find replacements, then that would affect you. Let’s not act like Bermuda as a whole won’t be affected, especially if we’re going to go along partisan lines.

      • Landlord says:

        I’ll assum you support the 5% increase then since you are defending it. As long as you are ok with cost of living going up.

      • question says:

        You might want to Google the Laffer Curve. It applies much more so in Bermuda than elsewhere, because many of Bermuda’s wealthiest people definitely have the option of moving somewhere else.

  13. sandgrownan says:

    Stick a fork in Bermuda, it’s done

  14. Misty says:

    With all the new taxes it will be to expensive for tourists to come let alone for us Bermudians to live a decent life. Tax rents ….rents will go up, tax alcohol again it will be too expensive to go out, and retail will lose out with a 5% tax on top of the price. It will make people think twice about buying locally.

  15. Don't assume my gender says:

    Ur all of your 27 sitting in your moms basement so this does even effect you

    • Double S says:

      You know you’re a sheep when you blindly support a Party at is about to make Bermuda that much more expensive and post the dopiness that yous just did.

      I swear your Party promised to reduce the cost of living in this island and balance the budget by 2019. Two more broken promises for the sheep.

  16. Triangle Drifter says:

    If this was not so pitifully sad it would be hilarious. 25/11. You asked for it. Now you have it. AGAIN.

    Better put your marching shoes on again & find that smoothie slurping hunger striker. Only you can throw this inept bunch out.

  17. Warwick West says:

    WHEN is this government going to get it? There is NO MORE money left to squeeze from Mr., Mrs, Ms, Miss Bermuda!! You keep giving OUR MONEY away to a certain doctor and you continue to maintain a huge overstaffed and overpriced Civil Service and blue collar workers, with consultants on top of consultants and trips to heavens knows where for what ??? benefit to Bermuda; and now you want to tax us for more! CLEAN YOUR OWN HOUSE FIRST and stop using Mr. and Mrs. Bermuda to pay for your overindulgences and ill thought out expenditures.

  18. Bridget M. M says:

    Unfortunately, the PLP Government is trying to turn Bermuda into a socialist country, which would never, ever work. I feel that, with the new EU rules, Bermuda could benefit greatly from ENCOURAGING offshore companies/businesses to set up shop here. This would bring in a much needed revenue and jobs. Why doesn’t the Government talk positively about trying to encourage businesses, instead of destroying businesses. These new potential taxes will be the death knell for Bermuda and Bermudians. Small businesses will not survive. I am stunned that Mr. Dickinson hasn’t spoken to the Payroll (Tax) Dept about unpaid taxes. Doesn’t he realize that numerous businesses cannot even pay their payroll taxes now, so how are they supposed to handle more taxes. ALSO, the Government has wasted so much money. First, they gave a generous wage increase last year to all Civil Servants. then recently they are paying for two extra Ministers, who lost their Ministry, but Premier Burt wanted to keep paying them a huge salary. Not to mention the payments made to Dr. Brown. The Government must cut back on their own out of control spending, before they start implementing onerous taxes. Bermuda is in a perfect situation to attract companies to our shores, yet all we hear is about unwanted “foreigners” taking jobs. Now there is a continuous message on the radio for people to call an Immigration Hotline asking people to report any foreigner who they think is working outside of their Permit requirement. Have we become a Police State?
    This Island was so well run for years; indeed we were the envy of the world. Look at what is happening now – people are suffering and lots are out of work. This could change with sensible ideas and a good plan, but not taxing the people to destroy what is left of our economy.

  19. sandgrownan says:

    Another 20 or redundancies today. That’s another 20 less salaries contributing to the economy….tick tock tick tock

    Come on Curtis, you’re supposed to be the bright one….