PLP: ‘First Budget Surplus In Seventeen Years’

February 25, 2019

The Government announced the first budget surplus in 17 years, and pledged to give mortgage relief, support scholarships, increase investment in social programs and more, the PLP said.

A PLP spokesperson said, “The Government announced the first Budget Surplus in 17 years, that Bermuda’s National Debt will fall this year for the first time since 2003 and pledged:

  • To give Mortgage relief for families to reduce mortgage rates
  • To support Scholarships to the Bermuda College for all Public School Students with a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • To increase our Investment in Education & Training
  • To increase Investment in social programs to combat gang violence
  • Offer Payroll Tax relief for retailers to protect and spur employment of Bermudians and
  • Offered Payroll tax relief to encourage the hiring of local entertainers

“Meanwhile, the Opposition is criticizing the lowering of the retail taxes that they raised, the lowering of payroll taxes that they raised and the lowering of the debt that they doubled.

“It seems that the OBA will defend the unjust status quo, say anything and attack everything that takes moves us closer to a better, fairer Bermuda.”

The full Budget Speech is below [PDF here]:

click here Bermuda 2019 budget

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Comments (28)

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  1. Ironic says:

    Hahahaha hahahaha. There will not be a budget surplus this financial year despite projections. This budget is not worth the paper it is written on.

    Do you think any PLP MPs would wage their compensation on actually coming in with surplus this year?? Put anything on paper, make a big PR splash, then go back to spending more than allocated and to collecting less than falsely projected.

  2. sandgrownan says:

    “Meanwhile, the Opposition is criticizing the lowering of the retail taxes that they raised, the lowering of payroll taxes that they raised and the lowering of the debt that they doubled.”

    Wow, they are reduced to flat out lying now.

    • DeOnion says:

      yes – a flat out lie!
      This from Nick Kempe’s column:
      “Payroll tax exemptions were provided to international business and only the largest retailers. Where is the relief for small businesses struggling to survive?”
      The real question is why is the PLP supporting big business!?

      • Hmmm says:

        A flat out lie by the PLP. Should not count the money taken from sinking fund, and they should add the amount not being paid into the sinking funds a cost.. The sinking fund is needed for future. Effectively the PLP have increased the hole we are in whilst pretended that they have accomplished something. Snakes, makes me sick that they think Bermudians are so ignorant.

        • Ringmaster says:

          No different to not paying the minimum on a credit card. The debt does not go away, it just gets bigger.

  3. truthertz says:

    The budget is FORECASTED to be balanced by next year and will only be achieved by raising taxes and not contributing to the sinking fund. As someone noted it is a sleight of hand type accounting. On top of that the PLP overspent in the 2018/19 budget by approximately $15mn with their original promise to balance the budget by March of this year. Believe it when I see it in other words.

    And if you do manage to achieve the surplus predicted it will be on the backs of every taxpayer who will have to fork out more for basic necessities due to the increase in FCPT and commercial land tax as well as paying more for insurance via the increase in FST. It will have absolutely nothing to do with good economic stewardship or growth in the economy.

    But I will say one thing it is good to see the PLP has embraced trickle down economics (payroll tax relief for retailers and large foreign exempt companies) within this budget despite their protestations against it whilst in Opposition.

    • sandgrownan says:

      ” As someone noted it is a sleight of hand type accounting.”

      Also known as lying.

  4. 2 Bermudas says:

    All I know is that my cost of living is going up as a result of this budget. Spin that! Hahahaha!!!

  5. inna says:

    Thats all you got Jahmel?

  6. red rose says:

    1. “Meanwhile, the Opposition is criticizing the lowering of the retail taxes that they raised.
    No, they are questioning why retail relief was only given to large retail companies – not small ones – and only if they sell certain products.
    2. the lowering of payroll taxes that they raised.
    OBA has not criticized this – and remember their progressive payroll tax changes?
    3. The PLP would also have doubled it – any government inheriting the massive budget deficits left by the PLP would have had to have borrowed more.
    Other things:
    The only reason there is a surplus is due to suspending payments to the sinking fund; land tax has increased, customs duty has increased, sugar tax has increased and covers more products, foreign currency tax has increased (the latter two will increased the cost of doing business and the cost of living) and the taxpayer is going to subsidise civil servants’ morthgages.
    lastly, when will the PLP get out of election mode?

    • Adklee says:

      Yes, yes and yes. Especially #2. This is the first time I personally have seen anyone bring this up. It was the OBA who had the balls and acumen to bring fairness to the Payroll Tax system.

  7. DeOnion says:

    Jamahl needs to do better for his $150K! There is a forecast for a budget surplus – but let’s not forget they missed spending and revenue targets this year and they revised down GDP growth.
    This is bunch of b/s and I sincerely hope the electorate does not fall for it

  8. dick francis says:

    Payroll tax exemptions were provided to IB and only the largest retailers. Where is the relief for small businesses struggling to survive?
    The PLP has only helped big business not the small guy. Wow, thanks! Thought you were a LABOUR party!

    • Adklee says:

      I think the only reason they did this is to “win some points” with the IB sector whose confidence in the PLP is diminishwd further each day. Also, it kinda softens the blow of raising commercial land tax from 7 to 9.5% as of July 1 this year.

  9. dick francis says:

    and this:
    The facts are that GDP estimates for growth have been revised down by half, revenue for the present fiscal year was lower than budgeted whilst expenses were higher than budgeted. Despite this damning missing of targets, Government felt it appropriate to forgo the rainy day fund contribution of $65m to the sinking fund in order to project false strength and present a “balanced” budget.

  10. dawn DeRerd says:

    The PLP is stuck in permanent opposition mode; where is the economic stimulus?; where are the fintech jobs?; why is GDP growth revised DOWN!

  11. Cow polly says:

    Anyone can create a budget surplus by charging more than what they need. To brag about it when people are struggling to put food on the table and a roof over their head is just wrong. If you don’t need the money then reduce the 25% increase in the fcpt tax as this will increase anything that is brought into the island

  12. Erm what? says:

    How is this a surplus when you are draining the sinking fund to achieve your goal temporarily this year. what about next year?

    • Frank = says:

      If this was a business the money received from the Sinking Fund (and providing the surplus) would be recorded as extra-ordinary revenue and those reading the financials would know this would not repeat itself. This is not a sleight of hand, this is deliberate misleading.

  13. Dread says:

    If ya parents don’t own a property in Bermuda, you are up s..t Creek without a paddle!!!

  14. question says:

    It’s a surplus only because they are failing to contribute the statutory amount to the Sinking Fund. And for the debt falling due during the year, they are actually raiding the Sinking Fund.

    It’s like a family patting itself on the back for having money left over this month, when all along the only reason is they didn’t make the monthly mortgage payment and used credit cards to buy groceries.

  15. Kevin says:

    Lets see how many times over the last 21 years have the plp led the public astray with their words , the plp are known for their press releases and public statements that have been proven that they have misrepresented the truth a couple simple examples the ousting of Jennifer smith, Uighur gate, Bda Cement Silogate, all 5 Construction projects Kingswharfgate,Berkelygate , Port royal gate,Hosptial gate and Police headquarters gate all millions and i mean millions over budget if you believe this budget has a chance of being balanced i bet you believe in the stork and Santa Claus.
    we will pay and pay heavy for 25-11 i did my part i didnt vote for them

  16. Dready says:

    This govt just feathering the nests of friends and family whilst the poor get poorer. I’m going to work in Brussels, heard the pay is good! Ha ha ha!

    • Go says:

      Then go! Flights leave every hour and good riddance! I for one am behind the Government

      • Double S says:

        You’re behind raising the cost of living in BDA? A true sheep in every sense of the word.

  17. Something is Majorly Wrong says:

    Pathetic Lying Party
    Poverty Loving People
    Pathetic Loser Party
    Politicians Lying to the People
    People’s Lying Party

    Any more?

  18. question says:

    “Meanwhile, the Opposition is criticizing the lowering of the retail taxes that they raised, the lowering of payroll taxes that they raised and the lowering of the debt that they doubled.”

    Flat out lying. It’s just ridiculous. Is this what Dickenson is? A another PLP liar?

  19. Daren says:

    In a bermuduan in the states I just bought a brand new house out here. I’m doing better in my life then I ever would back home. I will never go back.