Minister: Govt Released Incorrect Card Info

May 3, 2019

“An inexcusable error,” said Minister of Finance Curtis Dickinson today, adding that he “learned of the Government’s release regarding credit card charges for payments from the media.”

Yesterday the Government had issued a statement saying  that effective May 6, 2019, they will implement a 1.45% service fee for all payments made by debit/credit card at TCD, DPT, Accountant General Cashiers, Registry General, Health, Public Works and Parks, which the Minister now states is incorrect information.

The Minister continued: “Contrary to established protocols, the release was issued without my approval and without that of the Minister responsible for Communications. This is compounded by the fact that the release provides incorrect information to the public.

“In the 2019/20 Budget Statement I referred to the fees incurred by the Government through the payment of taxes with credit cards. Payroll Tax payments are the issue and my intention and the Government’s policy is to recover these fees by way of a recharge fee for this convenience.

“The extension of this policy to other areas where members of the public pay for permits and other government services was not authorised by me or at all.”

The Government added, “Noting the breach of established internal protocols, the adverse impact on the work of the Ministry of Finance and the confusion created for the public, the Minister further indicated that his expectation is that the Conditions of Employment and Code of Conduct for the Public Service would be applied as necessary in such instances.”

We asked Government for precise information on what exactly the fees will be applied for and will update as able.

Update: Government confirmed the new service fee will apply to payroll tax payments only.

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Comments (31)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    I do believe I see someone back peddling

  2. Ringmaster says:

    That’s what happens when you have so many employees, consultants and hangers on all trying to act as the PR machine. Severe penalties should be applied for whoever issued that nonsense. Nothing will happen though as the Civil Service is unaccountable to anyone, but please surprise us Minister Curtis with a name and shame.

  3. Vote no more says:

    Typical back pedalling again.

  4. Hannah says:

    Dear minister,

    Mistakes happen. No one was hurt, no reputations damaged, and no “share price” impact. I get it, you are pissed, but use this as a teachable moment to ensure there are proper controls in place regarding communications. I get it, someone needs to take the blame, but why not collectively take the blame as a ministry/ gov’t. Your reponse is disturbing…just apologise for the mix up…dont use scare tactics by threating to fire an employee…do you really think this will address the root cause?

    • But says:

      But wasn’t it an oversight from the same ministry that caused us to be put on the blacklist? He may have a point and may see a trend with people not being meticulous when it is required, In such positions you can’t keep saying whoops with finances or communications because it comes across as not having a clue what’s going on in his ministry. Remember he from the private sector.

      • Paul says:

        I thought that J.Simmons was the communications guy..those in charge should be held accountable,enough of these oversights, to think we are on the black list because of an oversight !!!!

        • Vote no more says:

          He needs to get advice first ,from the talk show.

    • What? says:

      Hannah i’m Puzzled by your response. There were no threats made. Just a statement acknowledging that someone went outside of already established protocols in addition to providing incorrect information. This is a serious infraction. And yes- reputations were damaged. I know many people who were very angry at the government for this move and now are angry with how this misinformation was able to be put out there. Therefore the person/s responsible for putting out info- incorrect info at that- without authorization should face serious consequences. I don’t hope for someone to lose their job but that’s no small mistake.

      Try doing something like that at a job in the private sector and you better believe the response would be similar or worse. Sure- we all make mistakes but i think far too often we use that as justification for the removal of any consequences for our mistakes. The real world doesn’t or shouldn’t operate that way; there ARE consequences to our actions and the best thing is to take responsibility for them as this person or these persons responsible should do. If that means disciplinary steps are taken, so be it.

    • Clem says:

      I agree, just say sorry folks and move on. We do not need to throw anyone off the bus. I think so many things in Bermuda get an over reaction. Let us keep a sense of proportionality and save our protest for the really important things in life.

      • LaV says:

        “Let us keep a sense of proportionality and save our protest for the really important things in life”

        …like Same sex marriage?

        • pussy cat says:

          yep this will undoubtably be another cost we the taxpayer will have to pay. this aint over yet

  5. Question says:

    What a bunch of amateurs, And he tries to blame an employee.
    This is the incompetence that got us on the blacklist.

  6. Um Um Like says:

    Hire some consultants to figure out what happened.

    • inna says:

      Might find out 17 years from now.

      And thats a biiiig might!

  7. Really says:

    Inexcusable. Someone needs to be terminated for the failure of established protocols.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      I agree and I suggest the whole civil service

    • wahoo says:

      You don’t get fired for crashing a ferry full of people when you are hot, you do not get fired for putting us on the EU blacklist what makes you think this is worthy of getting fired? This government considers mediocrity a form of over-achievement and the masses are blissful to hear press conferences occasionally which give the impression things are all good.

  8. Mark says:

    Blacklist and now card-gate. The clown car keeps rolling along.

  9. Shaquan says:

    Im waiting for you to say sorry. Useless Governement

  10. Truth is killin’ me... says:

    And yet again!! The incompetence is ASTOUNDING!!!

  11. Triangle Drifter says:

    Where are the protesters & the smoothie lady? Had this been a OBA blunder the HOA would be surrounded by now. Tents up & access blocked. Guess nothing better is expected of the PLP so all OK.

    • Paul says:

      The P.L.P. are all about friends and family,and the smoothie lady.

  12. clear as mud says:

    I think the Ministers got it wrong and government should be charging to help pay the banks fees. People often compare the governments actions to the private sector under the presumption that the private sector performs better so if they are doing it to cover their cost why shouldn’t the government do likewise.

  13. Jus' Wonderin' says:


  14. was it really an error says:

    In the budget speech, this additional cost to taxpayers paying by credit card was mentioned with an effective date of April 2019.

  15. LaV says:

    25 – 11 right OJ? OJ? hello?

    • Mark says:

      Yep = that’s OJ’s formula for abject stupidity.

      See what they get for putting an original UBP’er in the fold as Minister of Communication. Time for a purge.

  16. Me says:

    Eh eh embarrasst

  17. Question says:

    What about the new tax of $210 per month per person on privately held health insurance? That’s a new tax of over $5,000 per year per person. For a family of 4 over $20,000 per year. Was this all designed to take our attention off of this latest ripoff?

  18. Y-gurl says:

    The cookie jar is empty yet again, they have to sneak in taxes wherever they can

  19. Joe Bloggs says:

    I have belatedly come to the realisation that Bermuda dollars belong to the Bermuda Government. That means that all the money I used to think was mine because I worked hard for it is actually the Government’s money.

    Now I can rest more easily and stop worrying about my impending retirement.