Senator Kempe: Where Is The Plan To Fix This?

December 6, 2019

“Retail sales volume has now dropped for 16 out of the last 18 months,” Shadow Finance Minister Nick Kempe said, adding that “we need to reduce the burden of Government and corresponding taxation levels required to sustain it.”

Senator Kempe said, “Last week we heard from Minister Zane DeSilva that 200 Bermudians had lost their jobs in the retail sector. Now we hear that retail sales volume has again plunged when compared to August 2018’s already low numbers.

“August 2018 had dropped against August 2017 [which was a post America’s Cup month and therefore no longer carried a stimulus uplift from the successful event]. Even online shopping via post office and courier again fell.

“Retail sales volume has now dropped for 16 out of the last 18 months.

“As I laid out in an opinion piece last month, inflation is low as businesses are struggling to pass on all the new taxes and healthcare costs due to the plummeting spending numbers. It is no wonder that stores are closing, and people are losing jobs.

“Yet again I ask: where is the plan to fix this?

“Fintech jobs have nowhere near replaced jobs lost in other sectors and major construction projects will soon be coming to an end with nothing on the horizon to replace them.

“Meanwhile Government is unable to complete even piecemeal immigration reform, let alone comprehensive reform, and people are leaving the Island – with those that remain suffering from less disposable income for consumption caused by new taxes and tax increases.

“The brunt of tax grab to fund this Government’s spendthrift ways are being borne by the working class and businesses alike. Pay attention as the new Basic Health Plan seeks to shift another large block of Government expense onto those two demographics.

“The solutions we’ve been advocating for haven’t changed.

“We need to reduce the burden of Government and corresponding taxation levels required to sustain it. We cannot continue to shift Government expense onto workers and businesses and raise taxes at the same time.

“All the while, the size of Government increases, and little is put towards the debt. We must reform immigration – not to open the floodgates to foreigners as opponents to reform ridiculously claim but to retain the existing guest workforce and to attract new wealth creators.

“Piecemeal changes in payroll tax for large retail stores is clearly not helping and the Mom and Pop corner stores are suffering and closing. Our Premier is fast resembling Nero as he played his fiddle while watching Rome burn.

“Burtonomics is not working. We need a change. Now.”

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Comments (24)

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  1. wing knot says:

    Cant reply right now , off island. Probably wont respond because we never hear of the trips these ministers take.
    Nassau looking better.

  2. DF says:


  3. Well... says:

    …but the Government has a fix in place. Become a political consultant. You get a more than decent wage and you don’t really need any qualifications.

  4. Joe Bloggs says:

    All very true Senator Kemp.

    Please bear in mind, however, that the “nuts and bolts” planning is done by career civil servants who (for the most part) have never run a business and so do not understand matters the way you do.

    Please also consider that there has never been any suggestion that any economist has considered the impact of what the PLP Government proposes, much less reported on the expected impact.

    The economic impact of these changes (withdrawal of services, addition of new taxes and other charges) does not appear to have been considered at any stage.

  5. Incredulous says:

    Don’t worry Nick they don’t care. Remember we were told that everyone in the Caribbean is doing better that us. Perhaps there is a long term plan that we don’t know about?

  6. wahoo says:

    There is no plan.

  7. Black bwoy from da hood to good says:

    You hit the nail right on the head, they will never understand because none of them run a successful business like you and your family.

  8. Vortex says:

    He’s got a point.

    I mean some of this is the shifting trends to online shopping, and the crazy prices here in certain sectors (electronics notably).

    But its also fair to ask what the plan is? Nobody in their right mind thinks its Fintech, whatever that is.

    Not for the first time, I struggle to see a PLP solution.

  9. somuchless says:

    Nick, there isn’t a fix in sight. The only fix they know how to do is travel and spend.

  10. Easy button says:

    Bring back on the street parking and retail sales will sky-rocket! This is true in many cities where forcing consumers to park far away from target stores makes them weigh the benefit vs time and makes them look at alternatives like shop online! Pay parking is a penalty on top of the inconvenience and do a lot more double parking going on too! Corporation of Hamilton has created this poor retail consumer landscape!

    • sandgrownan says:

      Yeah, that’s it. Parking. Christ, you’re stupid.

    • bluenose says:

      “park far away”, Are you serious? How far is it from City Hall Car Park to the stores? Should we each have our own parking spot outside each store?

  11. Bob & Margaret says:

    I thinks it’s all the extra tourists the BTA keep bringing in.

  12. sandgrownan says:

    There is no plan. None. Never has been. Even in the heady days of the late 90′s and early 00′s there was no idea beyond behaving like kids in the candy store…..this is entirely on the PLP, they own this, this is their fault.

    The economy is circling the drain and Burt and Dickinson are like deer in the headlights. Clueless and inert.

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      “..this is entirely on the PLP, they own this, this is their fault” :-)
      do You truly believe this?

      I fault everyone in this country ;-) ;-)

      • Question says:

        27-11, and this started the minute the PLP took over. They own it.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Well, if you mean it’s their fault for voting for this, then I agree.

      • saud says:

        Do you believe the OBA gave $70 million away to ‘rich sailboat owners’?

  13. Charlly X says:

    So very well written! So where who when what should Bermuda do to Make Money? Shouldn’t it be Team Bermuda ! Not The Reds vs The Greens formula

  14. Triangle Drifter says:

    Hasn’t Burt been babbling something about 2025 when all will be well?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      2025 is when the world economy is predicted to be in recovery following the expected economic downturn in 2021/2022.

  15. Bermewjan says:

    This is the plan. It has always been the plan. Just because we cannot accept the negative implications doesn’t mean it isn’t considered.