Kempe: ‘I See No Vision To Stimulate Economy’

January 30, 2020

“The pre-Budget report has two glaring omissions – immigration reform and cutting Government expenditure,” Shadow Finance Minister Nick Kempe said today.

Senator Kempe said, “There are still plans to raise taxes and introduce more taxes, as well as increase fees and charges making life even more expensive for Bermudians which is not sustainable, and which will force more to leave.

“The dividend tax unfairly discriminates against small Bermudian-run businesses and Government should reverse this tax instead of fiddling with it.

“Why not enforce the notional wage for business owners and directly target those who abuse the system to not pay their taxes? The OBA was acutely aware of the need to penalise those who did not pay tax. This Government needs to be just as forceful.

“Why not fix the sugar tax which taxes the price of food that contains any sugar? Tax the sugar levels of food and fund nutrition education.

“What happened to paying local restaurants to add nutritional Information to their menus? What happened to the promise to fund vertical farming?

“The first phase of the sugar tax was implemented in 2018 and only this week Government announces plans to use the money for an education initiative.

“Clearly this tax is and has been nothing more than a Government money grab. It was poorly conceived and has had the effect of increasing the cost of living for Bermudians without driving better food decisions.

“With anaemic GDP growth in 2018 and 2019, what is Government’s plan to stimulate the private sector?

“The two PLP tax examples mentioned earlier show that Government is more focused on nickel and diming Bermudians in order to maintain excessive levels of public spending instead of fixing the structural issues that plague our national economy.

“There is nothing meaningful on the horizon. No stimulus projects. No political desire to rein in public spending or to create an environment where the private sector can flourish and create jobs.

“I see no plan to address immigration, despite widespread agreement that Bermuda has to increase its workforce, and I see no plan to cut Government spending which would decrease the need to raise taxes. I see no vision to stimulate the economy.

“This Government is squandering the political capital their House majority affords them. Where is the bold leadership to make the tough decisions needed to help Bermuda and Bermudians? All I see is tinkering around the edges.”

The Government’s 2020/2021 Pre-budget Report follows below [PDF here]:

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (45)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Cow Polly says:

    So true – we need more people here to spend more money and we need to get to grips with Govt expenditure.
    What is not mentioned here is that GDP last year was buoyed by increases in Government salaries and wages – that is not a sustainable model.

  2. sandgrownan says:

    There is no plan, no vision. Just 20 years of failure and incompetence. The PLP own this mess, it’s their legacy.

    • TO sandgrown::
      OBA created the garbage. Their ignorant perceptIon of America Cup Bermuda was nonsense. Who profited??

      • Open Mind 1609 says:

        Americas Cup gave so many Bermudians huge opportunities to sell their products and services to the teams and sponsors families and guests. I will only speak for myself, but over the four year ramp up, we saw our top line revenues grown significantly and it was solely the AC effect that caused it. It required us to hire more Bermudians to deal with the additional sales. All those jobs have now evaporated. This average Bermudian did very well thank you.

      • toadinthehole says:

        LOL, a revisionists view … remember, the PLP has been in power for 17 of the last 21 years …

      • sandgrownan says:

        Go read the PWC report. The same PWC that, pepper spray victim turned professional PLP grifter, Jason Hayward was shamelessly quoting earlier today.

        20 years of economic failure and mismanagement. The PLP’s legacy.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Maybe had you actually been here instead of in Australia watching tennis and in the UK having tea with raised pinkies with your friends you would have seen who profited !
        Aren’t you way overdue to fall on your petard again ? lol

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          “Aren’t you way overdue to fall on your petard again ?”

          One “falls on his own sword” or one is “hoist by his own petard” (according to Shakespear). Which do you mean?

          • Toodle-oo says:

            You must not be familiar with her rantings to know that that used to be a totally out of place phrase she used to inject into nearly all of her posts.

          • question says:

            It was one of her often-used rantings where she got things wrong.
            Along ‘towing the line’, etc.
            She would often use ‘falling on your sword’ in completely the wrong context. All while sprinkled with spelling mistakes and syntax errors. Quite amusing, really.

            • Toodle-oo says:

              Using Betty quotes (without them being recognized by others) is a surefire way to ruin one’s online image. It’s like playing with fire .. lol

              • scooby says:

                You could fall on your petard (it would probably be more gruesome than falling on your sword)

      • Kim Smith says:

        Those who profited were most likely to be those who made some effort to participate and to take advantage of the opportunity. The perspective is very different from the sidelines, than from the field.

  3. toadinthehole says:

    #wherestheplan #burtonomics

  4. Mrs. Brady says:

    More people here is the answer. The only 2 ways to achieve this is either let more people come to live here, or let people already here become Bermudian. PLP will do neither of these and Bermuda will therefore sink further. They have proven time and time again that they are too incompetent to govern – yet the sheep vote them in. Very sad that the jewel of the Atlantic is steps away from becoming a 3rd world.

    • Mb says:

      It’s also changing the negative anti foreigner moaning and narrative that needs to happen.
      We have a perfect model to south
      Just copy Cayman and Bermuda could grow its economy
      They are doing something right, tons of housing and affordable modern apartment complexes, business centers, hotel dev booming, cruises booming, tech booming, unemployment falling, what are they doing that we are not??? That’s our answer.

  5. watching says:

    I keep hearing this more people argument, but I am interested in what this looks like. Making more people Bermudian wont increase the work force as most of these people are already here. And dropping more foreigners into Bermuda without jobs wont do anything either. So what exactly does “more people” look like.
    Yes we need more people to pay into the economy, but more people without jobs seems somewhat senseless.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Yes we need more people to pay into the economy, but more people without jobs seems somewhat senseless.”

      Yes, and there is the rub.

      The present government is increasing the cost of doing business in Bermuda. That means it is harder for upstarts to make it. A new business has to compete with an existing business. My business has a data server that is paid for, furniture that is paid for, and other assets needed for operation that were paid for many years ago. The new business will have to get all of those things now, whilst also paying all those new taxes, including income tax.

      Making Bermuda more business friendly would encourage more new businesses. More new businesses mean more jobs. More jobs mean more people paying tax.

      Of course, I am espousing traditional (western) economic theory, not the socialist (tax and spend) economic theory advocated by the PLP Government.

    • toadinthehole says:

      the theory is that making people ‘Bermudian’ will mean they have more reason to invest here knowing that they will not have to suddenly leave the island.
      Also – it is more a case of making sure that immigration is welcoming to people, making it easier to come here. If businesses hear about that, the idea is that they are more likely to set up here because they know they can get the staff they need.
      While that staff may not be Bermudian, there is a multiplier effect. I forget exactly what it is, but more expats create more work for locals.

    • G says:

      foreigners make money and send back home, they dont spend here like bermudians but this is nevertalked about, and most live together in, get either free room or pay next to nothing where they staying plus get free food

      • toadinthehole says:

        @G – some yes, but by no means all. a lot rent a house for $10k a month, buy cars, buy clothes, shop at supermarkets, rent office space … etc etc, it is this type of thinking that stops Bermuda progressing and is so myopic

      • sandgrownan says:

        What complete and utter bull****

      • trufth says:

        Yea, just yesterday I came upon 6 CEOs and their families living together in a 1 room cottage. All those fancy cars in the driveway. They were all on their way to the post office to “send their money home” – that is, after they dropped their kids off at private school then went shopping at Lindos first.”

        I think you need to read up on the demographics of Bermy Expats a lil’ bit. You sound rather uneducated on a few of our realities.

  6. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Where is the bold leadership to make the tough decisions needed to help Bermuda and Bermudians?”

    I nominate you, Nick. The time for my generation is over. We need new blood and a fresh way of thinking if Bermuda is to heal and recover.

    • watching says:

      For Nick to take over, Mike and Craig would have to step aside and neither is willing to do so.

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    “Bermuda cannot afford a PLP Government.” Sir John ‘Jack’ Sharpe, former Premier & Finance Minister.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      And his 40+ year old vision has proven to be 100% correct.
      I was in line at the checkout this morning and the customer in front of me and the cashier were full on ballistic about the out of control cost of living increases. They were at their wits end and very frightened for their futures. Wonder who they’ll vote for next time ?

    • mixitup says:

      Is that your hero? Mine is Dr. E.F Gordon. Note: He was not handed the title of DR. either.

  8. Unbelievable says:

    It’s a relief to not see the PLP in constant upheaval and drama (see: Ewart Brown and Marc Bean leaderships) but where is David Burt? Is anyone awake at the wheel? This place is sinking and I can’t see the captain ANYWHERE.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Well, I think it’s been demonstrated that the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.

      • Unbelievable says:

        I mean….people are genuinely worried about their commitments and jobs and companies and real estate and everything else. The cost of living has JUMPED through the roof and I see no where, as a small business owner, any stimulation of the economy. The last stimulation was the America’s Cup – yes that’s right. I bought a van because of it and now……I see nothing but tumbleweeds and no Govt official (ie the Premier or Finance minister) to show us they are turning things around. I haven’t seen such a malaise in this country like the one that’s got a hold of us. It feels like at any moment the bottom of the cliff will come into view.

        This Govt needs to tidy things up. Close down the gaming commission (sorry but it’s not going happen. If it was it would have by now. It’s a loss leader). Fin tech/bit coin/crypto is not the bonanza it’s always touted as – maybe for one or two but it aint happening. It would have already.

        I don’t smoke dope but where is marijuana legalisation? What you afraid of? Regulate it like alcohol and call it a day. It’s not like you will lose the church vote. There’s no opposition to lose to so just go ahead and do it. Where’s immigration? Get people in this place and working. BDAns are not filling the jobs needed and so something needs to be done there and stat!

        I’m sorry but 2.5 years (that’s halfway) into this PLP Govt and the report card is seriously lacking. Nothing is getting down with these lot. We are back to square one when they lost the 2012 election. OBA, you better wake up and get some critical ideas and bright candidates going. Far as I can see, maybe not this election, but the following one could be yours to take.

  9. Sayonara says:

    Because “Guest Workers” do not fully participate in the economy, as they are not vested. Instead, they save/send their money elsewhere then leave. Ipso facto no maximisation of circular flow of income. This is the tragedy of the current Bermuda model. By way of contrast Cayman benefits from a considerable number of ex-Bermudian expats who are helping that current boom by buying property, decent cars at al because they know they have security of tenure.

    • Unbelievable says:

      This is not entirely true. More people, more money circulating. Shops and stores, bike purchases, taxi rides, spa days, etc etc etc etc. But also really, it’s increasing the tax base for Govt revenues. Im sorry….but Bermuda CANNOT do well economically if population numbers are low or declining. There needs to be a balance yes ok but we really need these people here. Govt is DRAGGING it’s feet cuz it needs to satisfy their base. Which to me is silly because it’s not like their base is going to vote OBA. The PLP needs to hurry the heck up.

      • Sayonara says:

        Actually I was agreeing with you. We need to (1) give (at least some of) the expats that are here security of tenure via immigration reform (PRC) and (2) get more of them to grow the economy. That is what Cayman has been doing so well… and it’s basically a mosquito infested sandbar, which we are not. Bermuda should win that argument hands down.

  10. Common Sense says:

    Why hasn’t term limits been reinstated. It was a good idea??

    • Unbelievable says:

      Term limits already has been shown to be dumb idea.

  11. Mb says:

    It really is time for the PLP face the music!
    Supporters are no longer defending them on
    Facebook except for the two who alway do
    and not even they can make a decent
    argument for the mess we are in.
    It’s bad people…bad.
    no economic growth in sight
    or since the genius America’s cup boom and
    there are still those people who dismiss it
    as a boat race for rich. SMH.
    Ask yourself, are you better off today than
    last year or 5 years
    Can anyone say yes?
    It is my sincere hope to see real vision
    and action to stimulate the economy very soon.

  12. mansplainify says:

    It is a social club economy…you know how they run out of alcohol…but cannot buy more for lack of budget constraints…and yet the managers do quite well .
    Bhb …same thing…admin has plenty but emergency is overworked and understaffed.

  13. So, Kempe,
    If your vision is so much better, what caused your brilliant vision to fall TOTALLY flat. Is that why oba lost???
    Your party’s democratic(?) approach was unsavoury. No Bermudian involvement, just dish out, dish out.
    Was that nonsense??
    Was that a part of your party’s vision of 2000 jobs?
    Oh…… pain!!!
    Your thoughts, Kempe, on a new form of brainwashing the intelligent electorate??
    What will oba come up with this time????????

    • sandgrownan says:

      The PLP ran an effective populist campaign with the usual dog-whistle themes around racism, two Bermudas, us and them, loss of birth right…same old bollocks. And the electorate fell for it, and the OBA were politically inept.

      It doesn’t however, erase the demonstrable fact that the PLP’s 20 year management of the economy has been nothing short of disastrous. This is their legacy, their fault, they own it.

      In the short OBA reign, there was some leveling of the balance sheet, some projects to provide a shot in the arm and longer term strategic direction. It angered the PLP, that they who lack the capability, intelligence and drive to make things happen. And here we are, two and half years in, and Bermuda has resumed it’s downward spiral. Burt and Dickinson are MIA, deer in the headlights and are failing. Failing you. Failing me, Failing everyone.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      The reason for the OBA’s loss is summarized in a famous quote by Churchill that has something to do with a 5 minute chat with the average voter .
      You ought to know it well from your friends in the UK that you like to brag about having tea with all the time when you’re over there.

    • saud says:

      Hey ‘ward…you’re one sour….

  14. Checked My Privilege says:

    Actually, it was a classic Bermuda election decided by high turnout, which always favors the PLP. The most interesting thing statistically is that for the very first time, the PLP cracked a significant portion of the white vote – probably close to 5%. This is the only way to explain the margins in some of the constituencies, especially Bob Richard’s one. In other words, the OBA and especially Richards pissed enough of their core voters off that they voted PLP.

    Burt and co strike me as squandering a once a generation to shift politics away from the parochial and sectarian, which is very sad indeed. Nobody said it was going to be easy, and maybe he’s not the guy. Personally, I’d keep an eye on Zane. He already runs the internal apparatus quite effectively and he’s nobody’s fool regardless of what you think of him.

    • Voter says:

      It’s nothing wrong with Premier Burt, but the obaUBPi is seen as a shift shaping racist party to the black population and now you placed Jet Gate Craig of all people as the leader, He’s not the smartest or sharpest tool in the box. Instead of looking at the plp you should focus on why the obaUBP is so far lost that they had to use Craig again.