♦ The following statement was issued today by PLP MP Wayne Furbert, Junior Minister of Finance, in response to OBA Senate Leader Nick Kempe
This Government is committed to helping all people, not just the wealthy who can find loopholes in systems to serve their financial needs,” Junior Minister of Finance Wayne Furbert said, adding that “if you are paid more, through salary, bonuses, profit-sharing or partnership fees, it should all be taxed.
He was responding to One Bermuda Alliance Senate Leader, Nick Kempe, the Shadow Minister of Finance who said: “Instead of continuing to drive the Government machine to be more efficient and less tax hungry, the Premier has decided to put the hurt to the middle class to feed Government spending. The new dividend tax legislation was a clumsy solution to a real problem that effectively used a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.”
This Government is committed to helping all people, not just the wealthy who can find loopholes in systems to serve their financial needs. We believe taxes should be paid according to an ability to pay. If you are paid more, through salary, bonuses, profit-sharing or partnership fees, it should all be taxed.
For too long Bermuda has been an island where those who have, continue to amass wealth while many are suffering. There is enough for everyone and the mentality of scarcity doesn’t serve us.
This government will work to make the tax system fair and equitable. We will work to ensure small businesses have an opportunity to thrive. We will work to even the playing field so those who work hard and make contributions to our society reap the benefits of those long hours.
To this end, this government has cut payroll taxes for workers to the lowest levels in 23 years. We eliminated payroll taxes for new entrepreneurs, and we eliminated duty on staple goods.
“The Opposition are in the business of defending tax loopholes for the wealthy, while this Government believes everyone should pay their fair share. The last government managed to double Bermuda’s debt and Bermudians suffered while more than $100 million was spend on the America’s Cup which has provided only a temporary boost to the economy.
This government was elected to transform Bermuda’s economy for the future, and our policies which will put development and investment in Bermudians at the centre of our plans will yield long-term benefits.
We will not be deterred by the need of the Opposition to appear relevant. They had their chance and Bermudians remember what their leadership was like. We are building a stronger economy, one which we can all be proud of by ensuring Bermudians can access higher education, seniors can live in dignity, and entrepreneurs can start and grow their business.
We prefer to listen to the likes of Mr. Brian Dupperault, President and CEO of AIG who said, “…we have ample evidence that the green shoots of change are starting to take hold.”, and BDA Chairman, Mr. Paul Scope who said during a recent conference, “I’ve never been more confident in the four decades that I have been here of where we are in the business sector.”
Together with the comments from local business owners who’ve said they haven’t seen startup activity like they are now seeing in Bermuda in a long time. We are moving forward with speed and deliberation creating a better and fairer Bermuda.