The following statement was released on Monday, January 8, 2023, by Opposition Leader Cole Simons – One Bermuda Alliance…

Three months ago, while in the middle of a leadership challenge, Premier David Burt promised Parliament that changes were coming to his deeply unpopular Sugar Tax. And as expected with PLP promises, they are made, but nothing materialized.

When the Sugar Tax was first implemented in 2018, the government applied a 50 percent duty on all sugary soft drinks, candies and plain sugar imports, which increased to 75 percent in 2019, all with the goal of curbing the unwanted consumption of these foods which contribute to obesity.  More than four years later, the tax has not only failed to achieve the anticipated positive lifestyle changes, it has added to the economic burden islanders face on a daily basis.  In fact, millions and millions of dollars have been taken from the pockets of Bermudians by this PLP government and has been absorbed into government coffers instead.

If the objective of the sugar tax was to reduce the high incidence of diabetes and obesity in Bermuda, surely the Goverment should have passed on some of the proceeds to the Bermuda Diabetes Association, the leading provider of diabetes education, research, resources and services. 

If not, the country deserve to know how much money has been raised, where the funds were allocated and what programs received funding. 

The OBA has consistently called for this disastrous sugar tax to be repealed. Bermudians need relief, not endless broken promises from Premier Burt.

If the Premier is serious about reducing the economic burden we all face, he can start by getting rid of the sugar tax.