Premier announces new measures to aid retail
Premier Paula Cox today announced measures intended to aid the suffering retail sector.
Payroll tax relief and a rise in duty for residents returning from travel abroad, were among the initiatives revealed at a press conference this morning.
Retailers will not have to pay payroll tax for six months beginning tomorrow.
Meanwhile, in an effort to encourage local spending, travellers allowance for returning residents will be restricted to one person per household until March 31. In addition to that, the duty on goods declared by returning residents will rise from 25 percent to 35 percent.
Mrs Cox said lifting the payroll tax for the retail sector would result in the net revenue shortfall widening by $3 million to $5 million, but would help to support 4,000 Bermudians employed in local stores.
The decision was not easy, but it was necessary in order to help vulnerable business sectors and people in these challenging economic and financial times, she said.
Deficit reduction is a medium- to long-term strategy. Employment that is related to family income is an immediate problem that must be addressed right now.
The Premier also announced that Government would provide a guarantee for the West End Development Corporation so that it could proceed with the low-cost housing project at Ireland Island.
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