Finance Minister responds to article
The Ministry of Finance have responded to claims made by economist and Bermuda College lecturer Craig Simmons who last week said the wealth inequality in Bermuda was the worst it had been in a century.
In a statement to the media, a spokeswoman said “The Ministry questions why anyone should accept that assertion without supporting data”, adding that “there is simply no data that supports such a statement for Bermuda”.
In the article Mr Simmons pointed out that those who earn more than $750,000 a year were not subjected to payroll tax, while those who earn less are, asking: “How is that fair?”
He then proposed a more equitable flat tax that would allow for individuals earning less than $50,000 to be exempt from paying tax, while anyone earning more would pay the same rate, whether they earned $51,000 or $5 million. Responding to the suggestion, Finance Minister Bob Richards said that the previous administration had tried such measures with “disastrous” consequences “resulting in an exodus of the very same people the then government was targeting for increased taxes”.
“Not only did they not get the intended yield from this tax hike, many Bermudian jobs were lost as international companies left Bermuda,” said Mr Richards. “The tax hike was subsequently rolled back, although the cap hike remains.” However, the Minister did offer a tip of the cap to the economist, saying: “It’s easy to make complaints but there are no easy effective solutions.”
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