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MPs approve law to change some government fees

David Burt, the Premier (File photograph)

Fees for some government services are to be increased after draft regulations were approved in the House of Assembly.

But David Burt, the Premier, pointed out that there had been no increases since 2018 – and that only “a few fees” would increase and some would be reduced.

Mr Burt was speaking as the House discussed the Government Fees Amendment Regulations 2022 on Monday.

He said that fees were reviewed and hiked by five per cent in most cases every two years in the past.

But the present administration dropped that practice after it took office in 2017.

Mr Burt said: “This review was done initially for appropriate cost provision for various services with inflation taken into account

“After a while this turned into a five per cent increase every two years across all fees in government, which of course began to add up – fees became incredibly high.

“An across-the-board update on all government fees was last done in 2018.

“However, as indicated in the 2022-23 Budget statement, the Government has taken the decision to halt this practice to relieve pressure on Bermuda’s families and businesses.”

The Department of Customs will increase charges for Customs clearance for private jets on public holidays and also for supervision of passenger ships with more than 20 people on board.

Anyone who applies for Bermudian status, permission to live in Bermuda and those seeking British naturalisation will also have to pay more.

Building permit fees will also be updated to “streamline” the system, including a $50 penalty charge for building permits that have to be resubmitted.

But some fees will be cut. Permit applications for new senior care homes, food production centres and commercial renewable energy systems will be reduced and the cost of a change of use permit will be slashed from $600 to $305.

Demolition and excavation projects on residential properties will also be reduced.

Click here to see the full list of revised regulations.

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Published March 25, 2022 at 7:40 am (Updated March 25, 2022 at 7:40 am)

MPs approve law to change some government fees

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