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Chamber supports Government on tax stance, borrowing

The Chamber of Commerce has come out in support of Government's stance on the tax transparency issue and its announcement that it's set to borrow up to $800 million to cover budget deficits for the next three years.

Chamber president Ronnie Viera stated in a news release today: "The Chamber of Commerce fully supports recent action by the Government to defend the Island’s international reputation in the lead up to the recently concluded G8 summit and the announcement yesterday regarding proactive steps to minimise interest costs in its efforts to address Bermuda’s on going deficit funding and national debt."

Mr Viera continued: “In our view, Minister of Finance Bob Richards has tackled two key — but very difficult — issues over the past week, both necessary to maintain the Island’s economy.

“The Minister has begun the process of refuting the impression that Bermuda is a tax haven, and educating the international community with the facts and the true nature of the Bermuda economy, which is essential to maintaining our international business industry and reputation in general;

He has also embarked on a holistic plan to address the national debt — one of our most pressing problems — and to provide local investors with an opportunity to invest in Bermuda."

Mr Viera said while the Chamber remains concerned about the ongoing need to borrow to fund operating account deficits and the level of the national debt, "we do support the Minister’s approach of a more proactive debt financing model and agree with the steps taken to minimise borrowing costs."

He added: "The Chamber’s Economics Advisory Committee produced a study on debt restructuring more than a year ago, which was submitted to the then-Government and again to the current Government. The paper, primarily written by the late Kirby Brackstone, called for a proactive and holistic plan for borrowing and the inclusion of a Bermuda dollar denominated bond issue. We are pleased to see elements of this plan are being adopted.”

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Published June 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm (Updated June 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm)

Chamber supports Government on tax stance, borrowing

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