More progressive tax system is what we need
Depending on whether or not you are Progressive Labour Party or One Bermuda Alliance, black or white, working class or upper class, employed or unemployed, own or rent a home, the political landscape will run the gamut of being fantastic and inspirational, even aspirational, to being darn right awful and hopeless.
Though many blacks, even those closely aligned with whites, will not openly admit it, they privately complain that Bermuda's political, commercial, economic and, of late, recreational landscape, hugely advantages whites to the near exclusion of blacks, Afro-Saxon or otherwise.
Against such a backdrop, rightly or wrongly, the OBA is seen as the champion of white privilege and the business class, while the PLP is seen as the affiliate of the labour class and the majority of blacks. Perception is reality. To be frank, the OBA is fighting the present recession and budget deficit directly from the Sage Report's one-sided expenditure cutting approach, off the backs of the working class, with scant regard for gathering income from the revenue side, ie the business sector, local or foreign.
As a result, the OBA is freezing wages, increasing unemployment, slashing scholarships, squeezing existing workers to work more for less, in a rising price economy. The private sector has followed their lead, very often via the very same leaders of government as those of private industry. The centuries-old trickle-down monopolistic economy, in the control of the numerically smaller white business class since 1620, continues its domination and general influence in 2015, together with its inequitable distribution of the wealth of this society. The economic system was, and is, currently designed to produce that precise result ad infinitum. Accordingly, unless and until any political party worth anything is prepared to upend or even out that distorting socioeconomic paradigm, then the current abysmal state of affairs for the man in the street is destined to continue and worsen.
The solution, of course, is to reduce or remove the regressive inequitable tariff system and replace it with a more direct progressive and proportional taxation system which includes a reasonable tax on appropriate levels of capital gains, investments, wealth and the like.
Yes, of lucrative companies, both local and international which manage and control billions of dollars through our country annually. While we are at it, let's give central bank “teeth” to the somnolent and relatively docile Bermuda Monetary Authority and wrest control of our monetary policy from the hands of the private financial institutions which dictate our residential and commercial interest rates in particular to the detriment and enslavement of us all.
These economic, financial, public finance rearrangements, will over time beneficially enhance the political, and otherwise, landscape of Bermuda for everyone.
— Phil Perinchief is the former Progressive Labour Party Attorney-General.