Furbert takes aim at notional salary earners
The junior finance minister warned high earners on notional salaries yesterday: “We're coming after you.”
Wayne Furbert also praised the Progressive Labour Party's vision for growth and said the island was “heading for a renaissance”.
He told MPs the figure of $10 million from a tax on notional income was “conservative”.
Mr Furbert said the island would have been “flowing with money, with milk and honey” if the Government had tapped into notionals as a source of revenue earlier.
Notional salaries are a loophole to allow business owner-managers who earn their income in whole or in part through a share of profits to declare “notional salaries” — less than they earn — for tax purposes.
The PLP said it aimed to replace notional salaries with a requirement to declare all income received on a cash basis.
Mr Furbert added the PLP would “do away with notionals, and go up to a cap of $900,000”.
He told the House: “If we had stayed on the same path as Bob Richards and the former OBA government, we would still be going after labour, salaries, payroll tax and duties.
“It's time for those who make more to pay more.”
The Hamilton West MP admitted that other taxes owed to the Government would never be collected and required an amnesty.
Mr Furbert said both the PLP and the One Bermuda Alliance had failed to collect due taxes.
But he added: “Let's put in the proper controls and let's go forward.”
Mr Furbert was confident that Government could save expenditure in areas like training and advertising through the work of an efficiency committee.
Mr Furbert also defended the PLP's postponement of a balanced budget by another year in this year's financial blueprint,
He explained the Government had taken a different approach after “we looked at the numbers and the impact it would have”.
Mr Furbert said that years of relying on payroll tax for government finances had been a “millstone”.
Mr Furbert told the House of Assembly that the PLP's plans were centred on the generation of economic growth.
He said: “If it's not growth, we don't want it.”
Mr Furbert praised the revival of the PLP's pre-Budget report which allowed public consultation.
He claimed the majority of Bermudians had called the latest Budget “extremely good — the response from this community has been extraordinary”.
Mr Furbert also took a swing at what he claimed to be an uninspired Reply to the Budget by Opposition leader Jeanne Atherden.
He added there had been little show of support among the OBA ranks.