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House: Burt addresses EU concerns

David Burt, the Premier (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Progressive Labour Party will table legislation designed to tackle European Union concerns over low-tax jurisdictions during this parliamentary session.

David Burt updated the House of Assembly Friday on EU efforts to censure low-tax jurisdictions that conducted business with people and firms who did not have a physical presence or carry out business in them.

The Premier said a draft Bill with regulations had been “discussed extensively with the EU”, including last month in Brussels.

Mr Burt said the meeting showed that “European politicians are attempting to address the perceptions of their constituents and vocal interest groups”.

He added: “EU ministers have indicated that Bermuda has taken the right approach to engage and build substantial relationships with EU member states directly. Many recognise our leadership in tax transparency.”

Mr Burt warned that the island would have to contend with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s forum on harmful tax practices, which will replace the EU regime as a global standard.

The Premier will be in Brussels next week to continue efforts, including meeting Johan van Overteld, the Belgian minister in charge of combating tax fraud.

Mr Burt said: “Leadership has been demanded of us, and we are providing the leadership required. Our commitment to Bermuda and to the people we represent is to deal effectively with the challenges presented by these changes in global business practice.”

To read David Burt’s statement in full, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”