Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wait! What Did He Just Say?

First of all I'd like to begin on a positive note. Our government under the direction of Finance Minister Paula Cox has been pursuing Tax Information Exchange Agreements with different jurisdictions across the world and has managed to ensure that Bermuda is not globally considered a tax haven.

Unfortunately (I suppose its a failing of mine) I can't stay on the positive side for long. Our Premier posed quite a lovely picture to us when he spoke on the topic of International buisness. Reiterating Bermuda's status as a "sterling" option for business and stressing the fact that buisness has left us for Ireland and Switzerland not out of need for a stable political climate and not because they are running away from the policies of his government but, rather because of their predictable tax climate.

And yet...

From TBS's announcement that they are moving to Ireland:
"Ireland offers a stable political and economic environment and sophisticated, well-developed corporate, legal and regulatory environment. "

Seems clear as day to me. Is it not the same for you?

I'm not claiming that the only reason that companies are leaving is because of our Government, the financial crisis has exacted a heavy toll upon many international companies and for a while the tax issue with America was a major issue. However once again Bermuda has emerged unscathed, its necessity to the insurance industry apparent and its hard work to get itself off the gray list rewarded but, the fact remains that at times our government's treatment of international business has bordered on antagonistic (at least publicly, what actually goes on we can't know. Especially considering we don't have PATI yet).

IB is the only pillar of our economy now that tourism has been utterly wrecked by the combined actions of our glorious leader and the global recession. A worrying trend has become apparent in the way IB is going and our government seems completely unable to even recognize it, never mind fix it.

I have a lot of respect for someone who can admit they are wrong and then move forward to correct their mistakes but, clearly hoping for anything of that like in this day and age, under this government is

Yup, you guessed it

Wishful Thinking

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