Government is planning on spending just under $1.2 billion over the next year, while raking in just under $1.1 billion. It will borrow the difference of about $89 million. About 16 % of its estimated spend will be vaporised by interest payments on Bermuda’s $2.5 billion debt, leaving just over $1 billion for services and capital needs.
Here are the key points
- Economy remains stagnant although there were some modest signs of strengthening due mainly to the America’s Cup
- Unemployment rate remains at 7% – marginal job growth (0.1% or net increase of 40 jobs) last year
- Visitor arrivals and visitor spending up by 7.2% and 20.3% respectively
- Retail sector increases sales by 2.9% and jobs by 0.7%
- Imports increased by 17.6% in the first nine months of 2017 – mainly due to America’s Cup.
- Total value of new construction starts in the first nine months of 2017 increased by 517.8% – due primarily to St Regis and airport projects.
- Actual value of construction put in place declined by 7%
- Growth forecast for 2017 revised downward from 1.5%–2.0% to 0.75%–1.25%.
- Inflation stable at 1.9%
- Balance of Payments surplus strong – surges by $288 million over 2016 – at $672 million
- New international company registrations decreased by 1.1%
- Payroll tax expected to bring in $454 million in 2018/19, 41.7% of total Government revenues.
- Tax reductions for those earning less than $96,000
- Tax relief for new positions created in Bermuda
- End the notional salaries concept
- Tax relief for employers who hire disabled persons
- First year tax holiday for new businesses
- 50% reduction for taxi industry – to be paid by owners
- Expected to bring in $234 million or 21.6% of revenue
- Sugar tax to be implemented
- Tax on certain veggies to be eliminated
- Duty relief for sports clubs with youth programmes
- Duty lowered for textiles
- Duty on tobacco and wine to increase
- Temporary 5% increase on land tax for commercial properties
- Increased fees for cell phones
- Expected spend: $62 million
- Largest item is a $6.3 million loan repayment on Cross Island
- Bermuda Housing Corporation grant is $4.8 million
- Schools and roads maintenance $3 and $3.3 million respectively
- $3 million for new buses
Education and Workforce Development
- Education gets $140 million, an increase of $5.8 million
- Senior schools get a $1.9 million boost
- Bermuda College gets $300k to support students in need
- $225k in new money for Workforce Development training programmes
Economic Development and Tourism
- $38 million budget – up $3 million
- BEDC gets $1 million in new money to expand its capacity to lend money for new businesses
- BTA grant = $26 million, increase of $1 million but conditioned on prioritising marketing
- $190 million budget, up $27.3 million which restores $25 m subsidy for hospital care for children, indigent and seniors
- Another $1.8 million will go toward reopening fourth floor of Sylvia Richardson facility, more community health nurses, vector control, and the child health programme.
- $600k in new money brings the budget up to $27.7 million.
- more legal aid lawyers and three pupillages
- $131 million budget – a $2.1 million reduction by cutting overtime of uniformed services
- $74 million, down by $1 million – to be saved by moving from rented premises to owned
Transport and Regulatory Affairs
- A $62 million budget
- $3 million for new buses
- $500k toward solar rebates for thermal units for seniors on low incomes
- $2.5 million to replace Doppler weather radar system
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