Government’s Progress

In recent years, your Government has worked tirelessly to deliver on our mandate to the people of Bermuda. We have introduced innovative and relevant policies that help to ensure a better life for the people of Bermuda.

The Government remains committed to ensuring that the people of Bermuda are cared for, provided for and have access to fair and equitable opportunities to thrive.

Over the last five years, we have delivered a number of programmes, initiatives and policies in healthcare, education, youth, seniors, child care, energy reform, environmental protection and sustainability, COVID relief, economic stimulus and economic recovery.

We look forward to continuing to serve Bermuda and working even harder for Bermudian families, residents and businesses.

Here’s a look at some of our progress to date:

Addressing the Cost of Living

  • Provided a payroll tax rebate for 75% of Bermuda’s workers who make less than $96,000 and will provide school support to parents of public school students putting up to $800 into the pockets of hardworking families.
  • Purchase of LED light bulbs for homes to help Bermudian families reduce their electricity bills.
  • Froze vehicle fuel prices before they rose to record levels globally, saving families $23 each time they fill their cars and taxi drivers $35 per tank.
  • Reduced Payroll tax to the lowest level in history for workers making less than $96,000 per year. Over the last 5 years, persons making $48,000 a year have saved $4,920 in payroll tax.
  • Pension increases for Bermuda’s seniors in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 at, or above the rate of inflation.
  • No across-the-board increases in Government fees since 2018 and a 10% reduction in private car relicensing in 2022.
  • Eliminated import duty on eggs, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, turnips, oranges and apples and reduced the duty rate on clothing, household linens and shoes.
  • Provided duty relief to sporting clubs and youth programmes.
  • Provided 41 additional affordable housing units through the Bermuda Housing Corporation with more on the way.
  • Granted all new businesses a one-year tax holiday and eliminated payroll taxes for disabled employees.
  • Granted additional powers to the Cost of Living Commission to investigate pricing and required retailers to provide pricing information on staple items publicly.
  • Changed the law to cap banking fees and end unjust banking practices that add to the cost of living for Bermudians.

Taking Care of Our Seniors & Our Health

  • Amended the Residential Care Homes and Nursing Homes Act to provide for better standards in our care homes.
  • Enacted a Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for seniors.
  • Expanded the home health and seniors care benefit under FutureCare & HIP to provide additional income to families while reducing costs to our healthcare system.
  • Increased FutureCare prescription drug benefit from $2,000 to $3,000 a year and introduced a prescription drug benefit under HIP for the first time.
  • Created a new maternity care benefit for uninsured women to ensure good maternal health for all of Bermuda’s mothers.
  • Introduced a National Drug Formulary to set maximum prices for common medications and to reduce costs to consumers.
  • Established the Ageing Well Committee to drive forward policies and laws that will ensure that the issues of our seniors are always front and centre.
  • Introduced interest-free home improvement loans of up to $15,000 for families who need help modifying their home or that of their senior loved one.
  • Introduced local radiation therapy coverage for HIP and FutureCare.
  • Installed fitness equipment in public parks throughout Bermuda to promote healthy lifestyles and make equipment accessible.

Supporting Bermuda’s Economy & Workers

  • Provided teachers, government and hospital workers with their first pay rise since 2011.
  • Created the Tax Reform Commission charged with making our tax system fairer and enhancing our international competitiveness to increase the number of jobs available on island.
  • Established the Economic Development Department to advance the growth and diversification of Bermuda’s economy.
  • Doubled the guarantee capacity of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) and increased funding to allow more local businesses to receive support.
  • Created the Summer Entrepreneurship Programme through the BEDC to cultivate and encourage entrepreneurship amongst young Bermudians and develop the next generation of business owners.
  • Created Wage Commission to research and recommend a minimum & living wage for Bermuda.
  • Implemented the Youth Employment Strategy to facilitate greater opportunities and educational pathways for all young Bermudians between 18 to 26 years old and prepare them for the present and future world of work.
  • Launched the Short-Term Stimulus Program in the wake of the economic downturn sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic providing jobs for small and medium-sized businesses and more jobs for Bermudian workers.
  • Created an Economic Recovery Plan which provides a clear path to growth, employment and greater economic equity.
  • Established the “Work from Bermuda” programme and the Economic Investment Certificate and Residential Policy, generating $349.6 million of investment into our economy.
  • Introduced work permit moratoriums on 52 job categories, the largest in history, to ensure we provided more job opportunities for Bermudians.
  • Established the Office of Fintech to support and promote the growth of the digital assets industry in Bermuda. We are now recognised as a global leader in this industry, with 15 fully licensed digital asset companies, seven innovative insurers, and dozens of jobs created, with more on the way.
  • Awarded over $1,000,000 in capital development grants to 23 local community clubs to assist with critical upgrades to their facilities and to support jobs for local contractors and small businesses.
  • Passed new labour legislation that strengthened trade unions while increasing employee protections against bullying and sexual harassment.
  • Enacted comprehensive immigration reform, simplifying the process for children born to Bermudian parents to attain Bermudian status, fixed the mixed-family status problem, and enabled long-term residents to acquire Permanent Resident Certificates.

Improving Education

  • Introduced College Promise Programme and increased funding for Financial Aid to ensure no student is denied access to Bermuda College due to finances and increased scholarship funding for students attending overseas institutions. Enrollment at Bermuda College is up by 41%, and funding for overseas schooling has increased by almost 50%.
  • To provide more opportunities for Bermudian accountants, the Government amended the Chartered Professional Accountants Act to allow Bermudian students with an enrollment in the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) designation to be fully recognised as Registered Accountants in Bermuda. Through the ACCA program at Bermuda College, Students can get a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting without leaving the island.
  • Installed high-speed fibre optic internet and WiFi in all primary and middle schools.
  • Supplied all public primary school students with Chromebooks.
  • Introduced new math programmes in our primary schools resulting in significantly improved math outcomes in all primary schools.
  • Advanced education reform by redesigning the public school system, phasing out middle schools and creating Signature Schools. The first two will launch in September 2022, focusing on Health & Social Care and Financial & Insurance Services (The Berkeley Institute); and STEM and Trades and Professions (Cedarbridge Academy). A third Signature School and the first Parish Primary Schools will launch in September 2023.

Protecting your rights, protecting families & keeping Bermuda Safe

  • Established a Commission of Inquiry into Historic Land Losses to investigate cases of injustice in property matters.
  • Created a Gang Violence Reduction team to focus on implementing programmes that reduced gang violence and antisocial behaviour by tackling the root causes of violent crime.
  • Changed laws to make luring and grooming while in a position of trust in relation to children under the age of 18 a criminal offence and strengthened laws to prevent child sexual abuse.
  • Enacted legislation to criminalise revenge porn.
  • Decriminalised possession of up to 7 grams of cannabis and passed legislation to expunge the criminal records of those found guilty of non-violent cannabis possession.
  • Passed legislation to create a regulated cannabis licensing regime in Bermuda to increase tax revenue while increasing protections against abuse by young persons.
  • Created new policies that require those who make bail in high profile cases and all sex offenders whilst on community supervision to wear an Electronic Monitoring Device.
  • Re-instituted the Pupilage Programme for aspiring Bermudian barristers to train under the supervision of a designated barrister to enable them to take their rightful place in the legal community.
  • First Government to provide public notification when sex offenders are being released after their prison sentence.
  • Re-instituted policy where work permits will be blocked for those companies that are seriously delinquent in the payment of employees’ health insurance coverage.
  • Created the Bermuda Coast Guard to provide new opportunities for young Bermudians to serve their country.
  • Reformed Legal Aid to reduce costs and increase the availability of legal assistance.
  • Introduced the Domestic Partnership Act to extend the rights of same-sex partners.
  • Amended the Employment Act to extend the allowance for paid maternity leave from 8 to 13 weeks and introduced paid paternity leave for the first time.
  • Created the Child Care Standards, which educate providers and parents on what is safe and expected in childcare settings to protect children in daycare.
  • Eliminated mandatory conscription for males into the Bermuda Regiment.
  • Launched the Land Title Registry to provide an affordable option for Bermudians to secure their deeds.
  • Implemented Roadside Sobriety testing to reduce drunk driving on Bermuda’s roads.

Enhancing Transport

  • Reduced red tape and simplified the system to allow entrepreneurs looking to acquire a truck permit to start new businesses.
  • Modernised our ageing bus fleet by introducing 30 new electric buses, reducing bus cancellations.
  • Introduced cruise homeporting which provided vital tourism activity in 2021 when cruises were not able to sail from the United States.

Supporting Our Community and Honouring Our Culture

  • Allocated $4.8 million to sporting bodies, youth organisations, apprenticeships, scholarships, the arts and community and cultural events.
  • Changed the official name of Cup Match’s second day from Somers Day to Mary Prince Day and renamed Devonshire Park to Mary Prince Park.
  • Increased protection for Bermudian entertainers by reinstituting the requirement that all businesses who bring in overseas entertainers to employ Bermudian entertainers at the venue at the same time.
  • Officially launched the National Youth Policy and implemented a National Youth Policy Working Group.
  • Implemented a National Cultural Heritage Policy to preserve and protect our culture and promote and develop our creatives.
  • Afforded greater recognition for athletes of Excellence such as Olympian Clarence Hill.

Making Government Finances Fairer

  • Despite the combined $250 million in payments for the failed Morgan’s Point development, the Government has reduced taxes for workers and has increased funding for education, training, healthcare, and youth development.
  • Reformed the Government procurement process to ensure that more small businesses, black-owned businesses and women-owned businesses got access to Government contracts.
  • Introduced tax on dividend payments for the first time, earning the treasury $15 million in the first year, and reinvested those additional funds into education, healthcare and youth programmes.

Protecting the Environment

  • Commissioned Bermuda’s first renewable energy 6MW solar plant facility at the airport.
  • Provided greater protection for animals by widening the investigative powers of animal welfare officers.
  • Advanced the Marine Development Plan which includes the preservation of 20% of our EEZ.
  • Introduced the first Integrated Resource Plan to grow Bermuda’s use of renewable energy over the next 25 years up to 85%.
  • Developed a National Space Strategy to create a “space ecosystem and industry” by 2025.
  • Installing solar panels on large Government buildings to create jobs and reduce electricity costs.

Rebuilding our Tourism industry

  • Introduced the Tourism Investment Act to attract additional tourism investment.
  • Implemented Superyacht Legislation to provide incentives for superyacht charters.
  • Created the vacation rental legislation to regulate AirBNBs and provide additional revenue to the Bermuda Tourism Authority.
  • Introduced the Cruise Infrastructure Tax to support continued investment in Bermuda’s tourism.
  • Provided $6.7 million in payroll and Land Tax relief to our local hotels, bars and restaurants.

Responsible Governing

  • Launched the TreeFrog App developed with the assistance of Bermuda College students, enhancing the Government’s ability to keep Bermudians informed.
  • Launched the Government WhatsApp Service.
  • Updated the Ministerial Code of Conduct to mandate the declaration of gifts.
  • Mandated that all appointments of advisors to Ministers be published.
  • Saved taxpayers over $300,000 per year by introducing E-Gazette Legislation.
  • Required the recording of all travel booked with public funds under a business frequent flyer plan in the name of the Government of Bermuda that has allowed the Government to assist students on scholarships and Bermudian athletes competing abroad with travel costs.

COVID-19 Pandemic Response

  • Created the government’s Molecular Diagnostic and Research Laboratory, which enabled the island’s testing capacity to expand dramatically, with Bermuda among the leaders in the world for per capita testing.
  • Established the first local testing capacity in the Caribbean outside the official CARPHA lab in Trinidad.
  • Added nearly 50 additional hospital beds to enhance the hospital’s ability to care for patients with COVID-19.
  • Provided over $80 million in unprecedented direct assistance to Bermudian residents and businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, including $60 million paid out in support to those who were unable to work.
  • Allocated $12 million to the BEDC to support small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Provided free coronavirus vaccinations and as a result Bermuda has one of the highest vaccination rates in the region which has enabled the Government to fully reopen Bermuda’s economy.