Premier Burt on Red Tape Reduction Consultation

As your Government, we believe in a Bermuda where everyone has a voice, and our strength lies in listening to those voices when they speak about what is needed.

We believe that each of us can contribute to shaping our island’s future and that we can work together to craft people-driven, people-focused policies that improve the lives of every Bermudian.

In our Economic Development Strategy, we pledged to slash the red tape and bureaucracy that makes it harder for local and global businesses to operate in Bermuda and to modernise outdated regulations that make it harder for businesses in Bermuda to grow.

We know the best ideas and outcomes come through stakeholder engagement, consultation, and collaboration. Over the years, to support businesses and economic development, we have asked private sector organisations to submit suggestions regarding regulations that could be streamlined or reduced to boost economic activity. Unfortunately, before this exercise, the Government received only limited responses.

Therefore, we determined that expanding consultation was necessary to ensure we fully understood which regulations were causing obstacles to business activity in Bermuda.
On 16 March, the Red Tape Reduction Consultation was launched on to hear directly from the people about the challenges and barriers they face.

The original closing date for the consultation was 30 April, which gave residents just over six weeks to share their ideas, experiences, and opinions. However, due to the positive number of submissions received in that initial period and the potential for even more impactful ideas from the public, we decided to extend the consultation period.

The consultation officially closed on Friday, 10 May, with 95 submissions from members of the public, including streamlining specific government processes, expanding online services, and helpful suggestions on outdated laws.

The submissions from the public have been broken down by Ministry, with the majority of the submissions falling under the ministries of Economy & Labour, Finance, and Transport, which breakdown as follows:
• Economy & Labour- 20 submissions
• Transport- 16 submissions
• Finance- 15 submissions

The remaining submissions by the Ministry are as follows:

• The Cabinet Office- 8 submissions
• There are three submissions each for the Ministries of Public Works, Health, Home Affairs, and Legal Affairs & Constitutional Reform.
• Two for the Ministries of National Security and Youth, Social Development, and Seniors.
• 1 for the Ministry of Education
The remaining 19 submissions have been categorised as general government policy or comments about Government operations and did not fall under a specific ministry.

After the consultation period closed, we received several submissions from local businesses through the Chamber of Commerce. These are being reviewed and will be allocated to the appropriate Ministries.

We are truly grateful to everyone who submitted their ideas. Your voices matter; we are listening
because you, the public, are our most valued stakeholders. We know that consulting the public and following through on their feedback to make tangible changes works.

We saw this when we established a minimum wage, our Economic Recovery Plan following the
pandemic, modernised outdated laws such as the Distilleries Act, which prohibited distilling alcohol on the island, which was part of a consultation during the pandemic and, most recently, our Corporate Income Tax Regime.
This Red Tape Reduction Consultation will be no different.

The Government will take public feedback on board and consider how we can use it to improve
efficiency and promote economic growth that benefits Bermudian businesses, entrepreneurs, and workers. All submissions will now be shared with Cabinet Ministers to determine the next steps and how outdated processes, systems, or legislation can be modernised, updated, or removed.

I will report to Parliament before the end of the session on the progress made on these submissions.

In addition to these efforts, we continue to focus on other critical areas that support collective progress and prosperity. We are making it easier for Bermudians to start on the path to homeownership through the Mortgage
Guarantee Programme and eliminating stamp duty for first-time homeowners and also eliminating duty on mortgage transfer so persons can move their rate from one bank to another without paying anything
to the Government to ensure they achieve a lower rate at some of our banks.

We are following through on our promise to improve our roads and infrastructure. Extensive road paving is taking place throughout the island, digital fare media will commence in June on public transport, and new ferries are being constructed. Standard & Poor’s recent reaffirmation of Bermuda’s A+ long-term sovereign credit rating reflects our sound economic policies and the delivery of a balance budget. And the feedback received through the
Red Tape Reduction Consultation will help us further improve Bermuda’s economic landscape.
The Government recognises there is more work to be done. So, just as we consulted and delivered on a minimum wage, legal reform, and economic recovery, we will deliver on reducing red tape and improving government services to support further economic growth.

As I close, we again extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated in the consultation and contributed their ideas.
This is not just about removing barriers to business success; it is also about creating opportunities, fostering a more inclusive economy and progressing towards a better, fairer Bermuda.

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