2022 Throne Speech: Brief highlights of the Parliamentary Agenda
About Brian Holdipp
Brian Holdipp is Counsel in the firm’s corporate practice group. His practice encompasses many areas of general corporate and commercial law, with specialist expertise in securities, joint ventures, corporate restructurings and cross-border financings. Mr. Holdipp also advises on partnerships.
Brian Holdipp’s full profile on mjm.bm.
On 4 November, the Deputy Governor Tom Oppenheim (in the absence of the Governor Her Excellency Rena Lalgie) delivered the annual Throne Speech.
This speech, in line with custom and tradition, marked the opening of a new parliamentary year and set out details of the Bermuda Government’s plans for the upcoming year.
Newly re-elected leader of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party and Premier David Burt’s overview of planned legislative initiatives begun with a sombre recognition that Bermuda’s “families, systems, and institutions have been confronted with immense strains that have threatened to radically alter Bermuda’s and Bermudians’ way of life.”
The Government announced a determination to lead “an economic recovery centred on restoring the hope of the people today and embracing the potential of the Island’s future”.
Government acknowledged the role that industry innovation, active public/private collaboration and a constantly evolving legislative and regulatory framework has played in the success of international business and promised to replicate this approach in the tourism sector to support a recovery of that industry which is especially vital to Bermuda’s domestic economy.
Highlights of the plans announced in the Throne Speech particularly relevant to the two pillars of Bermuda’s economy include:
- The Companies Act 1981 and related legislation will be amended to streamline the regime of ministerial consent and permissions for basic operational matters in company formation and changes in ownership structure to reduce the cost of doing business in Bermuda and remove a layer of ministerial oversight that is incongruous with the pace at which business affairs should be conducted in the 21st century;
- Amendments to Trade Marks and Intellectual Property legislation to provide a more attractive framework for those persons and companies wishing to register their intellectual property in Bermuda;
- Phased implementation of the Personal Information Protection (PIPA) Act 2016;
- Amendments to the Tourism Investment Act 2017 to permit the Government greater discretion in the grant of relief under the Act to developers and those investing in attractions, restaurants and hotels; and
- Repeal of the Morgan’s Point Resort Act 2014 and the creation of a new Act of the legislature to create a corporate entity, comprised of qualified directors, to oversee and direct the completion of the project.
Moreover, with an eye towards the workers of Bermuda and bringing relief to the people in those areas where costs continue to rise, Government has pledged to prescribe a minimum hourly wage rate for Bermuda and to bring into force regulations that will permit the Cost of Living Commission to monitor the price of essential commodities.
In succinctly capturing prevailing thought, the Throne Speech explained, “Bermuda has been tested…but it is the Government’s responsibility to aid in easing “the tensions and stresses” of this unprecedented age..”
The entire Throne Speech may be found here: [author requests that someone who knows how to do so please insert hyperlink to 2022 Throne Speech]