GEORGE TOWN — The government is proposing to increase fees for work permits while boosting hotel and departure taxes to help bail the British Caribbean territory out of a budget deficit.
Premier McKeeva Bush said those measures and others should generate $52.5 million in 10 months.
His announcement came two days after he scrapped a plan to impose a direct income tax on expatriates working in the famed no-tax financial center. It had outraged many on the islands, where financial services and tourism are the pillars of the economy.
Under the new plan, the departure tax would rise to $37 from $25 and the hotel room tax would jump from 10 percent to 13 percent. Fees would rise on work permits for financial controllers, accountants, real estate brokers and other upper-tier employees, Bush said, but the cost of permits for lower-paid job categories, such as janitorial and security staff, would not increase.
Bush said he has “no intention to levy any form of taxation on corporate earnings, capital gains or profits generated by businesses.”
The budget must be approved by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Bush, who is also the finance minister, said he hopes to deliver a budget by Aug. 20.