FNM Gov’t Proposes a New Tax on Tips made by Maids, Bellmen, Casino and Restaurant Workers through NIB

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Hubert Ingraham, Minister with responsibility for NIB.

Nassau, Bahamas

Bahamas Press is following the wicked CORRUPT Outgoing Free National Movement Government and its attempt to massacre the people of the Bahamas, again.

Reports coming into BP suggest a decision by the Cabinet of the Bahamas to land more taxes on the working poor; this time by raising taxes on the tips made by workers.

Sources in the OPM have advised BP of pending changes to NIB contributions in the upcoming 2011-2012 Budget.  

What we see is another “BACKSIDE RAPE” on the people of this country is set to begin. We wonder who put this one together, was it Bill “Bacardi 8” Allen or Vargo “Mona” Lying Laing?         

The proposal being crafted by the government would levy on all hotel workers and service related jobs a tax of up to 9% on all extra income earned on tips and gratuities. Presently, maids, waiters, casino workers and bellmen only pay NIB contributions on their base salaries.

We are told a meeting by officials of the Hotel Union was held with shop stewards at Atlantis last week on the upcoming tax, which is set to be applied this coming July.

We are told hotel workers are blue in the face upon hearing of the new measure and have moved to register in droves at registration centers.

 “How in the hell this WICKED FOREIGN friendly government could think they could come in this town and commit a “public execution” of Bahamians and expect us to sit idle and just take it? We ga vote them out before they could call an election! They are against us,” one irate worker at Atlantis told BP.

Just this week the Ingraham Government moved legislation to allow foreigners to operate restaurants and Bars in this Country. This segment was for Bahamians only, now do you need more proof that this Government loves Foreigners?

Nicole Martin, NIB Board Member and BHC&AWU President

We are told union President, Nicole Martin, has a hard time delivering the news to her Union Members as she also sits on the board at NIB.

 Did the president of the Union have anything to do with proposing the new NIB tax on her members? The people should know.

In January of this year the Ingraham Government made increases to NIB across the country; taxing all workers in an already struggling economy.

WE NEED CHANGE!

  • This is completely rubbish. Most of the ppl in the hotels only make about $150 weekly. If they get sick or become disabled how much do you think they will get on a base pay of $150 from NIB? Not much hence the reason for them taking a portion of their grats. This is old news and was discussed before. They knew this was coming. Hotel workers just want eat they cake and ice cream while seated in a horse and carriage with a driver. BP stop ya madness.

  • The FNM cabinet should call it for what it really is. Income Tax. The present rate 9.8% off of every dollar a worker earns is robbery without a mask and a gun. The government that says they know best to run our government is not only bankrupt but act like it’s no longer the people’s government. How much NIB deductions is the FNM cabinet paying on the salaries we pay them?

  • I dont see the sense in this article. Nicole Martin stated that she agree with the NIB increase as it will benefit the hotel workers.

    • media

      You don’t see the sense in the article and we don’t see the sense in the policy. You are entitled to to your position and we to ours.

      Fact is, We REPORTED and yinner decides.

      THAT’s Democracy, correct?

      BP

  • IKB

    Does this also mean that there will be a change in the labour laws as it relates to entitlements. Example in the cases of terminations will the entitlement recognise the tips and gratuities? I have never worked in the industry, but I’ve read where there were persons working for up to 25 years and leaving $10-20k. These cases same not to take into account average tips or gratituty. Many of us never claim from NIB except for matunity (and who’s in the market for more children these days), in those cases what are the other benefits to this increase? Not dismissing that the pension benefits are very important.

  • 1. If the base taxable rate is $500 for one Bahamian then it is $500 for all bahamians! There is no way any government FNM/ PLP would have a higher base rate for different people. That’s just common sense.
    2. How do you know that I am not a worker affected?
    3. Real estate and marketing people are still supposed to pay NIB. The amount of money they make and how they make it doesn’t change that.
    4. We are all supposed to pay on wages earned up to $500 ( was previously $400, but just changed).
    5. Michael Brown– you are right– this does sound like an income tax not a National Insurance.

    • BTW..this was in response to media below.

  • Listen people, no matter how much you contribute to NIB the maximum you would get is $900. Per month as a retirement payment; how can you go on that?

    • if thats the max, judge what you will get paying on a $150 per week base salary. Also, the wage ceiling has been increased to $500 and it will increase to $600 per week. This mean u should get more than 900.

      Nib is not meant to replace ur income after retirement. Bahamians need to prepare by saving and investing in a pension plan to maintain the same standard of living.

    • if your nib contribution goes up then so should your payout when you need it when you retire. Dey think all of us stupid, eh?

  • Is there an associated welfare benefit for paying into this fund? Do these workers get more assistance if unemployed or retired? What are the full details?

    • media

      Go ask Nicole Martin, she agrees with the proposal and is also on the Board of NIB. Did she sellout her members? She and Algernon Figi Water’ Cargill agrees with the proposal.

      BP

    • You may stop by any NIB office and get a sheet titled, “Contribution Rate Sheet(Effectie January 2011)”.

      The last sub heading – “PERSONS REMUNERATED PARTLY BY TIPS AND GRATUITIES (from July 2011)”.
      Under sub-heading ‘Insurable Wage & Gratuities’ it lists 1) Basic Wage – Employed Person pays 3.9%; Employer pays 5.9% for a total of 9.8%. 2)Gratuities – Employed Person pays 9.8% for a total of 9.8%.

      • With the base wages there is a maximum cap of $500 per week that is taxed by NIB. Therefore there must also be a cap on gratuities which probably also includes the base pay, so my guess is th numbers are not that high. Example– if your base pay is $150 and you make gratuities on top of that, then you would be charged the percentage on $ 350 max. ( if you made that much and if you made more — whoopee– gratis), but they would not charge you over the $500 cap which every other honest person pays already.

        • media

          Sp Mary, how you know about the new TAX, and the workers affected don’t? Like those in the real estate and Marketing and sales who don’t have a base salary? You ever thought about them?

          BP

        • media

          And what about those who base $150 and make $500, but now must pay on the $150 and the $500. And also carry the burden of increase on gas, light, bread, milk, pencil, books; and have not had a raise in 5 years and husband outta job? YA THINK THAT IS FAIR?

          Yall better wake up.

          BP

          • @Media, hell yes I think it is more than fair! First of all fact is that if you make $650 per week (approx. $33,540 yr) you are not poor. This would be more than twice the country’s per capita income. So if people making this kind of money call themselves poor they are misguided and also should re-evaluate their spending habits.

            Another fact that can not be denied. The whole global economy has shifted and as a result cost for just about everything has increased; and in most cases far beyond 9%. So how should the Bahamas Goverment subsidize these large shifts of cost? Where does the extra money come from for them? Should they always tax the same high income groups and leave the so called poor alone so they can maintain if not the highest, one of the highest standards of living in the region.

            Bahamians need to stop being so selfish and stop blaming the Government for everything. Even when they try to do their jobs they get criticized for being inconsiderate of the Bahamian people. When is the Bahamaian public at large going to realize that in order for Government to truly work, it takes cooperation between the public and government to get the best outcomes.

            Maybe the NIB union members need to look at it this way and then they may ease up off the Government (and it don’t matter if it was FNM, PLP, EFG, HIJ… government pushing this agenda) the fact of the matter is that the public must bear some responsibility for the cost increase.

            Is it not the Government that Markets it’s tourism to get tourist here so they can pay the tips? Do NIB workers not sometimes have to share their tips with coworkers and managers? So why can’t the Government get a small share to help offset it’s increased cost?

            Stop complaining about milk, bread, gas and all that stuff going up – Bahamians aren’t the only ones experiencing this. What the focus should be on is supporting your Government in finding ways to sustain your standard of living!

            The selfish and “me, me, me… I, I, I” mentality has to be dismissed now. If you want change allow the Government to do what you put them in there to do. Stop criticizing every move they try to make just because it may cause you a little discomfort. EVERYONE around the GLOBE is hurting right now – Not just the Bahamas.

            I know we live on Islands but in the bigger scheme of things we can’t have an island mentality on this!

  • IKB

    This is rather concerning. Managing her union should be her only job to avoid of risk of conflict of interest as we now see with NIB!!

  • Ho hum,the Bahamas burns while the people sleep.CSME is here without us even holding a Referendum.How much more can we bear?I wonder how the workers of Atlantis really feel seeing that they were threatened that if they did not vote red in the last Gen Elects 2007 their jobs were at stake.How long oh Lord,how long?.The Foreign National Movement does it again,thrashed the Bahamians until they are on their knees and the Govt is not letting up.

  • BP. This may be a form of income tax if this is true. To impose income tax, the government may need to amend laws in Parliament;it does not appear that this has been done. If the FNM really wants more money i suggest that they collect the $50 million owed to them by NAD’s at LPIA. After all, NAD’s is always bragging about how much money they generate at LPIA.All of these moves to collect more revenue is really troublesome. The Government should try and collect from those who are most able to pay like the businesses and other government agencies who owe lots of money and not waiters and waitresses who need their tips and who are working short weeks and, just barely getting by.

  • We sensible workers in the service sector thank the good Lord that this new ‘tax’ is being forced upon us.
    There are only positives to this new ‘tax’ no negatives whatsoever.
    Moreover, while our contributions will go up…so will all of our benefits.
    Service workers currently earn minimum wage but when our tips/gratuities are added, we take home quite a decent pay.
    However, because we only pay NIB on our base/minimum wage pay, our benefits reflect our meager contributions. Some of us wish this action was taken years ago as many who worked in the industry and have since retired are getting the minimum as their pension.
    Thank the Lord this will soon change.
    We will now be on par with all other workers whose contributions reflect their actual take home pay.
    So when applying for maternity, sick, disability, unemployment pay etc, we will be entitled to far more than we are now.
    Furthermore, when we retire, our pension will also reflect what we really earned while employed.
    Why would BP think anything is wrong with this new ‘TAX’ as you call it.
    Thanks God NIB is finally displaying wisdom.

    • media

      Thank You Mr. Cargill for your contribution. Soon and very soon, you will have no more money from the public purse to buy Fiji water.

      BP