The Budget does very little to help the non-profit sector, charity leaders said yesterday.
Jennifer Burland-Adams, the co-chair of the Non-Profit Division of the Chamber of Commerce, said that she was “disappointed” workers with registered charities were still subject to payroll taxes.
“One of the things we were hoping to see in the Budget was the elimination of payroll tax for employees who work for registered charities for this budget year, but there was no announcement of that,” she said.
Ms Burland-Adams said that while charities do not pay payroll tax for their employees, many organisations often did – with some paying the entire amount.
She added that the removal of the tax, which had been proposed to the Government, would not only help the charities but also employees who were effected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Burland-Adams said: “Many were laid off, or had their hours or salaries reduced, so the reduction of the portion that they pay would impact the employee.”
Despite this, Ms Burland-Adams said that the end to the public sector’s pay reduction meant more money could be donated to non-profits.
She added: “It is promising that at least one sector is going to see their salaries increase – the potential there is that some of that money will go to helping the most vulnerable in Bermuda.”
Danielle Riviere, the executive director of the Eliza DoLittle Society, said that she wanted to see the non-profit sector recognised for its contribution to the island.
She added that organisations such as hers needed more Government aid through grants or tax exemptions.
Ms Riviere said: “It’s important to recognise that non-profits and the work of non-profits are very much the fabric of our community and there needs to be constant recognition of that and support.”
She said that she saw promise in the aim to offer better benefits to workers.
Ms Riviere added: “Any fund that can help those who are in need would help to reduce the stress on the non-profits who are meeting those needs.
“It is impossible to believe that the need will go away because of the cost of living in Bermuda, but for some people who are out of work that will provide them the opportunity to pay for certain things.
“The reality is, if a non-profit like Eliza DoLittle is available to provide food, then this allows people to pay for other things like electricity and medication.”
David Thompson, who runs a feeding programme at Christ Church in Warwick, said: “To get this economy back on track I think we all have to make a lot of sacrifices.”
He said that the Government’s plan to create more jobs could reduce the amount of need they see, but added: “I don’t know if any of the actions in the Budget will actually stimulate the economy in that way”.