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Abject poverty in the tax haven of Bermuda

If Angeline Pitt goes on the beach Nine Beaches in Bermuda, along her dramatic memories. A few weeks ago, your of the Caribbean-was-looking place with an almost turquoise blue water, fine Sand and shady palm trees, the last refuge, where you shut off your car. The vehicle was everything they had. After the death of her husband, she has lost her house, the car was their only roof over the head. They washed in public restrooms and only bought dry food, which in Bermuda's sub-tropical heat does not spoil immediately. Your possessions and put you in the trunk.

your Job as a waitress would have lost the 49-Year-old during this time, almost. "I was often late to work because I the whole night I just cried," she says. "I lived from Hand to mouth. Even if I had to pay no rent, it was enough just for food and the car." Angeline is with her fate alone to Bermuda, where there is for people like you the word: The "working poor", i.e. the "working poor" are Locals who have not, despite a full time job once more, the bare necessities. Their number is constantly growing.

Also Angeline Pitt counts as one of the "working poor" in Bermuda, people are in spite of the work arm. It is your fate not to be alone. (Photo: Marq Rodriguez)

"in the Meantime, homelessness has become a national crisis," says Elaine Butterfield from the Woman's resource Center, Bermuda, a charitable organisation. "We are not here for a long time in Paradise." Although the disaster is far from obvious, it is hushed up in Public, often out of shame.

import expensive food is more expensive, and enormously

In Europe, the small Atlantic island has been the case mainly through a topic headlines: tax avoidance on an industrial scale, to promote days of the leak of the Bermuda-based law firm Appleby, mainly through a huge data. Thanks to this Paradise Papers only abusive tax practices to light, but also of money laundering, corruption and other frauds in which the lawyers of the island had played a role were not. Of the Grassi poverty the speech was, however, hardly. Like all the other tax havens in Bermuda was primarily a Bastion of silence. Meanwhile, a disaster on-site, which could be dramatic is revealed.

Since the state is taxed in Bermuda, is neither foreign companies nor private wealth, must come the money elsewhere. The local population makes a large part of the tax revenue. Everything on the island must be imported, and the import tax is high. Therefore, Bermuda has the world with the highest food prices. $ 10 for a net of oranges or 7 dollars for a loaf of bread are now common in supermarkets.

This includes a salary tax, and social, of which a large part of the workers is worn. "We are now the most expensive country in the world," says Robert Stubbs, an economist at Bermuda, has worked intensively with the economic situation of the country. According to his estimate, more than half of the native population only just above the round or is already exposed to extreme poverty, Hunger and homelessness.

"I am always faced with a choice: do I Give food to my children or do I pay the electric bill or the rent?"Renee Dill, hotel staff

Renee Dill makes after their Eight-hour working day break in a nearby Park, set against the backdrop of a small Harbor with the luxury boats and yachts. It tells of your full-time job as a hotel employee: you work for 7 dollars net on the hour, with allowances, it will take you sometimes to $ 300 per week. You have to rely on donations or the help of charity organisations, because their rent of 1750 dollars can barely pay for it themselves.

"I'm always faced with a choice: do I Give food to my children or do I pay the electric bill or the rent?", Dill told. "It's never enough for everything." As you once had no health insurance and your doctor was not able to pay the bills, ended up as all of the defaulting debtor in Bermuda, before the court, and immediately afterwards for up to 10 days in jail.

Renee Dill makes after a long day in a Park at the port. On-the-water luxury motor swings yachts. It is self-arm. (Photo: Marq Rodriguez)

There Renee Dill met many other mothers who were unable to pay an electricity or medical bill. Particularly bitter: Even after verbüsster penalty, the debt will not be adopted – a vicious circle for Dill. She was for a while homeless, it was hard to find after a Job.

The government has no money to help

Meanwhile, doctor bills are piling up again with her, because health insurance covers everything. "I'm afraid that I have to go back to jail and lose my Job," she says. Resignation mixed in her voice. In Bermuda, there is no more room for us Locals." She points with the Hand on the luxury yachts behind "For rich people, for the Bermuda's."

The places of refuge of the homeless and the stunning wealth that the island attracts with its zero-tax strategy is magnetic – both worlds are located only a few minutes walk away from each other. In the business district of the capital, Hamilton, bankers and lawyers are busy, to manage the wealth, in letter-box companies and Trusts, taxpayer untaxed, and often undetected by the Public before it grows.

"The international company rent subsidies to pay for their employees, some of which are several Thousand dollars. The Locals get no subsidies."Sheelagh Cooper, Habitat for Humanity

"millions and millions of dollars are on the island, but we let our own people go to the dogs," says Sheelagh Cooper, of the charity organisation Habitat for Humanity, the people like Renee Dill takes care of. "Unfortunately, the government is not in a position to help, because she has no money."

The government denies the Problem. For the first time, Prime Minister David Burt speaks with foreign media on the social and economic situation in his country. He outlined an economy that is through years of recession, unemployment and rising prices on the ground. "It's a funny thing," he says with a look at the prices. "We have a lot of international companies here. You have to pay rent subsidies to their employees, up to several Thousand dollars. The Locals get no subsidies. The cost drives up the Rent and the living."

Up to 10'000 dollars rent for four rooms

law firms, accountants and other financial service provider personnel pick up from the outside. Rare Native working in the financial sector in Bermuda. Housing is scarce, Rent up to 10'000 dollars a month for three, four rooms, are not uncommon.

"This whole System has made the Rich richer, and just for that it is tailored," says Cheryl Peckwood, which has earlier marketed Bermuda as an international financial centre around the world. Today, she sees the critical. "We Bermuda-thought-out, the international financial sector would be something Great for us. But in reality it was not that at all. It has brought the native people nothing at all, on the contrary."

Prime Minister Burt promises the construction of new apartments in the capital and tax relief for the Locals. But many of his voters doubt whether this is enough to relieve their hardships. Already been a wave of emigration has set in: the inhabitants are trying to escape poverty and the economic crisis.

Thus, Mike Levon, who is now working as a chef in a Restaurant in Berlin. "In Bermuda I couldn't live," he says. "For me, it goes in Germany is so much better. When I left Bermuda, I knew: I won't be back for quite a long time."

Created: 08.12.2019, 21:36 PM

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