Government has turned down a request from the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) for a reversal of tax measures announced in last year’s Budget.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Jepter Ince told the annual general meeting of the TDC at Accra Beach Resort, Christ Church today, the country was still in a delicate situation and the true gains of the measures were yet to be realized.
“While we understand the position of the TDC, we must look for solutions that will create win-win situations,” Ince said, following concerns raised about the adjustment announced in the 2015 Budget with respect to allowances and deductions for corporations.
“As was said at the time of the Budget, the adjustment is a response to the decline in revenue from corporation taxes due to developments in the international business sector,” said Ince, adding that Government was also attempting to correct the growing erosion and weakening of the country’s tax base.
He also said the recent change with respect to corporation taxes was consistent with the Government’s fiscal adjustment policy and with best practices in international taxation.
Ince therefore encouraged the TDC to continue its “excellent” work, while assuring that the Freundel Stuart administration would continue to work with all tourism stakeholders to ensure that the island’s product was world class.
However, in an immediate reply, outgoing TDC Chairman Anthony King told the Government Senator that the agency would continue to push for tax allowance and deduction relief.
King, who was succeeded today by Martin Ince after 11 years at the helm, said while he appreciated Government’s financial constraints, “we will continue to make our case”.
Earlier in his feature address, Senator Ince urged the tourism stakeholders to work harder at facilitating investors who see Barbados as a place where they can add value.
“Hence, we must be more efficient in responding to investor concerns and to find workable solutions without compromising values or the rule of law,” he said.