A minister has taken to task foreign agencies that blacklist and impose sanctions on Barbados and other Caribbean countries.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey described the action by unnamed organisations as unconscionable in the House of Assembly.
He said: “Every time we adjust the goal post it is moved and somehow we must readjust and it seems that no matter whatever we do enough is not good enough.
“We keep making changes to our tax policy to be able to suit them.
“The thing about taxes that I recall is that there should be clarity… and Barbados has always had a clear tax policy.
“We know it should be stable and fair… but every time we make adjustments to our tax policy to please others we are going to find ourselves making these adjustments over and over; not only Barbados but many developing countries in the Caribbean.”
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has led the blacklisting of Barbados and other Caribbean jurisdictions over their tax regimes.
Following the labelling of Barbados as a tax haven over its low taxes on international business companies, the Mottley administration reduced corporate tax rates on all registered firms to between one and five per cent.
But the Minister took issue with outsiders describing Barbados as a low tax jurisdiction during did not name any agencies.
Humphrey said: “We are constantly making adjustments to suit people other than ourselves… calling Barbados a low-tax jurisdiction when the Prime Minister explained it so eloquently when she asked: ‘How could we be low tax when we have taxes on all these different things?
“We have chosen to structure our taxes in a way that would suit Barbados and Barbadians.”
Critical of the blacklisting of hurricane-stricken Dominica, Humphrey said: “You would recall that even after Dominica was impacted by hurricane they got blacklisted many of us find ourselves in that situation where we are exposed not because we are not governing correctly, but because we are governing in a way that somebody else says we should be able to govern.
“You want to tell me what I should do and how I should govern, what my tax policy should be but I can’t tell you anything about yours.
“It is one of those things that do not sit well with me at all as a matter of a fact I think it now so offends the collective conscience of this country that it doesn’t sit well with most Barbadians, period.” (IMC)
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