Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 1st 2018 Contents BG2 regional
Thursday, February 1, 2018
St Lucia plans to write EU on delisting, again
The St Lucia government says it will sub-
mit another letter to the European Union
as the island moves to join two other Carib-
bean Community (Caricom) countries that
were recently removed from a global list of
“We are sending that letter again to them
to reiterate St Lucia’s position. There is a
review committee, I believe, in the early
part of February and once the committee
accepts St Lucia’s letter, then the process
of coming off the list and going into what’s
called a grey list starts.
“And then there’s continued dialogue
about what they find offensive and hope-
fully we could get this thing sorted out,”
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said.
The EU wants the island to sign the let-
ter of commitment before discussions can
begin on removing the island from a list of
nations blacklisted for allegedly facilitating
tax avoidance practices.
Once the letter is submitted, St Lucia will
then be placed on a so-called “grey list”
which is made up of countries that have
committed to change their rules on tax
transparency and cooperation.
The EU earlier this month announced
that Barbados and Grenada were among
eight jurisdictions that had been removed
from a new list of global tax havens follow-
ing commitments made at a high political
level to remedy EU concerns.
The decision by the European Council
leaves nine jurisdictions including T&T and
St Lucia, on the list of non-cooperative ju-
risdictions out of 17 announced initially on
December 5, last year
Caribbean countries have in the past been
very critical of being included on these lists
insisting that they have done everything as
outlined by various European organisations
like the Organisation for Economic Cooper-
ation and Development (OECD).
The EU finance ministers had claimed last
month that the countries on the blacklist
were not doing enough to crack down on
offshore avoidance schemes.
The list excludes a number of British
Overseas Territories such as the Cayman
Island and Bermuda that were on a previ-
ous EU blacklist from June 2015. Complaints
about the methodology of that last list saw
it scrapped and replaced with the new reg-
Opposition Leader Phillip J Pierre has ac-
cused the Chastanet administration of drag-
ging its feet on the issue saying that when
the matter was first raised the “the govern-
ment’s response was ignorance of the fact
and then to make excuses and attack the
Pierre also questioned why the govern-
ment did not take the necessary steps like
Barbados and Grenada to ensure that St.
Lucia’s reputation is protected.
St Vincent minister presents
inaugural budget estimates
Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves has pre-
sented his first Estimates of Income and Expendi-
ture to Parliament containing St. Vincent and the
Grenadines first surplus on the current account in
Parliament is expected to conclude, on Wednes-
day, debate on the EC$993.5 million (One EC
dollar=US$0.37 cents) fiscal package which rep-
resents a 1.7 per cent increase over the approved
budget for 2017.
The debate is taking place in the absence of the
Parliamentary opposition that staged a walk out
in protest over the finance minister’s continued
silence on an ongoing sex scandal.
According to the figures laid in the Parliament,
the recurrent expenditure, inclusive of Amortisa-
tion and Sinking Fund Contributions is EC$776.8
million and capital expenditure of EC$216.6 mil-
The government is anticipating that the 2018
budget will be financed by current revenue of
EC$620.6 million and capital receipts of EC$371.8
Gonsalves, who took over the finance ministry
from his father, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves,
last November—after 16 years—said that the 2018
current expenditure amounts to EC$617.4 million.
Current revenue of EC$621.6 million is expected
to be collected in 2018. CMC
Bahamas Opposition brushes
aside govt’s 2018 agenda
The main opposition Progressive Liberal Party
(PLP) has dismissed the Bahamas government’s
“ambitious agenda” for 2018, saying it is lacking
the details needed to demonstrate how the Hubert
Minnis administration will translate their efforts
into immediate short-term relief.
Prime Minister Minnis in a radio and television
broadcast on Monday night, outlined the “ambi-
tious agenda” for 2018 even as he acknowledged
that the economic recovery in the Bahamas “has
a long way to go”.
Minnis said that many Bahamians are still strug-
gling and that unemployment remains too high.
In a statement, the PLP said that the prime min-
ister’s national address “offered no immediate
economic and social relief ”.
The party, which lost the general election last
year, said it has made this fundamental point to
the country before adding “the net result of the
government’s fiscal and economic policies to date
are higher unemployment and a deterioration in
the performance of the public revenue.
“These results indicate that the economy has ei-
ther stalled or lost most of the momentum clearly
evident when the PLP lost office eight months ago.
On a human level, this means increased suffering,
misery and hardship for thousands of Bahamian
Links Archive January 31st 2018 February 2nd 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page