Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 2nd 2013 Contents A24
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, November 2, 2013
ST. GEORGE'S---The Grenada gov-
ernment has announced new tax
measures it said would help provide
much needed revenue and urged
the private sector not to use the
measure to lay off workers.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell
in a nationwide radio and television
broadcast on Wednesday night said
his administration had agreed that
people earning more than
EC$60,000 annually would now pay
tax of 30 per cent.
Mitchell, who is also finance min-
ister, said also that those earning
between EC$30,000 to EC$36 000
would now pay 15 per cent.
He said the implementation of
new tax measures are necessary as
his government puts structures in
place to increase revenue.
"Government will also reduce the
income tax rate by half to 15 per cent
for persons earning less than $60,000
per year. The rate of 30 per cent will
remain for persons earning more than
$60,000 per year," he said.
The prime minister called on
banks to be sensitive as the govern-
ment knows that lowering the
income tax threshold will affect some
persons who have obligations with
"The banks have assured govern-
ment that it will work with its cus-
tomers where necessary. I hereby
make a similar appeal to our credit
unions," he said, while voicing con-
cern about the possibility of job lay-
"I hereby make a special appeal
to all employers, especially in the
private sector, to exercise restraint
in this very difficult period.
Retrenchment must be a last resort.
We ask that you make a special effort
to avoid further layoffs at this time,"
he said, as he called on trade unions
to exercise restraint in respect of
wage demands in government and
in the private sector.
Mitchell, who also announced that
adjustments will be made to property
taxes, issued a warning to delinquent
"No country can run without
taxes. No government can provide
services without taxes. Throughout
our consultations over the past few
weeks, there have been consistent
calls for government to ensure that
everyone pays their fair share.
"As a consequence, there will be
new policies to deal with persons
who are not paying their fair share
of taxes. Already, Inland Revenue
has identified the top 100 tax delin-
quents and they are being pursued
for their taxes owed to the state.
This is not simply a fiscal issue. It
is a moral issue," he said.
Mitchell told the nation the Inland
Revenue Division will be strength-
ened through a combination of
advisers from friendly countries, new
policies and outsourcing.
He said during the coming weeks
there will be further consultations
as the government seeks to build
consensus, and broaden support for
the homegrown programme.
The "Letter of Intent" for the pro-
gramme facilitated by the IMF, will
then be signed at the end of Novem-
"There will be some pain for all,
but there will also be many benefits
for all," he warned, while explaining
that government s proactive
approach to designing a home-
grown programme is being done
with the help of several agencies
including the IMF, the World Bank,
the Caribbean Development Bank,
the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
and the European Union.
Concerning public debt, the gov-
ernment is proceeding with the debt
restructuring which will result in
significant debt relief for Grenada.
"This relief will allow the govern-
ment to invest more in our people
and invest more in the productive
sectors; thereby boosting economic
growth and job creation," Mitchell
The Ministry of Finance will pro-
vide technical support especially in
tax administration, planning and
"This is a time of shared sacrifice.
However, as Grenada s economy gets
stronger, there will be a time of
shared benefits from the fruits of
the recovery," he promised.
New tax measures in
Grenada to increase revenue
from Caribbean governments,
private-sector bodies and civil
society are tackling critical
questions about the future out-
look of the Africa, Caribbean
and Pacific (ACP) Group of
countries, including the
region s stakes in the world s
largest intergovernmental asso-
ciation of developing countries.
The ACP Eminent Persons
Group (EPG) is hosting two days
of consultations in Grenada, fol-
lowing the Cariforum senior
officials and Council of Minis-
ters meeting earlier this week.
The talks aim to gather the
region s views on "re-inventing"
ACP Group as a global player,
and the future orientations of
ACP-EU relations beyond 2020.
"It s really looking up to the
future in what will happen when
the Cotonou Agreement [frame-
work for ACP-EU partnership]
expires in 2020," said the vice-
chair of the ACP EPG, former
president of the Dominican
Republic Dr Leonel Fernández
"A lot has been happening in
the world, in the European
Union and also in the ACP
countries. We need to adjust our
future relationship within a new
context, within a new paradigm
shift that has taken place in
terms of international relations,
and a new perspective... The
whole idea of co-operation,
trade and political dialogue will
go into a process of transfor-
Reyna is joined by fellow
Caribbean members of the EPG,
including former president of
Guyana Bharatt Jagdeo as co-
vice chair, and former executive
director of the International
Trade Centre Patricia Francis of
"There has been a lot of soul-
searching that we have been
going through, as to what is the
essence of the ACP that we want
going forward? What are the
kinds of values that we have in
common that we want to retain?
What is it that we think we can
achieve going forward, recog-
nising the huge diversity that
we have in the ACP itself? ...
We want to make sure that the
ACP articulates its position
clearly as to what it wants and
then looks at what are the part-
nerships that can add value to
this position," said Francis, in
explaining the key issues.
The meeting is the second in
a series of six rounds of con-
sultation in the various ACP
subgroups. The first was held
October 17-19 in Samoa (Pacific
region), with four more to go in
the Eastern, Western, Central
and Southern African regions.
Outcomes of these meetings will
feed into a final report to be
presented to the eighth summit
of ACP heads of state and gov-
ernment, projected to take place
in the Caribbean in December
The 12-member ACP Eminent
Persons Group is chaired by for-
mer president of Nigeria Chief
Caribbean groups debate ACP future in Grenada
Olusegun Obasanjo. The seventh
Summit of the ACP heads of states
and government, held in Equatorial
Guinea on December 13-14, 2012,
mandated the creation of the EPG
to examine the overall framework of
ACP-EU co-operation, and provide
concrete recommendations for the
future of the ACP as an intergov-
Dr Keith Mitchell
Dr Leonel Fernández Reyna
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