Daily Archives: November 12, 2006

Breaking News: Canadian Government Targets Barbados Offshore Banking

Minority Government Introduces Motion To Tax Offshore Profits

The “War On Terror” has put pressure on Barbados and other offshore financial centres to be more open with foreign governments in the exchange of information respecting offshore monies. The USA, Canada, Britain and other large trading partners have demanded that Barbados surrender some of the secrecy and privacy that has characterized offshore banking.

The fallout from this information exchange is that foreign governments such as Canada and the United States are now in a position to threaten the very existence of our offshore financial sector. After all, why should a resident of Canada or the United States do major financial business in Barbados except for privacy and tax avoidance (whether legal or not legal in their own country).

Make no mistake – this latest Canadian move is a direct threat to the profitability of Barbados as an international financial centre. This will not be the last assault upon our financial sector either.

Perhaps the government of Barbados has some plans to counter the move by the Canadian government – or perhaps not… but when foreign governments come looking for the financial records of ordinary citizens, Barbados had better think twice before giving them up.

Every time the Barbados government or banks allow foreign governments to access our information, it weakens a very important pillar of our island economy.

From the Montreal Gazzette…

Conservatives Target Offshore Tax Havens

OTTAWA – The Conservative government, having just shut down one costly tax avoidance scheme, income trusts, now has another in its sights, offshore tax havens.

”There’s some significant tax avoidance there,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said, after revealing to the Commons finance committee that the government is reviewing the use of offshore tax havens to avoid paying tax.

Using offshore tax havens to avoid tax, just as corporations were using income trusts to do so, is not illegal but is costly to the government, he said.

Last year, Statistics Canada revealed Canadian direct investment in offshore financial centres, including ”tax havens,” had soared eight-fold since 1990 to $88 billion in 2003.

”Canadian enterprises invested substantial and growing amounts in countries known as ‘Offshore Financial Centres’, many of them in the Caribbean,” it said. ”These centres include countries that are often referred to as ‘tax havens’, as well as those which have important financial sectors, such as Switzerland, but also Ireland,” it said.

The largest increases went into Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and Ireland, the five countries being among the 11 nations with the most Canadian assets.

Auditor General Sheila Fraser has charged that multinational companies operating in Canada have avoided ”hundreds of millions” of dollars in taxes over the past decade through the use of tax havens, while one university study put the tax savings to Canadian banks alone at $10 billion over that period.

Flaherty later introduced a motion in the Commons to amend the Income Tax Act to prevent ”non-resident trusts and foreign investment entities” from using offshore tax havens to avoid tax.

”The motion will amend existing income tax rules to help ensure that income earned by Canadians through foreign jurisdictions, including tax havens, is subject to tax as if it had been earned in Canada,” he said in introducing the motion.

… read the rest of the Monteal Gazette article (link here).

12 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

China Leads In Reporters and Bloggers Jailed – Barbados Deputy PM Mia Mottley Says “Way To Go!”

mia-mottley-barbados-china.jpg

Reuters: China Jails 32 Reporters, 50 Bloggers

BEIJING, Nov 9 (Reuters) –

China is the world’s leading jailer of journalists, with at least 32 in custody, and another 50 Internet campaigners also in prison, according to Reporters Without Borders. Chinese journalists who report crime and corruption in the newly competitive media environment face increasing incidents of violence, according to the group.

In February, it said a Chinese newspaper editor had died from injuries months after traffic police beat him for an expose about exorbitant electric bicycle licence fees.

… read the entire Reuters article (link here).

As we read about China jailing reporters and bloggers, we couldn’t help but think about Barbados Deputy Prime Minister “Mama Mia” Mottley, who has called for limits to citizens’ free speech.

Just so we don’t forget Mia’s thoughts and agenda, here’s a few of our past articles on the subject…

Mottley, Castro, Chavez All Agree – Citizen Free-Speech Must Be Stopped

Barbados Deputy Prime Minister Says Internet Blogs “Marginalize…Parliament…”

Attempted Libel Chill – Barbados Free Press Will Not Be Intimidated

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Jewish History In Barbados – Fabulous Article Online

jewish-barbados.jpg

Jerusalem Post Article About Barbados

I really didn’t know much about the history of Jews in Barbados, but I do now. Once again, thanks to a search engine alert – this time MSN – I stumbled across a fascinating article about the Nidhei Israel Synagogue that is also a history of Bajan Jews.

Things I never knew about Jews in Barbados…

– The first Jews were Portuguese who arrived in 1627 fleeing from Brazil. They built the first synagogue in 1654.

– By 1845, only 70 Jews remained on the island as most had left for the United States.

– In 1925, the last Jew left Barbados and it seemed that that was going to be the end of Jewish history on the island.

– In 1931, Moses Altman arrived from Poland – fleeing the coming storm, and he became the first of the “new Jews” on Barbados.

There is lots more Barbados history in the Jerusalem Post article… Jewish Island Spirit.

Photo: Restored Nidhei Israel Synagogue

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, History, Island Life, Religion

Bajan In The UK – Still Teaching At 72 Years Old

barbados-teacher-henderson-clarke.jpg

Henderson Clarke Still Teaching At 72

Better than retirement. More enjoyable than being on the beach. That’s how Henderson Clarke describes his job. And he should know, because as a 72-year-old West Indian man, brought up in Barbados, he could opt for retirement and life by the sea. Tomorrow.

Instead, he prefers a senior management position in a large London comprehensive. Mr Clarke is head of ethnic minority achievement at the Cardinal Wiseman Roman Catholic school in Ealing where he is very much the big daddy: the father of the school, the wise elder statesman…

… read the full online article (link here)

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados

Cricket World Cup 2007 – Where Will Visitors Sleep If They Have Not Made Reservations?

Thousands Slept In The Streets For Football World Cup Germany

A few excellent questions were raised by the Executive Director of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ruall Harris, as he spoke to a forum last Wednesday…

“What if say, only 500 people were to turn up in Barbados without pre-arranged accommodation? Would they sleep for example on the beaches? What about public toilet facilities? I am told that this would not be allowed to happen, but I ask, what if?” he stated.

… read the full article at the Barbados Advocate (link here)

There is lots of time left before CWC, and it is good to see that people are thinking about worst-case scenarios and planning for the unexpected.

Fortunately, Barbados will probably not experience the situation that happened with the Football World Cup in Germany when just about half the young people in Europe decided at the last moment to hitchhike to the final game.

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

70 European Parliament Members Heading To Barbados For “Conference On Poverty” (And The Bar Is Open!)

barbados-eu-meeting.jpg

First Scheduled Meeting Venue: “The Longest Floating Bar In The Caribbean”

Beein’ a politician is hard work – ‘an one naturally develops a powerful thirst from all that politickin’ – so it is only natural that just about every politician on the island would need to take a Sunday cruise on the MV Harbour Master. Especially seein’ as how the boat advertises that it has “The Longest Floating Bar In The Caribbean“.

All these European Union Members of Parliament are coming to Barbados to discuss poverty and water with politicians from Barbados and around the world. According to the Times Online, members of the African Caribbean Pacific-EU (ACP-EU) joint parliamentary assembly will also hold other meetings at a rum distillery and at Harrison’s Cave.

Barbados Parliament Holds Gala Reception 

No doubt, members from our Barbados Parliament will be on hand throughout the week of meetings to make our European and African guests welcome – starting with a big evening gala reception hosted by Barbados.

Excerpts from Times Online

GLENYS KINNOCK, champion of the Third World poor, is to lead 70 members of the European parliament to a Barbados resort for a conference debating development and deprivation.

During the five-day trip, costing taxpayers more than £200,000, the MEPs will meet politicians from some of the world’s poorest nations.


The official agenda is to address water shortages, aid and EU trade policies, but away from the conference hall delegates will indulge in some of the island’s luxurious recreations.

Kinnock, who co-chairs the African Caribbean Pacific-EU (ACP-EU) joint parliamentary assembly, will be offered accommodation in the island’s exquisite hotels, including the Amaryllis Beach, Tamarind Cove and Turtle Beach.

Many MEPs will be “slumming it” in the Colony Club, a luscious resort that offers poolside suites with four-poster beds and four freshwater lagoons…

The assembly kicks off with a “project visit” next Sunday. According to sources at the Barbados embassy in Brussels, this is an EU euphemism for a four-hour chartered cruise aboard the Harbour Master — a 100ft ship billed as “the longest floating bar in the Caribbean”…

“It will be a relaxed thing. They shouldn’t have to work too much on it,” said an embassy official.

Delegates will also be able to choose between three “workshops” on Tuesday afternoon — one on the rum industry. MEPs who miss out on the trip will be handed a goody bag containing rum and other Bajan specialities.

Samuel Chandler, permanent secretary for foreign trade in Barbados, said this weekend that he believed the trip was scheduled to visit the West Indies rum distillery.

Later that evening the Bajan parliament will host a reception complete with local dancers and calypso singers…

However, he declined to give details of the rest of the entertainment programme. “We consider our hospitality private. We do not need to publicise it because it can give the wrong impression with different audiences,” he said. Despite the free hospitality, MEPs are entitled to claim a further £90 a day in expenses.

The ACP-EU assembly first met in 2000 to bring together MEPs with their counterparts from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific to talk about democracy, trade and human rights. It has no executive authority.

The twice yearly meeting, which rotates between Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, has become renowned for its lavish treatment of MEPs. The 70 members expected in Barbados will be accompanied by 84 officials, including 30 interpreters.

The appeal of Barbados has lured unusually large numbers of delegates. Only 52 attended a meeting in 2004 in the Hague, 54 went to Edinburgh and 55 on the trip to Mali last year…

“Everybody laughs when they hear it’s in Barbados,” said Fiona Hall, a Lib Dem MEP.

“But why shouldn’t they organise the meeting in the Caribbean just because of European sensitivities?” Kinnock, who is married to Lord Kinnock,and her spokesman declined to returns calls.

Comments Off on 70 European Parliament Members Heading To Barbados For “Conference On Poverty” (And The Bar Is Open!)

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption