UPDATED: Yup… Looks Like Bajan Tax Dollars Are In The Pot – Scroll To Bottom
Read the PM’s entire address to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly as given last Monday, and you will never come across the phrase “Barbados will transfer some of its tax revenues to other lesser developed CARICOM nations”…
Then, read it again.
Ain’t nothin be free, friends…
PRIME Minister Owen Arthur says Barbados will not take part in any integration effort that is “a permanent coalition of unequals”.
He gave the commitment yesterday while delivering the feature address at the formal opening of the 12th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly at Sherbourne Conference Centre.
Arthur said the Caribbean admired the model of economic integration Europe had undertaken “and we also acknowledge that it has many positive elements which can serve as a very useful benchmark in our own regional integration exercise”.
He noted that the elements aimed at ensuring social cohesion within Europe and the perspective that had been followed there were especially attractive.
“Consequently, in the Caribbean, in seeking to structure our own economic model, we have recognised the need for social and economic cohesion within our regional integration movement,” Arthur said, “and have committed ourselves to paying further attention to addressing this special need.”
He said the most tangible expression of this was the recent creation of the Regional Development Fund (RDF) to enable lesser developed members to offset any disadvantage they might face on having to become part of a single Caribbean economic space….
Read the rest of the article at The Nation News (link here).
Updated: Bajan Tax Dollars To Be Distributed To Poorer CARICOM Nations Through Regional Development Fund
Some of our readers took issue with our headline – BLP supporter “Anonymous” said…
“I was shocked at how stupid the suggestion was and was worried what Owen was doing, but I realized I’ve been baited by the sensationalism that this gossip rag (Barbados Free Press)thrives upon.”
Un-Ominous said BFP was “…spinning out of control” with our headline.
Maybe “Anonymous” will be as shocked, and Un-Ominious will reconsider who is “spinning out of control” by this…
Regional Development Fund to be set up
Web Posted – Fri Dec 16 2005
By Dorian Bryan
CARICOM leaders have agreed on the finances which will be necessary to make the Regional Development Fund a reality, prior to the formal launch of the CARICOM Single Market on January 1, 2006.
That announcement came after the First Special Meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) which took place earlier this week as efforts heightens ahead of January 1, to ensure that all of the measures are put in place, ahead of that date. The meeting follows another a week earlier which stressed that the Single Market will be implemented by January 1, 2006. It was revealed that Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago will be Single Market ready by December 31 2005.
That decision was announced at the conclusion of the Eleventh Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government on the status of the CSME, which was held at the Sherbourne Conference Centre. The decision of the CARICOM Heads came after they received a report on the state of readiness of the region from Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Owen Arthur, the Lead Head of Government with responsibility for the CSME.
In the Report, Prime Minister Arthur spoke of the visits to member states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to discuss issues and measures which relate to implementation of the special and differential treatment provisions under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and which also related to their ability to meet the December 2005 deadline for the
establishment of the Single Market. These visits were extended to Belize, Guyana and Suriname who face particular challenges. The visits were mandated by the Conference of Heads of Government at their last Regular Meeting in Saint Lucia in July.
The meeting was mandated to determine ways of secure the financing, structure and operation of the Development Fund a critical instrument to facilitate the successful implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
The Fund is provided for in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.
Significantly, the Ministers agreed that Governments will not fit the bill alone for the Fund. It was agreed that in addition to Member States contributions, the regional private sector, international financial institutions and foreign governments would be approached to contribute to the Development Fund. The Fund will be managed by the Caribbean Development Bank.
Prime Minister Owen Arthur, stated that the establishment of the Fund was critical moving forward in the process. “We leave this meeting with the regional development fund now, not just being an abstract concept in a treaty; but it will receive resources beginning on January 1 and there will be in excess of 10 million to start it off, and we hope that we can quickly
build it once we agree on the way in which it will be funded, who will benefit from it and the criteria by which money shall be disbursed,” he stated.
It was also stated that a technical team would continue to evaluate all options to ensure the fund would be affordable and sustainable. A report from the technical team, the Prime Minister stressed, had suggested that the fund should be 250 million, of which member countries would contribute 100 million and with another 150 million coming from international donors.
“That was not the only proposal. We have had a large number of proposals. We have even had one by Professor Havelock Brewster [a member of the technical team] that we are hearing for the first time that was worthy of consideration” the Prime Minister observed.