Daily Archives: May 6, 2011

UK helps Barbados with damage control over tax transparency failure

International Community wants action, not promises

A new Barbados Government press release says that the United Kingdom will upgrade our country’s status with respect to the UK’s legislation on offshore non-compliance by U.K taxpayers, and petition the OECD to reconsider its recent report about Barbados that resulted in “highly prejudicial consequences”.

Last January the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) slapped Barbados upside the head for failing to comply with international standards for sharing tax information. The OECD review was part of a crackdown on money laundering and tax havens and found that Barbados “did not have legislation in place to fully share information on tax matters with international partners.”

See BFP’s January 28, 2011 article OECD: Barbados fails tax transparency standards

Barbados was once again sent to our room by the international community until we could behave ourselves and pass some laws and regulations like we agreed to do years ago but never got around to. So now that we’ve taken a few weeks and passed the new laws we’d like to come out and play with the others, and the UK is going to vouch for us.

This same scenario plays out once or twice a year in one form or another when the international community gets tired of all promises and no action. Last year Barbados was downgraded to a spot below Cambodia over our failure to fight human trafficking. This year it’s our failure to comply with international tax information standards. Next year it will be something else.

Laws? Standards? What you talking about?

You see, we Barbadians don’t like to pass laws or comply with outside standards. We like to make promises and statements of intent, but actually passing laws is another thing. Laws make it inconvenient for the ruling class to do whatever they want. That’s why the DLP won’t pass their promised Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information laws.

Unfortunately, while we Bajans understand our leaders making promises and then doing the opposite, the international community is less forgiving than the voters.

Moral of the story: After the OECD slapped us around, it took our government about two weeks to pass the required laws because the downgrade threatened our economy.

Too bad our government won’t act so quickly to pass Integrity Legislation,  Freedom of Information and Conflicts of Interest laws. Or Environmental Legislation.

Prime Minister Stuart could make those laws happen if he wanted to.

But he doesn’t want to.

Barbados Government Press Release Damage Control

British Government believes OECD Global Forum should review Barbados tax information-exchange finding as soon as possible Continue reading

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