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Low blow

Natasha Beckles

Low blow

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Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler believes some countries in the international community want to shut down Barbados as an offshore tax centre.
He said yesterday that the latest fiasco in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was led predominantly by the French and the Germans but implicitly sanctioned by others in the G20, and along with the tax jurisdiction examination process of the Financial Stability Board, was part of that campaign.
The minister was speaking at Hilton Barbados at the monthly luncheon of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA).
He said “the constant changing of the goalpost in relation to standards on transparency and the exchange of information with respect to the OECD” was as unwarranted as was the criteria and justification for placing Barbados on a list of about 62 tax jurisdictions with the “potential to disrupt” the international financial system.
“That even inspite of our participation on the OECD Peer Review Committee, and as a leading advocate in the quest to promote transparency in tax matters, we could find ourselves in this position, leaves one to reflect on the real motive for the actions taken by the OECD and others,” he added.
“What is even more troubling is the premature and entirely unnecessary rush to judgement by the British tax authorities to place Barbados in the so-called Category 3 group of countries which includes none less than some of the world’s most uncooperative tax havens. 
“And this irrespective of the fact that we were engaged in talks with the British government to set dates for the renegotiation of our long-standing Double Taxation Treaty . . . set to begin in May.
”Sinckler said he would write his British counterpart outlining Barbados’ disappointment with the stance of both that government and OECD.
Full story in Tuesday’s DAILY NATION