PM Skerrit expresses concerns over EU blacklist

EU flags fly at the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels

Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has expressed concerns over an EU blacklist which targeted several CARICOM countries as non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.

Dominica was not on the list.

Speaking at a press conference earlier this week, Skerrit stated that CARICOM should probably issue its own blacklist of countries.

“We always maintain in CARICOM that we do all what we have to do to ensure and assure the security of the world. People have to appreciate, too, that in our small jurisdictions there will always be certain capacity constraints. But I think CARICOM should start coming up with its own list, too, and start blacklisting countries likewise,” Skerrit said.

Earlier this month, EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels named St Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, and Trinidad & Tobago among a list of 17 countries considered to be global tax havens. They said the new list had been drawn up after 10 months of investigations by EU officials.

Skerrit described the list as unfortunate saying that organizations, like the EU, don’t see the consequences of blacklisting small economies.

“I don’t know if they don’t understand the implications for the economies of these countries. You get the sense that there’s no real sensible conclusion or basis upon which they came to these conclusions,” the Prime Minister stated. “It is unfortunate.”

He said that although Dominica was not mentioned, the blacklist will impact the island.

“We are part of one single space …” he stated.

Skerrit said small islands like Dominica “are at the mercy of the bigger countries and they take these decisions without being mindful of the implications for us.”

CARICOM has expressed strong objections to the blacklist.

“This decision by the EU has been based on new and unilaterally-determined criteria, that go beyond the generally accepted international tax transparency and accountability standards which our countries have been diligently meeting over the past several years,” Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque said last week. “CARICOM strongly objects to this listing of our Member States and calls on the EU to remove our Member States from this pernicious list.”

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10 Comments

  1. All Saints!
    December 22, 2017

    Dominica and those other islands in the Caribbean affected by Hurricanes are not on the list – technically correct. These islands (including Dominica) have been given a reprieve until Summer 2018 when they’ll be expected to respond as cooperative tax jurisdictions.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t D/ca already in a tenuous position with the EU Blacklisting regime?

  2. Simple Ignoramus
    December 21, 2017

    Continuing from my previous post…
    I am appalled at the number of people who are mad at PM Skerrit for being steaming mad at the situation. The EU is itself steaming mad at the sweet deal Ireland gave to Apple, Inc. to get its business. Yet, Ireland does not show up on the list. Instead, Saint Lucia, Barbados and Grenada somehow make the cut. Dominica would have, I understand, but we were granted mercy because of Hurricane Maria. Rather than criticizing the Prime Minister and the CARICOM Secretary General for being annoyed at the EU, let us educate ourselves about the issues. I recommend two works on the matter that I have found helpful:
    1. International Tax Competition – Globalisation and Fiscal Sovereignty, Rajiv Biswas, editor
    2. Twenty-first Century Pirates of the Caribbean, Dr. Vaughn E. James.
    There are also various works by Ambassador Ronald Sanders that I have found helpful.
    Happy reading.

  3. Simple Ignoramus
    December 21, 2017

    OK; so a CARICOM Blacklist would not have any sting, would not have any bite. But the Prime Minister gets the overall picture: the EU Blacklist has bite, and the EU Blacklist is wrong, dead wrong. The list is a mere continuation of the policies started by the OECD in 1998 when it confronted us with its Anti-Harmful Tax Competition Initiative. In response, we changed our laws, became more transparent, surrendered our fiscal sovereignty. But on March 18, 2010, the United States Congress enacted FATCA, designed to effectively make every bank on Earth an agent of the IRS. On July 15, 2014, the OECD approved its Standards for Automatic Exchange of Financial Information (aka the CRS). And on December 5, 2017, the EU issued its Blacklist of 17 defenseless nations. The world’s top tax haven, Ireland, is not listed. Bermuda, home of the Paradise Papers, is not listed. The Cayman Islands, world capital of off-shore trusts, is not listed. PM Skerrit has every reason to be steaming mad!

  4. December 21, 2017

    Seriously Skerro!!!!!! you really concerned about the EU blacklist? OK i know you are concerned but not for the reasons you expressed; why not tell us the truth and the real reason for once nah garcon.

  5. Dominican
    December 21, 2017

    I’m sorry but Mr. Skerrit is either ignorant or deliberately misinforming the public. The fact is thatDominica is on that list,but we have been given more time (till Feb.) to comply because of hurricane Maria. His posturing is for public consumption only, sable rattling to show his supporters how tough he is but in reality there is little he can do seeing how dependent we are on aid from the European Union. I wish that for once he would come clean with us.

    • December 22, 2017

      PM have the Dominican people spell bound and they drink whatever he dishes out he would never attempt to destroy that by start telling the truth, and the people don’t even check out information for themselves which is so sad that’s why others believe we are foolish people but we are not we are just lazy and that’s destroying us not the PM we are doing it to ourselves., everything shouldn’t and cannot be seen thru red eye glasses . Dominica was given an extension due to the hurricane Maria so there isn’t anything to hide but that’s how the man is, and when others try to educate the public they are been trashed by his supporters and administration .

  6. Florida Diaspora
    December 21, 2017

    Don’t worry my elusive prime minister. even though we are not on this list we sure are on many other black lists. Don’t play like you don’t know about how you have endangered us and made us easy targets with all those passports you’ve been selling to all your criminal friends in high plases while you’ve done nothing for us but turn at least 5000 young people into NEP weed Wackers cleaning up the road sides for a living. Is that your idea of development sir. You wicked wicked wicked man

  7. Real!!!!
    December 21, 2017

    PM Skerrit…..So start your blacklist. We are waiting!!!!!

    You will not blacklist known nefarious characters with criminal background from purchasing our passport but you have the testicular fortitude to Blacklist countries…SMH

    Additively while you have the poorest economy in this economic basin with begging as your motto and no interest in developing your internal capacity.

    This PM is very juvenile after all these years in power.

  8. Paul Rossnof
    December 21, 2017

    Listen to Skerrit and I quote: “We always maintain in CARICOM that we do all what we have to do to ensure and assure the security of the world”. I say to you, is that so? Of the top of my head I can at least remember 3 cases where undesirables where caught in the possession of Dominican Diplomatic passports. So keep on lying.
    Then he goes on to say: “but I think CARICOM should start coming up with its own list, too, and start blacklisting countries likewise. I say, well why don’t you, go right ahead. As long as you can afford to stay the consequences.
    Man you should listen to yourself sometimes. Do you really think the EU cares about your ‘blacklist’ or Roosevelt Skerrit. But I guess you really believe that everybody in Brussels is worried now… Poor little man!!!

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