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.”