news icon mr-4
Date: 08 May, 2009
Source: The Barbados Advocate by Jewel Brathwaite

BARBADOS’ Prime Minister David Thompson said he does not believe that Legislation tabled recently in the United States Congress to deal with offshore tax havens is targeting jurisdictions like Barbados.

Speaking at a function Wednesday night at Ilaro Court – his official residence – the Prime Minister told a group of business representatives from this country’s International Business and financial sector, as well as Government officials, that Barbados has been co-operating with countries to ensure they benefit from the sector.

The measure known as the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act was tabled last month by US Senator, Carl Levin, a Democrat from Michigan, to restrict the use of offshore tax havens and abusive tax to inappropriately avoid Federal taxation. Barbados is not a tax haven.

“I want to say that despite the strong feelings about that piece of legislation, it did not seem to us that it was aimed at jurisdictions like Barbados,” the Prime Minister told the function organised by Invest Barbados, this country’s leading business promotion agency.

According to the Prime Minister, this country “co-operates in providing information and working with countries to ensure we share mutual benefits from the international business sector.”

He recalled having held discussions about the proposed legislation with United States President Barack Obama and other American officials at the recent Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain. Thompson said that the American message was very clear.

He pointed out that their concern was that all persons who should be paying taxes in the United States of America will be paying them. “That is their position and they will do everything to ensure the taxes are paid and collected,” he said.

The Prime Minister said he considered this “a reasonable and fair position on the part of the USA, and it is entitled to have that position and it is not something we as a sovereign nation can question.”