Finance Minister Colm Imbert needs to level with the country and tell us why T&T has been unable to qualify for removal from the EU list of tax havens, while in very recent times St Lucia, Grenada and Barbados have been removed.
Are we witness here to the usual sloth characteristic of this lazy, intellectually bankrupt, and clueless PNM administration?
Will EU blacklisting affect our ambitions of becoming a regional financial centre and also negatively impact correspondent banking relationships?
Colm Imbert must level with us.
It is more than two and a half years that this government has been in office and during this period many CARICOM countries, originally blacklisted, have been able to meet EU requirements and be taken off the blacklist.
“If Grenada, the Bahamas and St Kitts/Nevis have been able to meet EU requirements over the past two years, why have we, with all Imbert’s so called financial expertise, been unable to so do?” asks MP Charles.
“Maybe the time has come for us to be realistic, understand our administrative inadequacies, and request assistance from Grenada and/or St Lucia’s Finance Ministry given their successes and our apparent inability to meet EU requirements,” MP Charles further commented.
What is it that most Finance Ministers of nearby CARICOM countries know that our Finance Ministry and Imbert in particular seem clueless about?
Latest information is that the Bahamas and St Kitts/Nevis will be taken off the list next week based on recent initiatives by their respective governments.
Bahamas’ Finance Minister, Peter Turnquest earlier this year “travelled to Brussels to argue his country’s position that it had signed onto the Inclusive Framework for the Implementation of the Base Erosion Initiative with the OECD”. What action did Imbert take by comparison?
We are told based on their frontal assault on the issue, that St Kitts/Nevis and the Bahamas will both be removed from the blacklist to a so-called grey list of jurisdictions with low tax transparency standards but aiming to become less opaque”.
Where is TT in all this? What is our plan to deal with EU blacklisting and also that of the OECD?
Colm Imbert must understand that while he can continue to arrogant and ambiguous hoping to sound intelligent. That will only work in T&T. He cannot fool international agencies, including rating agencies, who need straight, non obfuscatory answers to questions.
Once again TT is waking up to the harsh realization that our country was in 2015 victim of a massive con job by the red and ready brigade. The unfortunate result of that con job is that our country is being blacklisted, negative advisories abound, we appear confused on our Dominica vote at the OAS, and we are being laughed at as this government’s incompetence is now manifest on the world stage.
MP for Naparima