Busi­ness must pass it on

UK Barbados Nation - - NEWS -

GOV­ERN­MENT has pre­sented Bar­ba­dian com­pa­nies with a New Year’s gift, and we are sure cor­po­rate en­ti­ties will grab it with both hands. Like

Prime Min­is­ter Mia Amor Mot­t­ley, who an­nounced the big drop in cor­po­ra­tion tax from next year, we be­lieve the busi­ness com­mu­nity, while suf­fer­ing pain over the last ten years, must not keep all of the sweets for them­selves, as their work­ers too have suf­fered. So have their cus­tomers and com­mu­ni­ties.

The Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD) has been re­lent­less in its quest to get the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to achieve so-called tax equal­ity and trans­parency. Bar­ba­di­ans know only too well the OECD’S ac­tions, as a for­mer Bar­ba­dos Labour Party Ad­min­is­tra­tion, led by then Prime Min­is­ter Owen Arthur, fought to stop Bar­ba­dos be­ing named a tax haven.

Since then the Paris-based body has con­tin­ued its mis­sion. Some have rightly ar­gued that its con­stant shift­ing of the goal­posts against small na­tions like Bar­ba­dos when oth­ers closer to home are not equally pur­sued is un­fair and hyp­o­crit­i­cal.

The Prime Min­is­ter ham­mered home this point in the House of

Assem­bly last week while de­liv­er­ing her Min­is­te­rial State­ment on the cor­po­rate tax changes that will see do­mes­tic com­pa­nies pay­ing the same rates as in­ter­na­tional busi­ness firms.

She called pres­sure from the OECD hyp­o­crit­i­cal, bul­ly­ing, and an af­front to nat­u­ral jus­tice, not­ing that coun­tries set rules for oth­ers that they them­selves do not ad­here to.

Mot­t­ley also chided the for­mer Demo­cratic Labour Party Gov­ern­ment for telling the OECD that Bar­ba­dos would com­pletely over­haul our tax sys­tem by De­cem­ber 31.

We agree the au­thor­i­ties should have en­gaged Bar­ba­di­ans on this very im­por­tant mat­ter even be­fore mak­ing such a com­mit­ment. Hav­ing said that, Bar­ba­dos has in­deed been able to make the com­mit­ment to re­move the dis­tinc­tion be­tween do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional busi­ness taxes, and will there­fore avoid sanc­tions.

This is an op­por­tu­nity that the busi­ness com­mu­nity should use to help re­sus­ci­tate the strug­gling econ­omy.

There have been mur­murs that with Gov­ern­ment cut­ting jobs the busi­ness com­mu­nity is likely to do the same.

The fact that from next year com­pa­nies will see their cor­po­rate tax rate fall from 30 per cent to be­tween as lit­tle as one per cent and 5.5 per cent means com­pa­nies have a ma­jor in­cen­tive to not only re­tain their work­ers but in­crease their pay and ben­e­fits.

In all of this, it is ex­pected that sev­eral en­ter­prises will be re­port­ing much health­ier prof­its. Hav­ing more in­come at their dis­posal means busi­ness bud­gets will be un­der less pres­sure, es­pe­cially know­ing the tax­man will be tak­ing less.

When this is cou­pled with the fact that Gov­ern­ment will over the next four years be re­duc­ing the mil­lions of dol­lars in ar­rears owed to the pri­vate sec­tor, busi­nesses should get some much-needed breath­ing space.

Cor­po­rate Bar­ba­dos is be­ing given the op­por­tu­nity to re­sus­ci­tate the econ­omy, and they should not waste it.

Re­mem­ber that sweet in­ter­ac­tion be­tween you and a sexy teller when she asked: “How would you like it?” And you would look her over with your imag­i­na­tion run­ning wild.

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