Barbados, Tax Or The Axe

You can’t have it both ways. That’s the message from the Minister of Finance to the leadership of two unions who are threatening to shut down the country over the Government’s planned increase to the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) from 2 to 10%, and a 2% tax on forex transactions. The Minister said either $240m needs to be raised by taxes, or a reduction in government expenditure by the same amount. Read more on nationnews.com

Jamaican Government Working On Easing Travel Under CSME

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has been working with its regional counterparts to resolve some of the problems that frustrate travellers within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

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Cyber Security Must Be Priority Number One

GUEST POST – Deon Olton, Caribbean Cyber Security Center

Bridgetown Barbados:—  Caribbean Cyber Security Center.
The penetration of internet access in the Caribbean region has undoubtedly paved the way for greater access to the information superhighway and the benefits of competing on the global stage. However, with this access comes great responsibility and risk and we will soon learn that ignorance is no excuse and what we don’t know can and will hurt us.

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CARICOM Disappointed By US Withdrawal From Paris Agreement

Speaking on behalf of CARICOM, Guyanese President David A. Granger issued the following statement following the recent withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement:

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change was more than just another international agreement on another complex international issue.  It reflects the acknowledgment and acceptance that climate change is a global issue requiring global solutions.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is therefore deeply dismayed and disappointed by the decision of the United States to withdraw from the Agreement.

For us Climate Change is an existential threat.  As members of a Community of Small-Island and Low-Lying Coastal Developing States (SIDS), the reality of climate change is making itself manifest to us, especially given that our Region is the most prone to natural disasters globally.

The need for global action to combat this phenomenon is past urgent.  As one of the prime contributors to the emissions which continue to push global temperature rise to an untenable level, the leadership of the United States in efforts to curb the warming of the planet is an important factor.

Abdication of that responsibility sends a negative signal particularly to those of us most vulnerable to the effects of climate change despite the fact that we do little or nothing to contribute to its causes.

However, CARICOM is encouraged by the fact that the overwhelming majority of Nations remains firmly committed to the Paris Agreement.  Our own commitment will never waiver. Our existence is at stake.

Source: CARICOM Today

Barbados Budget 2017 At A Glance

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Hon. Christopher Sinckler, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, has delivered his long-awaited Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals today. You can download a copy of the document here (PDF, 58 pages).

Barbados Budget 2017 At A Glance:

Revenue Measures (BDS):

  • National Social Responsibility Levy – Introduced in September 2016 at 2%, to be increased to 10% effective July 1 2017- $218m.
  • Commission on Foreign Exchange Transactions – Effective July 1, a foreign exchange commission charged on all sales of of foreign currency of 2%. (extending to wire transfers, credit card transactions, and OTC sale of foreign currencies) – $52m.
  • Excise on Gasoline and Diesel Fuels – Effective June 1, excise tax on gasoline will be increased by 25 cents per litre from $0.74 to $0.99 and on diesel by $0.24 from $0.20 to $0.44. June 2017  retail prices will now be: Gasoline $3.05 per litre and Diesel $2.25 per litre (current prices are $3.00 and $2.15 respectively) – $50m.
  • BNTCL sale – $70m.
  • Government stake in Hilton Hotel sale – $100m.

Expenditure Measures:

  • Interest rate savings on domestic debt held by statutory corporations – $70m.
  • Savings in overall expenditure will be identified – $82m.

Other Measures:

  • Tax Amnesty for 6 months – $25m.