Blacklisting annoys Barbados

Blacklisting annoys Barbados

Barbados continues to fume over a blacklisting by worldwide charity organisation, Oxfam, with International Business and Commerce Minister, Donville Inniss, on Monday reportedly describing the poverty-fighting group as a bully and liar.

UK based Oxfam earlier this month named this island number 13 among the world’s top 15 ‘worst corporate tax havens,’ claiming that Barbados along with the other 14, “facilitate the most extreme forms of corporate tax avoidance, driving the race to the bottom in corporate taxation.”

The renowned charity accused Barbados and the other countries of using harmful tax policies, that are “causing the loss of huge amounts of valuable tax revenue,” and said, “their use is becoming standard business practice for many companies.”

Oxfam stated that its analysis found 90 percent of the world’s biggest companies had a presence in at least one tax haven.

“I don’t know where Oxfam’s head lies to tell such blatant [untruths] about a sovereign state,” the Nation newspaper reported Inniss saying Monday.

“There is no way even the most unenlightened person can say that Barbados is a tax haven, but you have these organisations that criticise us and will not say ‘boo’ about America, where there are some states which practise [such activity]. Yet when it comes to small Barbados, there are those who feel they can run roughshod over us.”

The minister’s accusations Monday are the second reported salvo aimed at Oxfam.

The Barbados TODAY epaper had previously reported him referring to Oxfam’s categorization of Barbados as ‘wicked’ and ‘mischievous.’

Noting that Barbados’ offshore operations currently enjoy a passing grade from the biggest tax haven watch dog agency, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, he questioned the authority of the charitable organisation in venturing into such areas.

“Next thing you know the Salvation Army is going to say we are a tax haven, the Red Cross is going to say we are a tax haven.”

The government minister said that instead of praising Barbados for applying initiatives that lifted its people out of poverty, Oxfam wanted people for the island, to “come with a beggar bowl.”

In the report, Oxfam stated that it exposed the so-called ‘worst tax havens,’ because, “collecting tax is one of the key means by which governments are able to address poverty and inequality. But big business is dodging tax on an industrial scale, depriving governments across the globe of the money they need to address poverty and invest in healthcare, education and jobs.”