Battle Intensifies Against VAT In Turks And Caicos

Tuesday 30th, October 2012 / 08:43 Published by

The Turks and Caicos Independent Business Council (TCIBC) has started Phase 2 of its battle against value added tax (VAT) in the run-up to the November 9 elections.

London-based lobbyists and PR consultants, Media House International have had their contract renewed, with a remit to step up activity at Westminster, UK media and the global offshore press.

TCIBC are a group of influential Turks and Caicos business leaders who are deeply concerned with the adverse effects the implementation of VAT will have on the islands’ economy and local businesses and they accused Governor Ric Todd of a high handed, arrogant colonial-style attitude and failing to consult business stakeholders.

The London-imposed interim government is currently in power in the Turks and Caicos; however, the people will have their own free elections on November 9 and the leaders of both parties have publicly opposed the introduction of VAT. The TCIBC believe that VAT should be a decision for the newly elected government.

The group has made it clear that it does not object to increases in taxation for the islands; however it believes that the interim government is hastily introducing an extremely complex tax that is expensive to implement, expensive to collect and places additional resource and cost burdens on the business community.

As part of its campaign the TCIBC recently organised an anti-VAT petition that was signed by over 3,000 people — over half of the country’s electorate, demanding that the government delay its implementation of VAT until a full analysis is done on the impact it will have on the islands’ economy.

Media House executive chairman Jack Irvine said: “The first phase of the campaign ruffled feathers in London and the tension of the elections will heighten the temperature. The UK government, despite presiding over a disastrous British economy, really have to understand that they can’t go on behaving like 18th century colonial masters when they simply don’t understand the nuances of small countries’ fiscal infrastructures. VAT might work in a population of 60 million but it’s a different story when the population is 46,000.”

Originally Published by Caribbean News Now!


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