The leader of the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Philip J. Pierre, told a news conference Thursday that a decision by the European Union to put Saint Lucia on a black list of tax havens is a very serious matter.
And he has blamed negligence on the part of the Allen Chastanet administration for the situation.
The SLP leader declared that this country has never been blacklisted before.
“We have complied with everything that the EU or the OECD has told us to do,” Pierre noted.
According to him, Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has admitted that Saint Lucia has harmful preferential tax regimes.
“The EU in their communique said that Saint Lucia does not apply what is called BEPS minimum standards,” Pierre stated.
He explained that BEPS means Base Erosion and Profit Standards, and refers to tax plans used by multinational companies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax regimes to artificially shift profits to low or no tax locations where there is little or no economic activity.
“All Saint Lucia had to do was to commit to changes by December 2018. It is because of negligence of the government that they did not give the EU a commitment. All that they had to do was to give the EU a commitment that they would deal with the BEPS,” the SLP leader told reporters.
“The more important question is – What did Saint Lucia do, what legislation did we introduce, what did the Prime Minister say that caused us to be blacklisted after we had never been blacklisted before? What did he say? What did he do? And why did he not commit to make the changes by December 2018?” Pierre asked.
He asserted that because of negligence and lack of care on the part of the Prime Minister, Saint Lucia received the blacklisting by the EU.