According to THE VINCENTIAN newspaper of 21st May 2021, Courts (St. Vincent) was ordered to pay just over EC$13million – and other attendant fees – by The High Court, after a legal battle that had dragged on for the better part of seven years. The High Court ordered Courts SVG Limited to pay the monies as it allegedly owed to the SVG Inland Revenue Department for tax liabilities.

The Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, who has a BSc (Hons) degree in Accounting and Finance and Economics from Oxford Brookes University, England, asks: Why the same legal action and approach to tax collection is not taken against Taiwan and the super-rich in Mustique and Canouan?

If the ULP regime is keen to clamp down on the non-payment of tax by foreigners and foreign-owned entities, why is action not being brought against Taiwan and the super-rich in Mustique and Canouan? Why is there a different and discriminatory approach to tax collection when it comes to the super-rich, in Mustique and Canouan and Taiwan?

For decades, there have been tax and customs duty exemptions given to the super-rich, in Mustique and Canouan and Taiwan. The hundreds of millions of dollars of tax and customs duties exemptions given in this regard, is a breach of Section 13 of The Saint Vincent and The Grenadines Constitution. This Section 13 says, ‘no Law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect’.

There is no net benefit from the white businesses in Mustique and Canouan and these individuals must pay tax and customs duty to the SVG Treasury. We do not need these types of narrow-minded, super-rich in our graceful country.

It is estimated that Taiwan owes SVG over EC$57 billion in Fish Tax avoidance. Taiwan should urgently be taken to The Hon High Court for Taiwan to pay this big heap of money that is owed to the SVG Treasury and the population of SVG.

It is very shameful and disrespectful that Taiwan has been allowed to get away with such a large sum of money – EC$57 billion – as fish tax avoidance. Should we discontinue relations with Taiwan if they don’t pay up?

There is no net benefit from Taiwan’s presence in SVG and as a people and nation, we would be much better off if they had never breached our shores. We could have used our licence to fish for tuna in the Atlantic Ocean ourselves and put the lost EC$57 billion toward improving Vincentians’ lives.

The Taiwanese came to SVG about 35 years ago to supposedly help our country, but we are worse off now than then.

If the ULP regime sees fit to instigate legal proceedings to make Courts (St. Vincent) pay tax to the SVG Treasury, then they should be doing the same to the super-rich in Mustique and Canouan and Taiwan. All foreigners and foreign-owned entities should be paying tax to the SVG Treasury. There should be no discrimination.

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