Elected politicians vote against VAT in TCI

| 04/02/2013

Dr.-Rufus-Washington-Ewing_-TCI-Premier-and-Chief-Minister (220x300).jpg(CNS): The governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands will need to decide this week if he will go against the locally elected parliament just three months after the reinstatement of democracy to the UK overseas territory. Local politicians from both sides of the political divide voted to repeal the controversial Valued Added Tax (VAT) law which was imposed by the interim UK administration and due to be implemented on 1 April. During a special sitting of the House of Assembly in the Island’s capital Grand Turk politicians rejected the imposition of an 11 per cent tax on goods.  The islands’ new premier said he was well aware that the governor does not have to accept the advice of Cabinet but he suggested the imposition of the tax when the people were not represented was “tyranny.”

Dr Rufus Ewing, the TCI’s new premier and leader of the ruling Progressive National Party said that all of the people who were elected and the general public of the TCI were opposed to VAT. “We are all saying NO to VAT,” he said in the debate. “We are all giving advice to the Governor and the FCO that VAT is bad for the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
The sentiment was shared by the local opposition leader and the new parliament voted in favour of a motion overturning the new law.

In the wake of the vote the governor’s office released a short statement from Ric Todd, who said he was aware of the decision of the House of Assembly.

Hepointed out that he had the power to stop the efforts by the parliament to overturn the law but said he intended to discuss the issue with his colleagues in Cabinet this week.
In a recent review of how the new government is progressing after its first three months leading the territory Todd reminded the people that the UK had made a loan guarantee of $260 million after what he described as the maladministration of the past. Todd warned that the territory’s national debt, while smaller than at the height of the financial crisis, “has to be brought down by the government,” reminding that, not too long ago, the government was “essentially bankrupt.”

He said the “advantages of VAT” had not been well communicated and pointed to the privately funded and orchestrated campaign against it. He said UK Ministers have consistently made clear that they are open to credible and sustainable alternatives to VAT, but no proposals have been received. Todd added that the UK believes VAT is “good for public finances,” but the overseas territories minister had suggested its implementation as scheduled with a review twelve months later.

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  1. St Peter says:

    But who is the lady standing behind him with the big-hair and the earring?

  2. St Peter says:

    I agree that they should be able to remove the VAT after they repay the $260 million loan that the UK has had to guarantee because of their past corruption…

    • Anonymous says:

      FCO has no clue. Always sending boys to do a man's job.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the people do not want VAT then they should not have to pay it just as the expat community here did not want to pay income taxes.  As for the $260 million that the UK has had to guarantee because of past corruption, the operative word is GUARANTEE not paid.  Maybe the UK should give that money to TCI for all the destruction that was done to their environment back in the days when salt had the same value  of gold and TCI was a main exporter of salt  that went to the treasury of the UK. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you name the democratically elected government that borrowed this money? Was it the PNP or the PDM party?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Britain should force these people into independence and leave them to their own corrupt deluded mess.

    • Anonymous says:

      The people of TCI are very hard to control so if independence is forced upon them I can see them now having a celebration, throwing out all the people without money and sell the country to the highest bidder. Oh I can see it now, the Mecca of the Caribbean for Hollywood, maybe that is just what they are setting the UK up for.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that the TCI people are working towards independence as we speak. As the transition to independence would most likely result in the native TCI people no longer having British Citizenship or the right to a British passport (as with the native Caymanian people, I don’t think many of the native TCI people actually have a British passport) it would only be fair that TCI citizenship be taken back from everyone that is originally from the UK that also has TCI citizenship?

      These individuals should still be allowed to live and work in the TCI but would have to transition over to the regular work permit system that exists in the country. This should be beneficial for the TCI as the new revenue from work permit fees would help the government pay some of their outstanding bills.

      Does anyone have any information that would indicate how many native TCI people are living and working in the UK?