As the EU continues its crusade to curb “harmful tax practices”, we examine the latest developments in Economic Substance.
Blacklists generally, and European blacklists in particular, are effectively discouraging the only successful development strategy in the Caribbean.
We label this effort to forcibly impose European policies the ‘New Tax Colonialism’. Many of the same European powers who once colonised the Caribbean and forced its societies into sugar plantation economies now seek to fiscally recolonise it, crippling the most effective way to achieve economic prosperity in the region.
Large economies find blacklists an attractive tool with which to coerce smaller ones to adopt the policies the big countries prefer. Not only does the Council of the EU have its “List of Noncooperative Jurisdictions” but there are also national lists maintained by multiple European states.
Money, we are told, is the sinews of war while treasure is often the object of war.
It is not, perhaps, polite to say so but the truth must be faced that the governments and people of international financial centres (IFCs), particularly those in the Caribbean region, are facing existential threats to their livelihoods. The EU has been lying to IFCs all along. No matter what IFCs do, it will never be enough for the EU till IFCs do not exist. For small island economies with primary production and tourism, including medical tourism, as the only obvious industries, offshore banking, and financial services, aided by the internet, have been a godsend – clean industry to complement tourism, diversify economic activity and raise wages.