Sir William Allen
Minister of Finance

On the occasion of last week’s Parliamentary Debate on amendments to various financial services industry legislation, Finance Minister Sir William noted that no commitment has been made with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and that *”The Bahamas has not signed on to any OECD initiative”.* The reason for this was cited as the country’s inability to get over the unevenness of the approach and the concept of harmful competition.

Referencing and applauding the stance taken by the US Treasury Department on the OECD harmful tax initiative, Sir William indicated that it was his understanding that the OCED is fashioning a new initiative to take account of the US Treasury’s concerns.

The Treasury Secretary has gone on record as describing the initiative on harmful tax competition as being too broad and not in line with the current US Administration’s tax and economic policies. It has been clearly stated, too, that the United States does not support efforts to dictate to any country what its own tax rates or tax system should be, and will not participate in any initiative to harmonise world tax systems.

Instead, the US has called for the OECD initiative to be refocused on the core element, considered a common goal: *”the need for countries to be able to obtain specific information from other countries upon request, in order to prevent the illegal evasion of their tax laws by the dishonest few.”*