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Antiguan Diplomat Warns Over Disappearance Of Level Playing Field Over Tax

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

20 December 2002


The Antigua Sun newspaper reported on Wednesday that the jurisdiction's High Commissioner to London, Sir Ronald Sanders was last week moved to write to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with regard to concerns that the 'level playing field' promised by the multilateral organisation is rapidly disappearing.

The newspaper revealed that Sir Ronald dispatched a letter to the OECD's Secretary General, Donald Johnston following the announcement by the EU Presidency that certain OECD member states have been given until 2011 to implement information exchange procedures on tax matters - seven years more than the period granted to non-members.

'You may wish to consider the necessity of convening a special meeting of the Global forum early in the New Year to inform all participants of the situation with regard to the position of certain EU member states and to examine whether or not a sufficient consensus remains to render the work of the OECD Secretariat in the Global Forum viable in the months ahead,' Sir Ronald wrote, continuing:

'[The] Government of Antigua and Barbuda shares the view expressed recently by the Government of Panama and the Leader of Government Business in the Cayman Islands that the conditionality of a 'level playing field' amongst participating members of the Global Forum no longer exists.'

The Antigua Sun reported that the High Commissioner to London went on to remind Mr Johnston that the concept was central to Antigua and Barbuda's participation in the OECD's harmful tax competition exercise, as indeed it was to many other jurisdictions.

A comprehensive report on the OECD, FATF and other 'offshore' initiatives is available in the Tax News Reports Shop at http://www.tax-news.com/reportshop


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