Less than two months since the Financing & Money Services (Amendment) Act came into effect, Premier Andrew Fahie is reporting that the policy has already begun to generate significant yields.
The legislation — which mandates that a seven percent tax be taken from all monies leaving the BVI through money transfer agencies — has resulted in several thousand being collected in taxes per week, so far.
At this rate, Premier Fahie said government will collect more than $1.7 million from local money transfers by the end of this year.
“The slowest week thus far was the second week in May, around there, and that week was $843,670.03. If you just take seven percent out of that week, you have $59,056.90. With about 30 more weeks to go for that seven percent, you would calculate it to be $1,771,707.06,” he said while speaking in the House of Assembly on Tuesday night, June 16.
While reiterating that the monies collected from all transactions is earmarked for various national development initiatives, the Premier added: “You divide that [money] into the five categories — 20 percent going into the senior citizen’s home and to help the seniors, 20 percent going to first-time landowners and homeowners, 20 percent going to scholarships in specified areas, 20 percent going to improving our fishing industry and 20 percent to improve our agriculture industry. Can I tell you that even in the slowest time, by the end of the year, if it stays like that — which it has not — the minimum each one of them will be able to put in it will be $354,341.41?”
You cannot talk, you have to lead
Premier Fahie then noted the kind of revenue that the territory would have benefited from had the amendment been done sooner.
“Had we been doing that for years and we had made that decision, those would have had at a minimum of $5 million apiece. This tells me you cannot keep talking, you have to lead! Every option will always have its criticism, and that’s true democracy,” he stated.
The Premier made those statements while responding to the opposition his government has been receiving for a different piece of legislation — the Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Act that is still being deliberated in the House.
He reminded legislators that his government had received a similarly strong opposition when the Financing & Money Services (Amendment) Act was introduced.
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