“I want to commend the government for bringing this bill to parliament,” said Opposition Leader Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas said today of the government tabled Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (USA) (Implementation and Enforcement) Bill 2015.
During his presentation on the bill’s debate in the National Assembly today (Sept 15), Dr. Douglas said while he understands the government’s need to bring the legislation, its members should ensure there is protection for the affected citizens of the Federation.
As a responsible country, he said, the government needs to always be aware of the impact intergovernmental agreements such as FATCA have on its citizenry against the backdrop of maintaining its international standing.
Dr. Douglas charged that Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris had not provided the people with full disclosure on the FATCA legislation, opting instead to have to gone to Barbados and signed the agreement without informing the nation.
This is why the opposition members had to speak on the critical issues they identified earlier today, he claimed.
His Labour administration had always ensured St. Kitts and Nevis was a responsible member of the international community, he said, while being mindful of its responsibilities to the citizens.
Against this backdrop he emphasized that not because a country was a larger international player such as the United States ,gave it the right to trample on the rights of the citizens of the Federation.
This does not mean the Opposition was speaking against the US, Dr. Douglas stressed.
He also admitted that he had discussed the implementation of FATCA legislation during his tenure as Prime Minister, and that he had asked his regional counterparts for additional time to consider its impact of the citizens of the country.