Press Releases

Tax on Credit Union Assets

The Barbados Co-operative & Credit Union League Limited, the apex body for the credit union movement in Barbados is very concerned about the trend of the policy measures implemented by Government since fiscal year 2010/2011.  This comes after the news of Government’s stated intention to place a tax on the assets of all financial institutions, including credit unions. What is unfortunate is that there has been absolutely no consultation with the credit union sector in Barbados regarding such a retrograde policy measure.

 

Moreover, the tax incentives, which credit union members have valued since 1997 were removed in accordance with the 2010 Budgetary Statement. This was a temporary measure for an eighteen-month period, however, to date; these tax incentives have not been restored.

 

The fiscal measure that credit unions will be required to pay a tax on their assets is a double blow in a three-year period. This is especially so given the important role credit unions play in cushioning the harsh impact of recent policy measures. The series of policy measures conceptualised by the current political administration are an assault on the credit union movement in Barbados to say the least.  This is testimony to the fact that the critical role played by credit unions is not fully appreciated by those who hold high political office in this country at this time. None of the regional territories have pursued this course of action, even in light of the prevailing economic challenges.

 

The Barbados Co-operative & Credit Union League Limited wants to make it abundantly clear that it is vehemently opposed to this latest fiscal measure, which stands to have a significant impact on credit unions and their members. This measure will take substantial resources out of the hands of its members and the credit union system. The League is therefore calling on the Minister of Finance to rethink this policy measure.

 

 While credit unionists are not insensible of the strong economic headwinds, which face our country, taxing credit unions cannot be seen as a viable alternative to correcting fiscal challenges that confront our beloved nation.

 

 

In addition, the credit union movement is dissatisfied and disappointed that after several years of lobbying the government on the issue of deposit insurance for credit union members, it is still not a reality especially after it was announced in the 2012 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals that measures would be put in place to make this a reality. It appears that there has been very little movement in this regard. There is no acceptable reason why credit union members should continue to be placed at a substantial disadvantage by not having access to the financial safety net, as do customers of commercial banks and finance companies.

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Barbados Co-operative & Credit Union League Ltd.
1st Floor, Co-operators General Insurance Building
Upper Collymore Rock, St. Michael, Barbados

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