Dr. Kenny Anthony responds to Sandals’ “false and highly defamatory” statements

By SLP

 Share This On:

(PRESS RELEASE) – The following statement is issued by Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and currently Parliamentary Representative for Vieux Fort South in response to the Press Release issued by Sandals Resort International on September 17, 2018.

“On September 17, 2018, Sandals Resort International issued a Press statement on the decision of the Allen Chastanet led Cabinet to waive Withholding Taxes on the Sandals Resorts International which had been assessed by the Inland Revenue Department for the period 2001 to 2009.

Despite the fact that I have never made public comments on this issue, Sandals Resorts International saw it fit to drag my name and reputation in the debate in its attempt to justify the decision of the Allen Chastanet led Government to waive the Withholding Tax liability on its behalf.

I am particularly concerned about the imputations in the following paragraph of the Press Statement:

‘Since the former Prime Minister was fully aware of the circumstances surrounding this matter, it is very unfortunate that members of his party are among those being allowed to consistently misrepresent this issue to the public of Saint Lucia. Sandals never and does not owe the government of Saint Lucia any outstanding money. Rather this dispute with Inland Revenue over withholding taxes on insurance premiums was an old and exceptional matter that required resolution if SRI was able to finance new investments on the island. Indeed the only purpose served by delaying it was to have derailed the expansion works that were planned for the Sandals Grande Saint Lucian.’
This paragraph contains two insinuations which I totally reject as completely false. The first is the suggestion that despite my knowledge of ‘the circumstances surrounding this matter’ I am one of those allowing members of the Saint Lucia Labour Party, among others, ‘to consistently misrepresent the issue.’ Secondly, I was one of those involved in ‘delaying’ the resolution of the issue and this served the purpose to derail the ‘expansion works that were planned for the Sandals Grande Saint Lucian.’

These two statements, in their imputations, are false and highly defamatory for the following reasons:

– To start with the assessments to tax was made by the Inland Revenue Department;

– The Revenue Laws of Saint Lucia provide for challenges to any assessment by any taxpayer who is ‘aggrieved by an assessment or determination’ by the Comptroller of Inland Revenue.

– As Minister of Finance, I considered it imprudent and unlawful for me or the Cabinet to intervene in the determination of assessments by the Inland Revenue Department;

– I was aware that Sandals had been assessed by the Inland Revenue Department for the payment of Withholding Taxes on insurance premiums between the years 2001 to 2009 because I was approached by Mr. Richard Peterkin on behalf of Sandals on the issue;

– My position has always been very clear that I do not and will not intervene in these matters. Consequently, I gave absolutely no undertaking to Sandals or any officer or representative of Sandals that the Government which I led would intervene to resolve the complaint by Sandals in its favour;

– In all the years that I have served Saint Lucia as Minister of Finance, I have never intervened to direct the Inland Revenue Department in matters of tax liability. I have always held the view that matters of tax liability between the tax payer and the Department of Inland Revenue are sacred. No Comptroller of Inland Revenue Department could say that I have ever directed the Department to withdraw or alter or change assessments made by the Department on any individual or corporate entity. The most that I have done is to urge the taxpayer and the Department to compromise and settle issues of liability amicably as litigation is usually a costly affair not only for the taxpayer but also for the Government;

– If Sandals Resort International was so convinced that the professional advice which it said it received was ‘right’ then all it had to do was to appeal the decision of the Comptroller of Inland Revenue to the Income Tax Appeals Commissioners, established by section 108 of the Income Tax Act, Cap 15.02. It did not. Instead, it appealed to and leveraged the Chastanet Government to intervene and set aside the assessment made by the Department of Inland Revenue.

I note that so far, the public has only heard from Sandals Resorts International and the ministers of Chastanet’s government on the issue. Since the Cabinet decision to waive the Withholding Taxes was purportedly made by the Cabinet under section 130 of the Income Tax Act, Cap 15.02, it is now the duty and obligation of the Government of Saint Lucia to come clean, and make available to the public all documentation that it considered in arriving at its decision.

This includes the basis of the assessment of Sandals Resorts International by the Inland Revenue Department, requests by the Government for information from the Department, and recommendations, if any, made to the Government of Saint Lucia by the Department of Inland Revenue. This is especially the case because section 130, when applied, only permits the Cabinet to remit any tax if ‘it is satisfied that it is just and necessary to do so.” The public needs to know the grounds on which the Cabinet arrived at its decision that it was ‘just and necessary’ to waive the Withholding Taxes assessed on Sandals Resort International.

(28)(10)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

14 comments

  1. SLPs are again offering nothing but chaos. To prove it, they have even enlisted the drug underworld to come on their side. Such disgusting hypocrites. Empty vessels make the most noise. Who do they think they are fooling?

    Someone described as the worst thing to happen to Saint Lucian politics has now been embraced. Like dogs, they are returning to their own vomit, wagging their tails as they lap it all up!

    Desperate people, they say, do desperate things.

    (1)(1)
  2. Can't believe people are siding with Sandals on this? Y'all think Sandals will pick up and take all their properties in Lucia because they have to pay $24 million in tax? Stop displaying such cowardly behavior, that money could of been used to fixed the school with the hole sin their roofs. If Sandals so strapped for cash they could of pay the initial $9 million they owed at least .

    (2)(0)
  3. The government of the day with the legitimate mandate must be allowed to use the sovereignty of parliament to govern. All that increased agitation hyperventilating, some with no basis amounts to an attempt at government destabilization and nothing more.

    SLP has nothing new to offer. Sad. Now in opposition, they have put on display no change in direction or substance that got the majority of the electorate to boot them out last time. Who are they kidding?

    SLP has learnt nothing. Sad. Very sad. And they are back again with just nothing. Agitation may be regarded as the role of the opposition by the faithful. But does agitation mean better government or better governance next time around? Is SLP looking for a "win" at any cost?

    (0)(3)
  4. If it makes sense to write off taxes withheld by Sandals then it must be done. We have to weigh the overall benefits to the country as opposed to the narrow interests of politicians and those who claim that locals should be included. Ofcourse locals should be included but according to their stakes in the economy. If a foreign company employs thousands of workers and contributes to social programs regularly would you rather assist a local company which employs lets say 10 and makes no contribution to social programs? This will be the yardstick. All governments give concessions to foreign companies who make significant investments. Local companies also have their own tax breaks where they can take advantage, but is always the utterances of politicians who muddy the waters and try to make things political. I don't blame them, for a politician will always be political but i blame the people who don't see through politics and support one side.

    Besides Sandals may not be a foreign company under our Caricom rules and may be entitled just as a local company. This letter by Kenny Anthony needs to be vetted because as i cannot attest to its veracity because of his previous pattern of actions. That thing about you never got involved but urged to settle amicably is pure bull because we know how government micromanages contracts, and is not taxes involving millions and employment involving thousands that they wouldn't get involved.

    You can convince some novice that you were not involved. When some commentators here are saying that there were horses in election remember which government is responsible fr Sandals having so many properties in St. Lucia. Who sold the Grande formerly Rochamel to them? Who made our tow lane highway a one lane near Gablewoods just to accommodate Sandals Halcyon? All these party hacks are just singing for their supper, unaware what goes on behind closed doors.

    (6)(4)
    • Are there any credentials relating to Economics behind the statement? Is this then an expert opinion? With no economic depth or expertise on the Opposition benches, what is the claim to fame in Economics? Is it by any chance, that after having been written by others, what we hear as readings with wrong voice inflections, with those annual budget speeches?

      The Emperor has no clothes. We got Frenwell and lost egregiously $48 million.

      We lost a national asset of $86 millon in Black Bay Lands because SLP could not for the life of that party frame an agreement that would secure Saint Lucian assets in the company folded. We had to buy back to full value what we previously owned when that asset that cost use nothing.

      We vapourized $150 million going to the Gyrnberg three-card secret game. Big heads did not have big big brains to figure out how not to transfer our patrimony to foreigners for nothing.

      SLP take a rest. Only idiots and those who do not know are paying any attention.

      (2)(3)
  5. What I think is sandals an all projects that is goin on in st.lucia should stop uwp should give slp to be in power an let them feel the pain of hard ship we have it good in lucia unlike other places that crying everyday for food clothes water ect... an we in lucia crying for every little ting let's give the government they 5 yrs after that vote for slp to come in power

    (3)(3)
  6. Kenny its time to go to bed

    (6)(5)
  7. With your new dispensation for transparency can you please shine some light on Grynberg and the Juffali circus please.

    (18)(7)
  8. The Income Tax Act is very clear . Any payment made in respect of insurance premiums to a non resident premiums is subjected to withholding taxes. Sandals did you or did you not make the payments to the non resident.

    (12)(1)
  9. I totally agree with you and your explanation. We must clearly understand that Sandals had a horse in the election race so they were repaid for their investment. That's all to it.

    (17)(6)
  10. Now story will jump out and a few will call it (FAKE NEWS).things are bad in this country small business are made to suffer at the hands of this current government.but millions are been given away and you'll care about the people.

    (13)(4)
  11. I totally agree with you and your explanation. We must clearly understand that Sandals had a horse in the election race so they were repaid for their investment. That's all to it.

    (13)(5)
  12. Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.