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The Caribbean: Selling citizenship and passports to subsidize budgets

The Caribbean: Selling citizenship and passports to subsidize budgets

By Bert Wilkinson – Caribbean Life News

Opinion - commentary -analysisWith their banana and sugar export industries having collapsed and revenues from tourism fluctuating yearly, the governments of the Eastern Caribbean sub grouping have been looking for additional ways to bring in state revenues.

Revenues have also declined because of their membership in the 15-nation single market free trade system, meaning that goods manufactured in the region enter ports largely duty free so little or no taxes are levied.

The result is that most of the independent nations in the nine-nation sub region have turned to selling citizenship and local passports for a fee to supplement revenue shortfalls from the disappearance of banana and sugar.

But the highly lucrative Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) came under unprecedented scrutiny recently when CBS’s award-winning 60 Minutes program aimed an extensive investigative piece on the scheme.   Continue reading

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