Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has again defended the island’s Citizenship by Investment Program, comparing it to similar programs in the US and Canada.
He described criticisms of the program as malicious and unfounded, saying it is an important tool of economic activity in Dominica.
“The United States has an economic program in reference to the Green Card where tens of thousands of Chinese nationals have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the United States of America …” he stated at a closing ceremony for five weeks of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Petrocaribe accord. “Malta has an economic citizenship program, Portugal has had one. Canada was a pioneer in the economic citizenship program, they stopped it about three years ago and at the time they stopped it they had 60,000 applications within the system.”
He said many people give the impression that Dominica is the only country where such a program exists and it should be gotten rid of.
“And then we find ourselves as citizens of Dominica being quoted, making malicious and unfounded statements about the program, seeking to undermine the program and therefore remove from Dominica a very important tool for economic activity, work and job creation in our country,” he stated. “Jobs that we are all yearning for, better paying jobs that we are all yearning for ….”
The Prime Minister has always been in the forefront of defending the program in Dominica.
Last month he said if the program were to be removed, Dominicans would have to bear the burden of higher taxes.
“Where do you get the money from? Through taxation,” he said on the radio program, The Next Level. “How many of us would like me to go to the budget debate address and indicate to the country that I’m increasing taxation on the country?”