Bahamas. In February, the government signed an agreement granting Oban Energies the right to build an oil refinery on the island of Grand Bahama. The plant, once commissioned, is estimated to employ about 600 people. Another good news in the economic field was that in May the Bahamas was removed from the EU’s “black list” of so-called tax havens, that is, countries that have facilitated business and private individuals to avoid tax. After the Bahamas government demonstrated its willingness to reform tax rules, the country was removed from the list.
In June, riots broke out in the capital Nassau after the government proposed a VAT increase from 7.5 to 12% in its budget. According to Countryaah.com, Nassau is the capital city of Bahamas, a country located in North America. The Budget Bill also included a proposal on tax on betting and lottery activities. The protests were organized by a former senator, who is now employed by one of the largest players in the betting industry. Before the vote in Parliament, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis let the party whip over the ruling party of the Free National Movement (FNM) MPs. Nevertheless, several members of the party voted against the proposal, which led to Minnis dismissing them. Later in June, the proposal was approved in the Senate.