Legislation for the fee to be implemented was passed in the House of Assembly on April 17, 2020.
“The figure that has been reported to me and I share it with this House is that they have collected $2,314,958.21. That, Mr Speaker, is so far what has been collected and also transferred to central government from Financial Services Commission (FSC).”
Premier Fahie said the figure now means that $462,991.64 is now in a fund for senior citizens, first-time homeowners, fisheries and agriculture and infrastructure.
These areas were identified as the five areas that would benefit from 20% of the tax.
The Premier stated to the HoA that the figure is “a drop in the bucket if this initiative was implemented form years ago. Projection shows that we would have been in the millions in each of the heads.”
He added: “Although we will revisit it from time to time even with the percentage over time, the fact is, for the years I have been in politics, one thing I have learned if you do not speak to the country’s money to direct it just like you would speak to your own money and direct it where it should go to help the people it would speak for you and go in areas that when it disappears in terms of going into other projects you don’t realise the true impact of what the funds should have been impacting.”
The Premier and Minister of Finance made the disclosure while introducing the Financing and Money Services (Amendment) Act 2021, which will now pave the way for the Financial Services Commission to be able to collect its $10,000 administrative fee per quarter for collecting and disbursing the funds from the money transfer services industry to government.
Premier Fahie said, as per the agreement between government and the FSC, the FSC was unable to withdraw the fees from the funds before sending the government’s share to it.
“In order to do that, there needed to be an amendment to the Act to allow FSC to deduct their monies every quarter rather than having it sent over to central government. The issue is the Act does not allow central government to pay it back over to FSC; the money for FSC is now stuck.”
The Bill was read for the second time and went into a committee of the whole House to be examined clause by clause.