Tax dodging expats in the British Virgin Islands will be hit with hefty penalties as the local government is gearing to reform of the territory's Immigration and Labour policies.
"We are aware of instances of work permits being renewed, but their Social Security, National Health Insurance and taxes are not being paid. We are moving to ensure that this is discontinued with violators facing heavy penalties," said premier Andrew Fahie.
"This is important to enforce, in order to ensure security and to improve government finances," he added.
This is important to enforce, in order to ensure security and to improve government finances"
While noting that the territory's borders have been open for far too long, Fahie has indicated his government will implement policies that could make it more difficult for non-locals to remain or move to the BVI for work.
"We are also are aware of potential employers who sponsor people to come here but with no work to do; which allows them to freelance in our job market. These people, sometimes end up with three or four jobs, and also resulting in cheating the system further by not paying Social Security or their due taxes, and even while at the same time benefitting from all the social services," he said.
"These are being looked at - and the loopholes will be blocked," he added.
The premier said these new adjustments will provide greater protection for BVIslanders and Belongers in the local workforce.
He argued that it will also create better chances for locals to attain the once hard-to-get jobs. But, Premier Fahie said the backlog of expats seeking regularised status in the BVI issue must be resolved before any of these new measures can be achieved.