Dominican Republic taxes at IMF “gun point”

30 January 2007

A controversial tax reform programme in the Dominican Republic was forced onto the country by the IMF, in the words of finance minister Vicente Bengoa, “at gun point”. The Republic’s president Leonel Fernández has admitted as much, saying that the tax reform measures, which seek to raise the value added tax on a range of basic consumer goods, and fiscal austerity are needed to meet the IMF’s fiscal targets. On 15 November, the same day the tax reforms were announced, the World Bank released a report arguing for improved banking supervision, electricity sector regulation and customs operations.