A financial analyst is blaming “the myopic thinking” of the Browne Administration for “relegating Antigua and Barbuda to being a follower once again.”
The business professional says this country “missed an opportunity to be the leader” in implementing relief measures at this time, and has seen Barbados move to the front in this regard.
Among other measures, Prime Minister Mia Mottley has just announced a reduction in taxes on an expanded basket of goods, to include food and electricity.
This is further vindication of the vision of Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party, the local professional says.
For several months now, Lovell has been sharing “the caring, visionary, outside-the-box type of measures” that a UPP Administration will implement to help counter the effects of hyper-inflation, the woman says.
Most recently, Lovell announced that his Administration will identify a list of goods that make up a significant portion of the local diet and reduce the rate of duty charged on these goods. And where feasible, he said, the Customs duty would be removed completely.
“This would bring immediate relief to most residents,” the professional says.
However, instead of adopting this measure, she says, “the ALP Administration has tried to discount the proposal by inquiring where the funds will come from to compensate for the reduction in revenue.”
But while they are “dragging red herrings across the trail,” the woman continues, “the Commissioner of Inland Revenue has already reported that tax revenues have recovered to pre-COVID 19 levels. That answers the question from the ALP,” she declares.
Labour Party supporters have also resisted the UPP’s proposed Maintenance of Minors (MOM) programme, asking where a UPP Administration would find the $1 million to establish the revolving fund.
However, Lovell counters by asking where the Browne Administration will find the funds to fulfill the election promises it is now making – given that Social Security payments continue to be late for June, as were government salaries and pensions.
Accordingly, he advises detractors to consider the slew of projects the Prime Minister has announced and consider which are financially achievable when compared to the MOM Programme.