The United Progressive Party (UPP) is calling on the Cabinet to make public the signed agreement between the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the St. James’s Club Antigua Limited.
Information came to the fore last week that, through an agreement signed on September 23, the Government will receive a US$6 million loan – through the National Asset Management Company (NAMCO) – from the local hotel.
The funds reportedly are earmarked to renovate the defunct Jolly Beach Hotel.
The document, deemed an employment agreement and a loan agreement, states that the lender will receive a 50 percent reduction in corporate income tax for 15 years. This exemption is irrevocable and was to have been confirmed by the Cabinet.
This discount will also apply to all the other businesses in which the lender has an ownership interest.
Contained in the agreement are several other disturbing clauses, including that NAMCO must automatically pay US$3 million to the lender if the contract is terminated.
Harold Lovell, the UPP Political Leader, says the details of the signed agreement should be released since there is great public concern about what is now alleged about the deal.
Meanwhile, there have been too many announcements of various interests in this resort, Lovell says.
And now, he notes, the terms negotiated by the Browne Administration appear to be benefiting the investor – but doing nothing for the taxpayers but saddling them with more repayments at high interest rates.