The ABST-reduced shopping days have been decreased to only one weekend this year – disappointing those who were expecting the two consecutive weekends of Christmases past.
The Cabinet met on Wednesday, December 7, and decided that the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax will be reduced from 15 percent to 5 percent between Friday, December 16, and Sunday, December 18. The cut off time on the last day will be 11:59 p.m.
As usual, the participation of businesses is voluntary – meaning they all do not have to take part in the annual event.
Meanwhile, consumers are asking why the number of days has been reduced this year when the Browne Administration claims that the economy is on a rebound.
Last December, the initiative – which was introduced by the United Progressive Party – ran over two consecutive weekends, beginning Saturday, December 11, and Saturday, December 18.
However, many senior citizens complained bitterly that they were unable to take advantage of the tax reduction since their Social Security pensions were not paid in time.
This year, the disappointment is being felt by government workers, who had expected to receive their long outstanding back pay in time to do major Christmas shopping on the ABST-reduced weekends.