UK-visa requirement will reduce CIP revenues, forcing Administration to make up the shortfall in taxes, Isaac says

he United Progressive Party (UPP) is concerned about the revenue
that Antigua and Barbuda stands to lose if the United Kingdom (UK)
shuts down visa-free access by regional countries that offer
Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CIP).

The Commonwealth of Dominica found itself on the unfortunate side
of history by becoming the first such country whose passport-
holders will have to apply for an entry visa.

That decision was taken amidst concerns by the British Government
that – because of the various programmes – the UK’s security is
under threat.

Since then, there has been speculation that holders of Antigua and
Barbuda passports could face a similar fate, resulting in the loss of

Persons seeking a second citizenship found Antigua and Barbuda
attractive because of the visa-free access it provided to Canada, the
United Kingdom, and Europe’s Schengen area. However, the CIP has
lost some appeal since Canada imposed entry restrictions.

Should the UK close the door on us, says UPP Chairman D.Gisele
Isaac, then the country – which is already struggling financially –
will find itself undergoing greater economic hardship.

Isaac notes that the Browne Administration has used CIP funds to
settle many of its debts, including those related to the Alfa Nero
superyacht. It has been paying out US$28,000 a week in salaries and
maintenance of the crew and must do so until the sale transaction is

Isaac describes the CIP as a “slush fund,” since, for years, there has
been no public accounting for the entity’s income or spending. When
the Administration loses this revenue source, she says, then the lost
income will have to be replaced from somewhere and somehow –
most likely from taxes. 

Accordingly, she envisages that the cost of living will soon soar in
Antigua and Barbuda.

In light of allegations that the Government has defaulted on the Port
Authority loan from the Chinese, the UPP chairman recalls that it
was after – and not during – a Budget Presentation that the hand-
over of the cruise industry was revealed, along with the state of the
cruise port loan.

Accordingly, she is fearful that such a takeover of the Port Authority
could occur if the Administration is unable to service its borrowings
of US$98 million.

Isaac is also curious to learn what the Browne Administration will
do to cushion, or stop, any financial fallout from new restrictions on
the CIP. 

Objectively, she says, she does not think that Antigua and Barbuda
will escape the imposition of UK visas, and she references the
number of scandals that have been associated with the less-than
“stellar citizens” who have obtained our CIP passports.