Former university lecturer Dr. George Daniel has voiced the opinion
that the tax system is not being operated fairly. He believes that it
favours the rich, while leaving the poor to struggle.
At the time, Daniel was speaking at a United Progressive Party-
organized town hall meeting in Glanvilles, on Thursday night,
December 7. The meeting was held to discuss the effects of the 2
percent hike in the Antigua and Barbuda Sales tax (ABST) proposed
by the Gaston Browne Administration.
The sales tax was introduced in early 2007 at a rate of 15 percent
with a 14 percent differential rate for tourism. While the rate for
tourism is expected to remain the same, the rate for goods and
services will be changed to 17 percent, an overall increase of 13
Dr. Daniel notes that there are several tools at the Government’s
disposal to collect revenue. However, he says, the Administration
has chosen to implement measures that will burden the poor, while
the rich continue to benefit from many tax concessions.
Accordingly, he says, it is very troubling to see that taxes are not
being imposed fairly.
The Antigua Labour Party came to office promising to put $40
million back into the pockets of the people with the abolition of the
Personal Income Tax (PIT). But now, Dr. Daniel says, the
Administration is seeking to take $50 million away from the same
He notes that the PIT had targeted only persons making $3,500 and
above per month. But the increase in the ABST rate impacts
everyone, he points out – with those making less money being
impacted the hardest.