Smith says increase in production would have been better than increase in the sales tax to burden the poor  

Poverty was the theme of many of the United Progressive Party
(UPP) MPs during their contributions to the 2024 budget, last
Thursday night, with the All Saints West Member calling for the
Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) hike to be reevaluated.
Effective January 1 this year, the ABST rate moved from 15 to 17
Addressing the Finance Minister’s recent budget presentation, MP
Anthony Smith, Jr. cited some sensitive areas in which the tax
increase would hurt the most vulnerable people.
Expressing strong disapproval for the  Appropriations Bill, 2024,
Smith suggested that the Government needs to find innovative ways
to increase its income stream – other than putting the burden on the
people by increasing taxes and levies. 
According to Smith, the increase in the ABST on funeral services is
too much of a burden on the poor at this time. 
And even though it appears that the Government has lost touch with
the people and reality on a whole, he is asking it to reconsider its

Despite having bragged of record-breaking tax collection at the Port,
Smith says the Browne Administration is scourging the people
heavily with a high tax burden that many can ill afford.
Instead, he notes, an increase in production would have been a
better way to raise more revenues for government spending.
Further, the UPP MP says the tax-concessions that the Government
gave to large entities and investors should also have been given to
local businesses to foster economic development and growth.

That was MP Anthony Smith, UPP representative for All Saints

Meanwhile, Smith – who has been assigned to shadow the tourism
and business development portfolio – is expressing great concern
over some entrenched operational practices and the rundown state
of Heritage Quay.

These are negatively impacting Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism
brand, he complains.
Smith’s comments were made at a well-attended UPP forum
branded “The People’s Parliament,” on the one-year anniversary of
the 2023 General Election, during which Smith and five other UPP
candidates were elected.