The ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) Friday launched its manifesto for the March 21 general election promising not to re-introduce income tax having repealed the fiscal measure two years after coming to office in 2016.
“The ABLP remains committed to the view that the income of the individual is best left in his/her pocket. Persons can use the income to buy land, build homes, care for the needs of their children….,” the party said in its document entitled “Vision 2023 and Beyond”.
The Gaston Browne ABLP, which is seeking a second consecutive term in office is also promising to reduce corporate tax to 20 per cent, noting also that the controversial Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) that allows for foreign investors to acquire citizenship in return for making a substantial investment into the country “remains important to the economy of Antigua and Barbuda”.
It said proceeds from the CIP have been used for the socio0economic development of the country and “therefore the ABLP is committed to ensuring that the CIP continues to flourish, providing a steady stream of revenues for the benefit of all the people of Antigua and Barbuda”.
The party also said that it would be introducing legislation to operate and regulate blockchain technology as an integral part of its vision for the future of the island.
“This technology will leapfrog our nation into digital transactions of the 21 st century and ready us for the next,” the ABLP said.
The party has outlined plans for developing the health, housing, agriculture sectors here as well as supporting public servants through a number of special programmes and initiatives including housing grants, vehicle concessions, home ownership and health insurance.
“The ABLP is determined to do right to the public servants of our nation and to repay them for their patience, duty, and hard work during the years of neglect…,” the party said.
The ABLP said it regards education as a right and not a privilege and that in addition to new schools it will also spend “significant sums of money to expand secondary schools.
It is also promising to spend over EC$20 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) on scholarships to education students. It is also promising a free computer for every government teacher.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, speaking the launch of the manifesto, told supporters that the document is designed to “improve the living standards of the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
“To ensure that we expand the economy and to put the people of Antigua and Barbuda to work,” he said noting that during its first term in office the government had provided over 6,000 new jobs.
In the last general election, the ABLP won 14 of the 17 seats with the others going to the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP).
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