BREAKING NEWS: PM views Sandals closure as an “act of hostility”

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Browne

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has told state media that he views the five-month closure of Sandals as “an act of hostility against the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda.”

Speaking from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic the Antigua  and Barbuda leader said he was surprised to learn of the closure adding that it was “an inordinate amount of time to spend on repairs and maintenance.”

He said the Sandals closure had nothing to do with a decision by the government to collect the correct amount of sales tax from the hotel.

Instead, the Prime Minister revealed that the decision by the hotel is more likely linked to a request it recently made for more additional concessions.

He says a request to waive taxes and duties on food and beverage was deferred “considering that other hotels on the island could have made similar demands if we proceeded.”

“We explained to them that the government finances are in a very precarious position and that the waiver of taxes would plunge the government into a financial crisis,” Browne explained.

The PM said he told Sandals their request will be considered again when the economy improves.

He said, “proposed closure is a play for additional concessions.”

The prime minister told ABS that he is trying to resolve the issue with Sandals amicably.

He called on the country to unite on this issue and said if Sandals follows through with its decision “this too shall pass.”

“At the end of the day, everything will be alright.

At least 700 workers at the Dickenson Bay property will be affected when the hotel closes for the first time in 25 years. The closure will take effect from September 20.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. they a custom to freebs. ….they don’t care as long as them get them money,while Antigua suffers.

  2. Last year the PM make it sound as if Sandals shutting down would not be a big deal. He said to tell them to go and we would surive without them. So why is everyone so worried abut this now. May as a millionaire he doesnt need them but am sure the people that work there is taking it seriously

  3. What i dont understand is why do these mega hotels and supermarkets (e.g. epicurean) all get tax waivers on food and beverages aand most likely other things, whilst the rest of Antigua have to suffer from such rediculous prices on what is essential in life i.e. food and water. Antiguans as a result of these taxes on food products, are forced to eat tin cheese and corn beef and bread everyday because everything else is just to damn exspensive. Why are we importing so much fruit and vegg when we have the perfect climate to grow our own and support our local markets? Antigua needs a shake up.. people need to wake uo and realise whats going on and do something about it… we are beinf run into the gutter .. the rich are getting richer and the other 98% are suffering from high costs of living. I truely beleive its about time for a revolution in this country.. the government needs to be overthrown and replaced by people who think more about the economy as a whole rather than thier own pockets and of those who have the governtment in thier pockets (the same old rich families that own more than half the island)…
    Why has it been so long that alternative ecofriendly energies have been illegal in antigua up untill recent years (maybe 2 or 3 years ago now)? We live on an island for f$#! Sake! We have sun and sea ALL THE TIME! Everyone should be running off of solar or wind or hydro energy..
    Forget about the money owed to the “family” that has a private power plant that sells electricity to APUA because they cant produce enough themselves… all of this will put more mo ey into the peoples pockets… lower electricity bills and water bills equals more purchasing power for the average joe, who will spend it in other things that will boost the economy on a more evenly basis… not giving it to apua because they are tied up in some debt and so we must suffer..
    Common people lets get all these [email protected]&$/ out weather it be ABLP or UPP… they are all thiefs and all looking to fill thier own pockets rather that fullfilling thier duties of taking care of the people of thier.country… #revolution #overthrowdemrassholes!

  4. Simple: You export nothing as a nation. You rely on the goodwill of every other nation, via tourism. You then cause cruise ships to stop coming, and tax every visitor when they LEAVE after they spend their $$. Your BEST tourist area has human feces in the street, and crime, violent crime, runs rampant. Your government is an international joke, and the punch line is “Where is the most corrupt…..”. You don’t need a revelution, you need an enema. You have some of the greatest people, and a beautiful island…Get off your arse and work, stop laying around smiking weed and crying and whining. Export something, make something, or clean up the small shi&&Y country so folks want to visit. Also, be nice to them when they come.

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