PM calls for tax cuts in airline ticket prices in the region

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Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne

Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, says the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has provided Caribbean governments with the opportunity to implement tax cuts for airline tickets across the region.

“Now is the time for us to cut the taxes even by 50 per cent and I do accept that you may not be able to determine the elasticity of pricing on travel demand because naturally regional and intra-regional remain relatively low during this period of COVID.

 

“But the fact that you are not collecting, or you hardly collecting anything at this time it is not revenue you are giving away. You can’t give away what you are not earning,” said Browne, who intends to his use chairmanship of the regional integration movement, Caricom, next month to push the initiative.

 

He said the leaders of the sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are supportive of the initiative since there are other financial benefits to be obtained as a result.

 

“I have said to my colleagues within the OECS that now is the time. I can tell you that my colleagues are looking at it seriously and I believe we should be able to convince them to do something now,” Browne said, adding that the cut in taxes could be for a temporary period.

 

“It could even be for a temporary period. If we say, look between now and the end of the year to 12 months I have no doubt that one, it will result in incremental revenue and at the same time it will also give us some idea…maybe the price elasticity of these tickets…that carry a heavy component in terms of government taxes.

 

“I am of the view too that is one of the ways to incentivise fully vaccinated persons. We can have a bubble involving fully vaccinated persons to allow them to check travel intra-regionally and without any quarantine.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Top dawg listening to the participants on PoliSpace. Kudos.
    How about reducing the fuel price in Antigua?
    Could translate in votes, you know!
    Election is coming and you surely know how to talk some people into voting ALP.
    What say thou?

  2. Me smell election around the corner. I hope when you finish with all these goodies, and if you win back the next election you would not carry up the cost 3 times what it used to be. Your gold is to become the first black prime minister in the Caribbean to become a billionaire you and your cronies.

    • Less tax translates to lower tickets = more flights and frequent revenue collection on each ticket. It’s a great idea to get more people to fly between islands as it was years ago. There was a time when you could buy an island hopping ticket visiting many islands. Now we can’t even afford to purchase a ticket to one island. Just imagine it’s cheaper to fly to Miami than to Saint Kitts where you can stay in Antigua and see the island, but need a loan to get there. That’s ridiculousness.

      There’s no reason why couples and even singles can’t book a weekend getaway to an island of choice without saving a long time for it. The bottom line is, airline tickets in the region are far too expensive and unaffordable to most people.
      Lower price means more travelling and better business for the airlines.

  3. Y’all should have done this since liat was flying .. tax kick liat out the air ..you government officials wicked

    • Finally somebody with sense 👏. How can liat be sustainable when it is receiving less than half of the price of the ticket as revenue. The rest being governament taxes.

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