UPP Calls For Tax Relief In Light Of COVID-19

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Mindful of the effect that COVID-19 can have on the lives of the people of Antigua and Barbuda;

Concerned that citizens and residents may be acting out of fear, rather than from an informed position;
Recognizing the important role of all in times of national crisis;

The United Progressive Party calls on the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to take immediate steps to implement the following Social and Economic Measures and National Response Mechanisms:

Social Measures
1. Immediate evaluation of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practices at elder care facilities and implementation of strict Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guidelines, provided to all through customized educational campaigns.

2. Mandatory enforcement of health & safety and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practices for all sanitation and janitorial workers in public and private sectors. Evaluate the knowledge levels and ensure implementation through customized educational campaigns.

3. Provide Daily updates at a designated time on local aspects of COVID-19 and the latest available information and advice from WHO, PAHO and CARPHA.

4. Encourage public and private sector employers to exercise flexible vacation leave regimes to facilitate any required COVID-19 social distancing.

Economic Measures
1. Temporary ABST relief on goods and services essential for COVID- 19 Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), defense and mitigation, which are not currently ABST exempt.

2. Enforce price control on goods and services essential for COVID- 19 Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), defense and mitigation, which are not currently subject to price control.

3. Delay the implementation of planned new taxes and increased tax collection regimes in the 2020 budget, especially those that will impact the spending power of individuals and businesses.

4. Expand the Peoples Benefit Programme to cover persons outside the social safety net, whose economic state seriously compromises their ability to practice Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures.

5. Introduce a programme of unemployment relief to assist those persons impacted by a COVID-19 stimulated downturn in business

6. Encourage banks and other financial institutions to adopt a proactive approach with respect to payments of loans, mortgages and credit cards bills, based on circumstances within their client portfolios, through Call or Contact Programmes.

7. Design and implement tax concession packages and grant relief or deferral on particular taxes, for local businesses.

8. Roll back of work permit and renewal fees to ease financial pressure on employees and employers alike.

9. Remove ABST from telecommunications services to incentivise and motivate “precautionary self-isolation” to reduce community transmission risks.

10. Suspend all utility disconnections by APUA for unemployed persons.

11. Provide an emergency credit guarantee programme with local financial institutions to
support local businesses.

12. Encourage a flexible vacation leave regime among public and private sector employers.

13. Relax agriculture land rent collections to incentivize food production.

14. Facilitate agriculture input suppliers to import and maintain adequate supplies in advance of
cessation of ship arrivals.

National Response Mechanism

1. Implement a COVID-19 Training Workshop for Media Workers immediately, aimed at improving COVID-19 Media Coverage, to reduce mis-information and dis-information.

2. Develop and make public a COVID-19 National Response Budget and Work Programme detailing the national implementation actions and the budget allocations.

3. Prepare a cross sectoral inventory of personnel and skills available to combat the Community transmission of COVID-19 and co-opt non-Public Sector medical and clinical personnel, and technically trained persons in allied or related areas to be part of the National Emergency Response Team. Recruit and utilize local personnel. NB. The COVID-19 defense and mitigation response cannot be managed by Public Service employees only. The process requires more personnel.

4. Develop a detailed, functional and comprehensive Port Screening and Arriving Passenger Handling Protocol and Procedure, and implement it with adequate staffing. The protocol should include a comprehensive questionnaire, with trained scrutineers posted to all ports at all arrival times.

5. Implement immediately rigorous screening for all arriving passengers into Antigua and Barbuda. Every traveler must provide proof of being thoroughly screened or negative tested, dependent on travel history, or work or lifestyle exposure risk. Outline how un-screened persons will be handled, etc. such as immediate denial of entry or quarantine only or quarantine and isolation.

6. Advise the Governments of UK, USA, Canada and other major visitor source markets, airline companies and ports of departure of the pre-departure screening requirements for travelers to Antigua and Barbuda.

7. Establish the various demographic subgroupings in the country, e.g. youth, elderly, shut-in, etc. and develop discrete public education programmes, not only public awareness for these various groupings.

8. Scrutinize the cleanliness of potable water trucks. Some trucks use Country Pond for pavement cleaning, etc. Such trucks should not be allowed to carry potable water unless subjected to scrupulous sanitizing and disinfections by CBH personnel.

9. Daily disinfection of the city streets, pavements, drains, gutters, and its widest suburban environs must be implemented immediately.

10. Public health institutions such as MSJMC and Community clinics must be equipped with water, soap, paper towel, hand washing stations, gloves, masks, toilet paper, etc. such that staff and clients can practice the highest standards of IPC at all times.

11. As Prison visiting has been curtailed, prison meals and prisoner sanitation kits and water must be provided on a daily basis. The prison is a prime site for brewing COVID-19 infection.

12. As Bars and Nightclubs are being kept open, they must be subjected to Government stipulated IPC measures at their own cost and inspected for compliance.

13. Churches, religious meetings and other similar gatherings can be allowed to continue once Government stipulated IPC measures are implemented. They should be inspected for compliance.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. When unno were in power, unno never pass the legislation supporting all the things unno now want to see happening!!

    • These things are specific to Coronavirus, asshole! Why would he have passed them when UPP was in power with no virus?

      • @NsC
        We had a pandemic caused by a virus before and yes UPP was in office then and could have created the necessary LAWS!!!! Worse, disasters can happen anytime and anywhere, earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, chemical, radiological ( manmade & natural ).

        • @Chupz
          Why didn’t ALP put these law in place when they were in power for 28 years? They had enough time to put laws in place for the uncertainty future. The Bible warned us about these times will come in the last days before the coming of Jesus Christ. Why keep blaming one political party who was there for 10 years and there was another one who was in power for 28 years?

      • For “Not So Common”: What makes you think your use of profanity enhances your cause? Come on, dude, grow up. Do you have any education at all? You’re “VERY COMMON”, even though you want us to believe your “Not So Common”. Chuptz.

  2. THIS IS NOT A WHO IN POWER THING. WHEN THEY WERE IN POWER DID WE HAVE SUCH A CRISIS. PLEASE TAKE THE POLITICS OUT OF THIS. SMH

  3. That weary, tired-looking photo of Lovell needs to be updated. Why can’t we get a statement from the One Single Pringle??

    Lovell loss he morning and trying to regain his afternoon. Gu lang!!!

    • YES, Pringle is The Man. Lovell has been rejected by the people and was cast to the curb. Let Pringle speak. NOW!!!

  4. HAROLD LOVELL I know that you would have surfaced with your shopping list. As you mentioned when your UPP was in Power that ” ANYBODY CAN SAY ANYTHING WHEN THEY ARE IN OPPOSITION” I hope that you remember your statement. We DO NOT need your proposal because you are not GENUINE. When will you present your slate of CANDIDATES for election 2023 ? I am waiting patiently.

    • ALP troll (STRAIGHT TALK = ALL AROUND = IN THE SYSTEM)…

      Do you have anything INTELLIGENT to say about the ACTUAL RECOMMENDATIONS? Surprise us… LMAO!

      Baffle us with your brilliance as you tell us WHY we the people do NOT DESERVE to benefit from relief like this, at this time:

      1. Temporary ABST relief on goods and services essential for COVID- 19 Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), defense and mitigation, which are not currently ABST exempt.

      2. Enforce price control on goods and services essential for COVID- 19 Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), defense and mitigation, which are not currently subject to price control.

      3. Delay the implementation of planned new taxes and increased tax collection regimes in the 2020 budget, especially those that will impact the spending power of individuals and businesses.

      4. Expand the Peoples Benefit Programme to cover persons outside the social safety net, whose economic state seriously compromises their ability to practice Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures.

      5. Introduce a programme of unemployment relief to assist those persons impacted by a COVID-19 stimulated downturn in business

      6. Encourage banks and other financial institutions to adopt a proactive approach with respect to payments of loans, mortgages and credit cards bills, based on circumstances within their client portfolios, through Call or Contact Programmes.

      7. Design and implement tax concession packages and grant relief or deferral on particular taxes, for local businesses.

      8. Roll back of work permit and renewal fees to ease financial pressure on employees and employers alike.

      9. Remove ABST from telecommunications services to incentivise and motivate “precautionary self-isolation” to reduce community transmission risks.

      10. Suspend all utility disconnections by APUA for unemployed persons.

      11. Provide an emergency credit guarantee programme with local financial institutions to
      support local businesses.

      12. Encourage a flexible vacation leave regime among public and private sector employers.

      13. Relax agriculture land rent collections to incentivize food production.

      14. Facilitate agriculture input suppliers to import and maintain adequate supplies in advance of
      cessation of ship arrivals.

  5. Mr. Lovell …If the Government implement your list how the Government will put money in the Treasury ? Harold if you want to contribute to the CRISIS be honest with Yourself first. Just DO NOT put a few words together for POLITICAL gain. This would NOT get you ELECTED.

  6. @chupz go in a corner and put on your dunce cap. Its best to be silent and thought a fool than to post and cast all doubt aside.

    • Lovell is the one who needs to go in a corner. Better yet he should just ride off into the political sunset. Or best option is to dig a hole and jump in.

      He has proven to be useless, deadly, dishonest and devoid of moral authority.

      Disrespecting Baldwin Spencer and badplaying Joanne Massiah for party leadership has come full circle on him.

      Not sure his health can stand up any longer to the demands of the political arena.

      • LOVELL finish. He’s already in “the corner”. If fact, he’s been kicked to the curb by the voters. He is not relevant. Bring on Pringle. Let him speak.

  7. I don’t see nothing wrong with what Lovell is saying. With what’s happening right now in the work places, ppl getting laid off n other things a tax break would go a long for majority of the hard working ppl here who’s thinking about the next person. Let say they don’t implement none of his ideas n the close the borders from the rest of the world for a month or two, how would many of you buy any sort of essentials needed for your daily lives. Ppl think about country n leave the politics for 2023. #antigua&barbuda at heart.

  8. OMG UPP is badly in need of a political strategy. Wait these guys do not understand strategic planning? UPP is suppose to be a political party not a Sunday school….

    What UPP should be calling for and forcing is the closing of the borders nothing else.
    1 It protects the country.

    2 It forces the ABLP into a financial crisis.

    3 When internal systems becomes weak or fails, it gives the UPP a clear shot at the goal.

  9. All who think is ideas are bad let’s hear what you say when you get laid off,got no money for rent or food and a family to take care of. Because some have actually already lost their jobs, no tourist means no jobs for hotel employee. This isn’t about red and blue.

  10. It is very sad that the minions and mindless supporters of government politicize everything and they are usually the first ones to say people should be non-partisan. The press release put out by the political Leader of the UPP is a classic example of non-partisanship in the face of the covid-19 threat to our safety. Most if the ideas presented in the press release should be readily taken on board by the government. This is a time of crisis when petty partisan politics should be avoided at all cost.

  11. This little man reminds me of those puppies who yap and yap and yap. He is not in power, and has been rejected by the people. As a regular citizen, since he holds NO office, he should simply stand with and encourage the People’s Government in dealing with this current crises, and drop all the politics. He can make all the suggestions he likes, just like any other common citizen, but the People’s Representatives, elected by the People, will make the decisions. Right now they are certainly taking the nation in a proper and good direction in dealing with this crises. Mr. Lovell, who holds NO office, and is a private citizen, should be supportive of the People’s Government, the elected representatives of the People, and keep the politics out of it. This is a crises.

  12. Good day to all, including the ABLP “ALL-CAPS” consultant troll that constantly posts under different aliases (STRAIGHT TALK = ALL AROUND = IN THE SYSTEM).

    Congratulations Harold Lovell. This is a balanced and reasonable list of solutions to help the most vulnerable, minimize the period of economic suffering and aid with COVID defense and mitigation. It is also in line with those of many other sensible countries.

    It is deeply regrettable that the CIP-ALP and its supporters have the gall to complain about “no money” after collecting 200 million more revenue than the UPP did on a yearly basis. We are all wishing for that E-Book 10s of millions, the Long Bay 4 million giveaway money and the many other millions that were wasted, right now, in the time of crisis. Waste not, want not. Put up a little for a rainy day. But the ABLP are not so. Bunch of crackheads that frittered away money on doubled travel budgets, Barbuda airways that cant fly, Bailouts of comrades, Giving away our long bay land at a 97% discount to Sisi Liu and many other incidents of recklessness and squandermania.

  13. Look ya Lawd. ANR know how to trigger the ALP hangerons , just say Harold Lovell and it’s mass hysteria and gnashing of teeth.
    They couldn’t even bother to read the recommendations most of which are beneficial to them and their families and the country on the whole but they were trained well like Pavlov dogs to react to stimuli .
    Whatever funds the ALP will be using to fight this scourge will be drawn from Harold Lovell’s and UPP CIP program which they introduced in 2013 despite the ALPs protests and pickets all over st .johns.
    Thank god for that or we woulda suck sarl all now

  14. Knowing how the ABLP operates, they’re going to implement most of these suggestions Lovell listed here and says that they came up with it first.

  15. CHARLESWORTH TABOR……You are the BIGGEST FOOL I ever come across . CHUPTZZZZZZZ.
    Thanks for calling Us MINDLESS. Tabor take a look in the mirror .

    • ALP troll (TOGETHER = STRAIGHT TALK = ALL AROUND = IN THE SYSTEM)…

      YOU are the BIGGEST FOOL EVER if you think your pathetic comments can save the ailing ALP now. Yes! You are indeed MINDLESS and furthermore DISHONEST to continue posting under different names trying to fabricate a level of public criticism of Harold Lovell that is far overblown. All across the media, and social media the public has spoken. Relief measures are needed and needed now. And we will accept NO EXCUSES! TENS OF MILLIONS was there for every CREATIVE ENRICHMENT and COMERADE BAILOUT and EBOOK SCANDAL use under the sun. Now WE THE PEOPLE must get our fair share in support to survive this COVID CRISIS. PERIODT!

    • Charlesworth Tabor need to pray to God and ask God to forgive him for his wicked ways. Karma is coming for him real soon.

  16. Guys and gals, now is not the time to bicker and complain and point fingers at each other or at each side. The reality is, no matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on, we must joins hands, united as one to combat this deadly virus!! Never before have we seen such destruction of the human flesh and treats of economic pain and hardship. We must put a side our personalities and party loyalty and fight this covid19 with everything we got.

  17. The PM invited Lovell to cabinet along with all opposition party leaders today. I guess the ALP minions did not get the memo. So they don’t even have a seat at the table.

    I also heard Harold walked with this list.

  18. @ KEEP IT REAL
    I hope you will stop drinking that BLUE KOOLAID . The Koolaid has an effect on your BRAINS if you have any BRAINS remaining. You, Tabor and UPP will remain OPPOSITION for at least 30 years.

  19. @KEEP IT REAL
    Why are you linking me with others ? I am STRONG supporter of ABLP. Do Not link me with others.
    You and Tabor are the same . I will suggest that You Guys will keep supporting LOSING LOVELL for ever.
    You Guys are Jealous of Our Prime Minister. Work hard and be as wealthy as Him. Have RESPECT for Hon. Gaston Browne.

Comments are closed.