The leader of the main opposition party here is defending measures he announced over the weekend to cut the cost of living under a United Progressive Party government.
Harold Lovell says not only will his policies work but its what the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is recommending.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne has pounced on the series of tax incentives, saying they will collapse the economy.
But in a statement, the UPP leader said Prime Browne compelled three public servants to attempt to disparage them.
Among measures proposed by Lovell is to cut corporate taxes in half.
He said Timothy Antoine, Governor of the ECCB, only last week, agreed that regional governments should consider lowering corporate tax rates in order to be more competitive, to attract investments, and create job opportunities.
This is what Antoine told reporters.
“By reducing the corporate tax rate, we will be able to market Antigua & Barbuda as the domicile for large multinational corporations (MNC) that are in search of a low-tax home base,” Lovell says.
“The Republic of Ireland did this effectively, and we intend to replicate that success story.”
Lovell, a former finance minister argues that these MNCs generate billions of dollars in profit each year, “so even if we attract only two or three entities, and their combined pre-tax profit amounts to US$1 billion, our proposed tax rate of 12.5% would generate revenues of US$125 million or EC$337.5 million.”
“This is far in excess of the reduction in taxes that would be paid by domestic companies and the reduced ABST collected from local consumers” he adds.
The UPP says it gave careful consideration to the “positive impact” of such relief measures on the population and “how we will mitigate any negative effect on the business sector.”
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