UPP says Browne Administration must consult with the public before increase in ABST or other tax


The Leadership of the United Progressive Party (UPP) is dissatisfied with the manner in which Prime Minister Gaston Browne has chosen to introduce the notion of an increase in the Antigua Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST).

In a manner that can be described only as “offhand,” Prime Minister Browne has indicated that a tax hike – possibly by as much as 2% – is likely.

Given that the 2024 Budget Presentation is to be delivered in less than a month, the UPP believes that national consultations on this subject must be held with stakeholders – especially the paying public.

It cannot be right for the Administration to make a decision with such serious financial implications unilaterally – especially at this time when so many workers and their families are unable to make ends meet.

In the midst of high unemployment and under-employment, the remedy for the Administration’s self-inflicted wounds – its excessive borrowings; inability to pay suppliers; overdue backpay and outstanding salary increases; and dozens of stillborn projects – cannot be simply to raise taxes without the benefit of consultation.

The UPP therefore calls on all tax-paying residents – both personal and corporate – as well as the trade unions and trade bodies to join with the Party in holding this Administration accountable and demanding that no taxes be increased without wide-ranging consultations.

Any failure by the Prime Minister and his Administration to collaborate on this and any tax-increase measure will lead to the UPP’s call for mass protest action.


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  1. I pay enough tax already whether directly or indirectly through stealth taxes.

    And the Prime Minister wanting a 2% tax hike is beyond a joke, when none of really know what he’s doing with our hard earned money.


    1526 days left and counting before a new horizon for our beautiful country – our children will thank us in time!


      @ Hmmmmmmmm?!!!

      Yes, Yes, Yes…….everytime

      R U A tax lover?

    • To be fair @ Hmmmmm, I supported the ABLP at that time (and how foolish was I), and the UPP wasn’t even in my thought process then. Simple!

      However, at least I recognised very early on that Prime Minister Gaston Browne was duplicitous and made promises that he could not deliver.

      And look now in 2023, absolutely NOTHING has changed with him or the party.

      Best economic and business decision I’ve made to move my support to the accountable and hardworking UPP.

      Only 1525 days to glory and a new political beginning for our children and the country I adore.

  2. You did ask nothing bout the dollar barrel that everyone was able to take advantage of?

    Thought so.

    Go siddung in ya ditch and look if Gaston will throw you a life line ya uneducated dunce.

  3. I honestly don’t know were these people get their numbers of high um-employment from. We are at the point were we need to import construction workers to help us with the many construction projects that are to come on stream. Cause even presently construction workers are scares to get by. You do not see youth loitering on the corners of the streets. Except for druggies and laggards. But these guys are talking about high un-employment. They must be living in their alternative world again. They still cannot believe the economic growth rate over the past years. Wake up chicken little the sky is not falling.
    And they always come back with this thing about consultation. When I chose a government to run the affair of the country I don’t want them to come each time to ask me for my opinion. Just do what you think that needs to be done and when I’m not pleased I will let you know at the next general election.
    They remind me of a manager I once had that used to come to me and ask my opinion about everything that he needed to do. All because he had little confident in his own capability and wanted to ensure that I agree. After a while I had to tell him to use his discretion and make his own decisions and accept the consequences of them. I cannot imagine a UPP government that would come to me every time they need to make a decision, because they have no trust in their own capability. And the thing is when they were in power the little consultation they had about the PIT the public opinion was not for it, but they still pushed it through. And before the 2014 election Lovell set up a committee of accountants to advice him whether or not to completely abolish the PIT. And even before they came out with the report, he already made his decission. The accounting fraternity was totally sidelined and taken for a fool.

  4. Now that many are seeing the actions of this wasteful government and how they are running the country, I’m actually really wondering how on earth this dumb, incompetent, ALBP with this corrupt leader won this last general election,how?
    Math was always my favorite topic in class, and I was actually a math genius, and I can tell you that the “math ain’t mathing” with this government, something is definitely nefarious going on here with the peoples money coming into Antigua.
    Now that you all see why this administration was rushing into the Antigua airways fiasco, the air peece debacle, the alpha Nero seizure and all these botched endeavors over the past two or so years, now you’ll see, because this government is broke and desperate for money and have squandered the peoples money with all these dead beat “pie in the sky” endeavors.

    We all know that this so-called knighted AG will not open an investigation into his boss, but smart people of Antigua know that these people are stealing money left right and center.

    This is just a damn shame that Antiguan’s actually put their trust and country in the hands of this “CROOK” 🪝.

    C’mon Shuggy, continue to squeeze these corrupt bastards until all of them are ousted or this corrupt administration self implode,and they start ratting on each other like how they are turning on corrupt Donald Trump.

    The only difference between this man and trump, is that one got brown skin and the other Caucasian, but they are both snakes and as corrupt as they come.

    Do better Antiguan’s and cut off the head off this snake.

  5. Higher taxes is not the answer, where will it stop, less spending is the way forward. A 2% increase will be after all the import duties, it’s a force multiplier.

  6. Can anyone say when the last audit of Govt accounting was published. From my recollection it was 2004. Please let me know if this incorrect.

  7. Your dishonesty knows no boundary. It seems like being a prolific liar is a prerequisite for ALP membership. You are probably a shut-in, if you think that unemployment is low. Think about those workers who are in the majority; brush cutters and the many on the Job Training Program who are barely making minimum wage. Explain to us why we have been borrowing hundreds of millions when our growth rate is so impressive. Tell us why government workers can’t get paid on time and many have to pay a penalty to their lending agencies for late payments. Why are so many young folks waiting on Cross Street before 7 o’clock daily, to access the Welfare Division Office? Foreign workers from Latin America and the Far East are entering the workforce and that’s what you refer to as high employment when in fact,Antiguan workers are being marginalized and ostracized. These immigrants will accept the equivalent of US$20 a day,easily. Why are we not able to pay the loan to the Chinese for the Port expansion? NERO doesn’t usually speak the truth but he had to come clean with this one. You, too, should be served by the Police to be under House Arrest because you are doing a dismal job as a Spin-doctor/ Ghost-worker. NERO is frustrated and exhausted, it’s a man’s job and it’s just too great a task for him.

  8. Some excellent observations noted here @Islanman26 and @Rovi. The Labourites and Gastonites will try to justify anything this corrupt, incompetent ALP,government does,even if it’s the dumbest thing. Of course, they will always resort to mudslinging and character assassinations.
    We know that the man who controls the public purse is an economic dunce,who spurts all kinds of asanine, delusional numbers that never compute.
    People, this is the same idiot who last year,leading up to elections, spoke of “finding money to pay civil servants wage increase and backpay,” then shortly after, dismissed it. Because he ran the country into a failed state,no reputable lending agency will do business with this idiot. He used APUA and now ABAA,both cash cows, as collateral to borrow money.
    This failure has to go.

  9. @From The Sideline ( Part 1)
    You have gotten away with you BS for way to long. in your words “I honestly don’t know why some people are so dumb” or dishonest who claim they are Executives with major finacial company and has been responsible for reorganization and attrition.
    Over 90% of the workers on Barbuda are imported workers. They are migrant workers who travels from project to project with the contractors used by Discovery Land Company.
    BTW they are dropping the Peace, Love and Happiness by rebranding to Barbuda Ocean Club.
    Discovery Land Company the developer on Barbuda has several developments around the Western, Northern and Eastern Caribbean.
    Its main General Contractor Selig on Barbuda brings in workers that it has used on other projects like Cabo Sa Lucas.
    Selig business model is to use only uses migrant workers starting in Mexico where most of the workers originate.
    These migrant workers are not subject to Antigua and Barbuda Employment Laws. They work 6 days per week. They are fed and housed on site in barrack type housing.
    The same applies to many workers from other Caribbean islands who are working under the radar.
    Antigua builders working on Antigua don’t get that waiver or financial benefit of not paying into the benifits system.
    Get off your executive jet and take the ferry to Barbuda expecially on Fridays or Mondays 90% of the passenger load are migrants.
    Mr. Financial Executive responsible for reorganization and staff reduction. I suspect as part of your perks you have a subscription to Barrons WSJ and FT as well as the New york Times.
    Therefore you have access to this article: “Behind the Gates of a Private World for Only the Wealthiest New Yorkers” that illustrates the fallicy of GDP and econimic growth.
    GDP and growth is almost meaningless to the poor and lower econonic class when the economy is structured to benifit the well to do and larger businesses. There is a scheduled increase in the ABST which is a regressive tax which will primarily hit the poor.
    … To be continued……

  10. What behoves me is that the powers that be have done away with personal income tax and God mad it look like a pimple on the tip of o teenage girl’s nose. Presently ABST stands at15% and an increase of a minimum of 2% is being suggested in addition to the normal payroll deductions. I am not an accountant or hold any degree in finance but a simple suggested solution here. How about lowering the ABST to 7%. Reintroduce personal income tax on a tier system IE. Anyone making less than $2000.00 be taxed at 10% secondly anyone making $2001.00 to $3000.00 be taxed at 15% thirdly anyone making $3001. 00 to $4000.00 be taxed at 20% and last but not least 4001.00and above be caped at 25% lastly self employed individuals be taxed at 20%. Also a comprehensive valuation should be implemented to assure that proper bookkeeping by self employed individuals be done to ensure that correct and fair taxes are collected. In addition develop a program whereas a system is in place where residents can file their taxes yearly so as to ajudge if the have over paid and are due a refund or gave them under paid and must pay the taxes due. If these measures are put in place with proper consultations with all necessary parties I am sure that all and sundry would be on board.

  11. If this country didn’t stood up when ONE man unilaterally imposed illegal covid 19 measures on the people….when ONE man totally ignored all trade unions in this country…when ONE man told the medical fraternity that the could no longer issue sick leave or else their license to practice will be revoke…when ONE man tell workers who were already on vacation that they must get vaccinated or else they would not be paid for leave earned….when ONE man ordered the gassing of peace protestors…IF TAX PAYERS DID NOT STOOD UP AGAINST ALL THESE DICTACTERSHIP BEHAVIOR WHY WOULD THEY STAND UP FOR 2% hike in tax

    • Wow, when you put it like that @ Dion Pelle, it does seems like Antigua & Barbuda is currently under some sort of dictatorship.

      I HEAR YOU …

  12. No need for income tax. Stop spending money, my most noble government. Maybe it’s a hard reality that government need stop making people lazy by over employing. As gracious as the government has been employing people the facts are it’s keeping people down and stopping them from reaching thier potential . If I hustle and bustle my backside is should be rewarded with less tax…. But those like to claim tax the more you make peanalizes those who work hard and create wealth.

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