Weston Says Upcoming Tax Reduction Is Not A Money-Making Endeavor By Government


Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Governance, Lennox Weston, provided comments on the decision to reduce sales tax this weekend saying it is not a money-making endeavor by the government.

“Essentially, this is not a money-making endeavour by the government. This is an attempt by the government to say, for the entire year we give wealthy investors concessions; we give them hundreds of millions of dollars on concessions and the people of Antigua and Barbuda voted for this government, they have a stake in this government and so they too require a little bit of benefit as we have given to the rich investors.” said Weston.

The Government of Antigua & Barbuda has decided to reduce the Antigua & Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) starting from Friday December 13th, 2019 to midnight on Sunday December 15th, 2019.

The ABST will be reduced from 15% to 5%.

However, it will revert to the usual 15% commencing on the 16th of December 2019.

“So, it’s just small token of giving back to our consumers and also many businesses, small and large, look forward to this period of enhanced purchasing so they can turn a profit for the year. So, we wanna keep our private sector happy. We appreciate the role that the private sector has played. They provide very valuable service and we want them also to go home happy that they can pay their overdraft, they can pay their workers and they can see a little profit for their efforts,” Weston said.

“We don’t expect it to affect revenues. As you know, the Prime Minister made the point that our tax GDP is very low; it has been declining. Our revenue enforcement and collection is not very effective; it’s something we need to speed up. And so, we have been losing revenue for the entire year. We are aware of that … and we are going to make some changes in the new year. We believe that the increase in sales … will actually make us break even because there are some purchases and some persons are enticed to make now that they would not make if they didn’t have this discount.” Weston added.

On the other hand, Weston informed that not every business will be apart of the tax reduction. Several businesses made complains that their IT system is too difficult to override for them to make the adjustment for such a short period




    • No, since its to ensure that they create jobs for persons who live here via their investment. You do realize there is a global competition for investment? You checked how many concessions New York State was prepared to give Amazon for jobs, about a year ago? Well a similar deal is now back in in Manhattan instead of Queens

      • Stop being stupid and add up what they get vs what they provide. They get tens of millions in tax concessions EVERY YEAR and none have salary profile higher than $5 million, because they pay minimum wage for 9 months out of the year.

        Use your head.

  1. Yes Anon you are correct. Sandals for one was bleeding us in concessions then turned around and brought in labour from Jamaica. YIDA also imports workers and do not provide jobs for people living here. How does that benefit Antigua?
    Concessions should be made only as a trade for equity. Period.

    What Weston and the PM just did was to admit that the consumption tax model is a failure and a burden on middle and lower class. That is why it has to be waived to ‘ enhance purchasing so they can make a profit ‘ as Weston puts it.

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