SOURCE- POINTE XPRESS NEWSPAPER-This year, the anticipated ABST reduction weekend, cherished by both consumers and merchants, will not be implemented.
The government aims to enhance its financial position to meet increasing obligations.
There are indications of a potential slight uptick in the ABST rate, recognized as the country’s most dependable taxation method.
Reliable sources reveal that the decision to forego the ABST reduction this year is part of a broader strategy to augment revenue for meeting monthly obligations.The initiative, designed to stimulate merchant activities and alleviate consumer prices, has been set aside as the government focuses on enhancing its financial resources.
The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda notes that the tax-to-GDP ratio is the lowest in the OECS, emphasizing the advice from international finance institutions to elevate it to approximately 20 percent of GDP, whereas it currently hovers around 16 percent.
Sources suggest that the government’s primary concern is meeting salary and wage payments for December, typically disbursed around the middle of the month to accommodate public needs.
In addition, the government has committed to further raise salaries and wages for public sector workers in the coming year, building upon the initial five percent increase. The Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Gaston Browne, have been hinting at potential adjustments in the country’s tax structure to address ongoing financial challenges.
Detailed insights into the government’s tax policies will be unveiled when the Prime Minister presents the 2024 National Budget on December 14.