Asot Michael wants concessions system overhauled

Editorial Staff

Mar 14, 2023

MP for St Peter Asot Michael. (Photo Credit Wayne Mariette)

A melodramatic Asot Michael took with him a bag of groceries to Parliament on Tuesday to drive home his point that the price of basic food items has tripled over the years.

Michael, the Parliamentary Representative for St Peter won his seat in the January 18 general elections on an independent ticket.

He said his research shows that foods like white potatoes, cornflakes, macaroni, and corn beef increased by almost 80% over the years.

But the high cost of food prices is a global issue, which was compounded by the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic.

For this reason, Michael believes that the entire concession system needs to be overhauled, saying that people who deserve concessions, like struggling local businessmen, should be the ones to benefit from it.

“You have to give concessions; we live in a competitive world…we want to attract direct foreign investments…I am not against concessions but you have to weigh it with the timeline and also the value….” Michael said.

According to Michael, many of the major investors are claiming that they will spend large amounts on projects with no proof or supervision.

“And then they ask for the maximum number of concessions…They ask for 25 years, no personal income tax, duty-free, and no cooperation tax on the importation of the building materials. I have said since 2020 that government has to take an honest look at these endless tax concessions…” he said.

Michael said the concessions facilitate the benefit of only a privileged few in Antigua and Barbuda, the main reason why there is a major loss of revenue for the central government.

“The discretionary tax concessions that the finance minister is allowed to give away, I would like to know, how much millions of tax discretionary wavers he gave out before the last general elections…” Michael said in Parliament today.

Meanwhile, Michael also made a passionate plea for a better facility to house prisoners

“I am calling you on Mr. AG, that you must fight for a new prison. Prisoners are not slaves; they cannot continue living in these conditions. It is inhumane…It is wrong Until one day one of your children or family or relative has to go up there, maybe you will search your soul and say we need a new prison”, he added.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Food is expensive every where

    Reply

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