Editorial Staff
4 months ago

Editorial Staff
4 months ago

Government Assures No New Taxes for Increased Public Sector Pensions in Antigua and Barbuda

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By Aabigayle McIntosh

The government has assured the public that while it is committed to raising payments to public sector pensions, it has no plans to introduce new taxes to fund this increase.

Government Spokesman, Ambassador Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst, emphasized that there will be no imposition of new taxes in response to the recent announcement of increased monthly payments to government pensioners.

 

Ambassador Hurst made these declarations during a press briefing held on Monday, where he explained that the Ministry of Finance is in the early stages of determining affordability and identifying potential adjustments to revenue sources.

These adjustments are necessary to align revenues with the expected increase in expenditure due to the enhanced pension payments.

“Some assessment of revenues adjustments may have to take place in order to meet those obligations we are at the same time providing a 14 % increase to government employees,” Hurst said.

The exact amount of the increase remains subject to negotiations and affordability considerations, particularly in light of the 14% increment already in place for current government employees. Ambassador Hurst firmly stated that the government has no intention to introduce a Personal Income Tax. Instead, the government will explore areas for review, including luxury taxes.

Ambassador Hurst drew attention to the existing luxury tax imposed on high-end vehicles and suggested that the government should ensure the collection of these taxes, along with revenues from the purchase of other luxury items.

While there is no fixed date for the implementation of the planned pension increase, Ambassador Hurst anticipates that it could be in effect by the end of June in 2024, based on ongoing discussions.

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