Editorial Staff
3 months ago

Editorial Staff
3 months ago

Government is considering several measures to boost revenue

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The new downsized Cabinet met for the first time on Wednesday

The Antiguan government is currently exploring options to increase revenue while concurrently reducing expenditure as it prepares to present the annual National Budget.

In a recent Cabinet meeting, fifteen officials were invited to address revenue, deficit spending, and economic recovery issues.

These officials included representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Inland Revenue Department, the Medical Benefits Scheme, the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Maritime Services, and the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Governance, Senator Dwayne George.

The primary objective of the meeting was to discuss potential budget options, considering that the tax revenue to GDP ratio currently stands at 15%, while the budget aims to raise it to 20%.

Discussions revolved around zero-rated items and imported items where tax waivers are not necessary.

Additionally, officials from the Ministry of Finance presented the debt obligations owed by the government to various organizations, including former employees, contractors, landlords, statutory corporations, China Exim Bank, the Regional Government Security Market, the Caribbean Development Bank, and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

The Inland Revenue Department also discussed the issue of property taxes owed by property owners to the government.

The government’s subsidy for petroleum products was also examined, with a plan to discontinue it. It was agreed that fuel tax falls below the region’s average, which can be easily remedied.

The discussions also included the government’s purchase of gasoline for its fleet of vehicles and ways to reduce these costs.

These discussions aimed to assist the finance minister in preparing his budget statement and budgetary figures, which will be shared with the public on December 15th, during the sitting of Parliament, at 9:30 am.

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