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By Zaya Williams
The recent 2 percent increase in the Antigua Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) has left residents feeling the financial strain, with reported disparities in prices on shelves and at checkout causing concerns about potential price hikes.
Responding to these worries, the Prices and Consumer Affairs division is appealing for patience from the public, understanding the challenges businesses face as they adapt to the tax adjustment.
At the same time Jo-Ann Peters, Press Officer at the Prices and Consumer Affairs division, urges traders to promptly complete the necessary adjustments.
“We are asking consumers to please be patient. It is a new initiative that has just been introduced, and we are also asking traders that we cannot have these discrepancies in prices being carried on too long, so the division is urging traders to have this price formatting done within a week or so,” emphasized Peters.
Zero-rated items, including water, insecticides, flour, cereal grains, vegetables, butter, eggs, fish, chicken, milk, medicines in retail quantities, and pharmaceutical goods, are exempt from the tax increase.
Peters also reminded the public that the impact of the tax hike might extend to services, underscoring the need for awareness and understanding during this period of adjustment.