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In response to the numerous complaints from consumers regarding price gouging following the increase of the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax by two percent on January 1, 2024, the Ministry of Trade is taking a strong stance against this unethical practice.
The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Clarence E. Pilgrim, has condemned the act of price gouging and consumer fraud, which are illegal under the country’s consumer laws.
The Ministry is calling for traders to immediately discontinue this unfair practice, as consumers who are already paying the increased sales tax should not have to suffer further financial burden.
Ambassador Pilgrim has also urged individuals who are unsure of how to correctly compute the increase to seek assistance from any relevant Government Agency.
In order to combat this unfair trading practice, the Division of Prices and Consumer Affairs is monitoring the prices of price-controlled goods twice daily to ensure that the selling price does not exceed the maximum selling price.
Consumers who have complaints regarding price gouging or other unfair trading practices are encouraged to contact the Division, which will hold violators accountable.
The Ministry has made it clear that it will not allow traders to take undue financial advantage of consumers by unlawfully increasing the prices of food or other consumer goods.
Perpetrators caught engaging in price gouging or other unfair practices will be held accountable according to the Laws of Antigua and Barbuda.