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No ABST-reduction this year

by pointe team
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This year, the popular ABST-reduction weekend that has become a favourite
among consumers and merchants alike will not be implemented.
Well-placed sources say the move designed to spur business for merchants and
provide a relief in prices for consumers has been done away with this year, as the
government seeks ways to raise revenue to help it meet its monthly obligations.
The sources say uppermost in the mind of the government is the payment of
salaries and wages for December, which is usually paid around the middle of the
month to facilitate public workers taking advantage of the discounted prices
associated with the ABST reduction.
Additionally, the government has agreed to raise the salaries and wages of public
sector workers further in the new year. This increase will be added to the five
percent increase granted earlier. The government has agreed to a 14 percent
increase, five percent of which has been granted. However, the remaining nine
percent may be implemented over time.
Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Gaston Browne, has been hinting over the
past several weeks that there are likely to be adjustments in the country’s tax
structure as the government seeks to place itself in a better position to meet
mounting obligations.
He has also suggested that there is likely to be a slight increase in the rate of the
ABST, the country’s most reliable form of taxation.
According to the prime minister Antigua and Barbuda’s tax to GDP ratio is the
lowest in the OECS. The country has been advised by international finance
institutions to raise the rate to about 20 percent of GDP. It is currently closer to 16
Further details of the government’s policies regarding taxes will come to light
when the prime minister presents the country’s 2024 National Budget on
December 14.

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