WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Economic Devastation

Economic DevastationBrian Stevensons' insight that "The opposite of poor is not wealth, the opposite of poor is justice " couldn't be more descriptive of how the previous Antigua Labour Party (ALP) and the present United Progressive Party (UPP) administrations stole democracy from the good people of Antigua and Barbuda.

The preceding was actually corroborated in Oxfam report 'Owning Development: Taxation to fight poverty' and Tax Justice Network (TJN) ' Failed Tax Policy ' collective view that International Monetary Fund (IMF) policy of levying taxes on consumption rather than personal income results in uncontrollable greed and "potentially very negative results on the strength of governance and the quality of institutions" So Oxfam outlined a four point solution to counter such under-development and greed [Oxfam Owning Development page 8 (1) ]

This uncontrollable greed was evident with Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and former Antigua Labour Party (ALP) inability to collect such taxes. Inevitably the poor suffers most from the economic devastation, selfishness and collective greed exploits. For instance ALP Prime Minister Lester Bird reflection five years before losing the 2004 election to the UPP underlines these accountability concerns of Corporate Income Tax [CIT], and the tiny amount of only 0.5% collected in 1999: '" Mr. Bird said that in 1999 only $1.5 million in taxes was paid by more than 2,000 companies." Tax revenue in 2003 as a percent of GDP was 17.9% of which 3.7% were direct taxes and 14.2% indirect taxes. Hotel accommodation tax revenue represented only 1.0% of GDP.


 
Once again pessimism reigned, earlier percent of total FDI re-investment confirm these concerns: 1990 - 1999 17.1 percent and 9.3 percent 2000 - 2003 Antigua & Barbuda had some of the lowest figures in the OECS leading up to 2004.( Foreign Direct Investment and Employment in the English and Dutch - Speaking Caribbean - Dr. Roland Craigwell )

Consequently, UPP Minister of Finance Dr. Errol Cort's 2005 Budget presentation declared government payroll represented "74 percent of recurrent revenue" and with only 26 percent of recurrent revenue remaining after provision for payroll "Public infrastructure, essential service and social program suffered"

Despite clear historical empirical evidence, ALP Opposition Leader Gaston Browne and Antigua Employer Federation (AEF) curiously advocate that abolishing PIT 'stimulates business in the island..through increase consumer spending'. But this is not true! The genesis of ultimate poverty was due to the elimination PIT! How could that be? Under the former ALP government the minimum wage remained constant for more than 23 years, business stimulation was non-existent, agriculture and tourism struggled, import records confirm there was a lack of buoyancy within the service sector. In January 2008 the minimum wage was increased by 25% to EC$7.50 by the UPP, still not minimum wage adequate.

Additionally, the Inter-.American Development Bank (IDB) reiterate income tax should be the pillars of any society for improving income distribution or raising public funds; "Income tax should be progressive, either directly improving income distribution, or raising funds for public spending that would redistributive and ultimately help the poor" ( Inter-American Development Bank - More than Revenue: Taxation as a Development Tool)

However since Browne is bent on dismissing the science of economic for sounding good politics, his approach to economic recovery  is theoretically flawed. Why?  Abolishing PIT from 1977 up until it's reintroduction in April 2005 economic activity remained minimal. In reality, import records indicate the level of economic activity was insignificant up until March 24th 2004, domestically the agriculture sector was non-productive. From 1983 to 2001 Agriculture declined from 6.1 percent to 3.9, manufacturing 5.0 to 2.3 percent and services 79.6 to 74.6 percent. Another example is the U.S.A., export trade figures to Antigua and Barbuda from 1992-2004.
 
Nonetheless, both political parties share similar views relating to the tax system, ALP for eliminating PIT and taxing consumption, UPP for reducing PIT, and incrasing the Antigua & Barbuda Service Tax (ABST). Generally, both agree it would not be in the interest of business to advocate a minimum wage increase. Yet, neither administration created the right mix of fair compensation with macro economics policy that produce a thriving economy for locals to live beyond hand-to-mouth jobs.

 
IGNORING THE POOR'S VULNERABILITY

In April 2011 Minister of Labour Dr. Errol Cort stressed  'the country cannot afford an increase at this time given the economic downturn' (Daily Observer, April 29, 2011).

Two years later in April 2013, another review, and the propose setting up of a "tripartite group" to review the minimum wage. However, Dr. Cort's remark being 'cognizant of the impact on the business sector' left many lower wage workers more pessimistic.  Since during Antigua & Barbuda season of plenty there was not much to celebrate, government overlooked the International Labour Organisation [ILO]  directive Session 11:"As countries grow and develop, labour markets,employment and livelihoods change. The way they change affects the speed and extent of poverty alleviation, the inclusiveness of growth and its sustainability"
 
This inclusiveness of growth benefited the business sector, CIT was reduced more than three times, the basket of essentials decreased adding more poverty to poor and working people! Now Minister of Labour Dr. Cort's Tax Reform Task Force (TRTF) recommends increasing ABST!

Obviously Dr. Cort's suggestion to increase the ABST will be compensation for CIT revenue losses! At any cost the business sectors wins, the poor loses. Furthermore, that's one reason MP Gaston Browne should dismiss ALPs idea of a tax amnesty for businesses. Enough is too much! Should MP Browne implement this policy, he would have further driven the nail of poverty into the hearts of our people. But the mindset of Browne and most Antiguans and Barbudans politicians is to make outsiders rich while keeping locals economically poor and socially dependent. Of course, MP Browne like others before him speak eloquently but outcomes of widespread poverty remains the same.


Correspondingly the IMF indicates that MP Browne is on the wrong economic track. According to the IMF Antigua & Barbuda: Customs' Revenue Losses From Concessions, 1991-2003 (In percent of GDP) 5.1% 1991-93, and 9.2% 2001-03. Also, Corporate Income Tax (CIT) in percent of GDP was abysmal 2.1% 1990-1994, and 2.5% 1999-2003. These are contributing factors that pushed Antigua & Barbuda near the precipice of default and economic disaster in 2003. Whereas removal of all these concession would have resulted in an overall 10.4% GDP growth! [IMF..] 
 
'Clandestinely, elite businesses responsible for these major revenue losses pay-off government ministers instead of depositing their payments into the Government Treasury. Notable businessman Aziz Hadeed handed over several 'envelope of happiness' totaling EC$20 million to MP Asot Michael: "I guess we have given around EC$15 - EC$20 million (Us$5.5 - US$7.5m) to Adot Michael" (Caribarena -Asot Michael Extortion of Aziz Hadeed and Family Tuesday November 26, 2013)

On the other hand, Dr. Cort legitimized Devcon International Corporation non-payment of taxes by offering a tax credit of US$7.5 million for the $5.1 million Devcon owed the government. In specialized covert language the government was in fact paying the government, all to Devcon's benefit, since the $5.1 million was recognized as a savings to Devcon: "During 2005, the Corporation repatriated $20.4 million of previously un-remitted earnings from Antigua, of which $5.1 million was withheld for Antiguan withholding taxes, which were deemed paid by utilization of a portion of the $7.5 million tax credit received as part of an agreement with the Antiguan Government."

Simultaneously, Dr. Cort ignored the economic consequences of previous CIT reductions, increasing oil prices, increasing food prices by decreasing the basket of essentials. These cuts deeply affect poor and working people, therefore, I agree with former Minister of Finance Molwyn Joseph assessment "....the government should not be taxing the poorest in the society," (Tax Proposal Wicked and Diabolical -Caribarena Wednesday 27, 2013)
 
Rather than increasing the ABST, Government should endeavor to look for others escaping the tax net, particularly the off-shore American University of Antigua (AUA). U.S. Senator Richard Durbin alleges Ross and American University of the Caribbean, owned by Devry are part of a small number of Caribbean school that received more than US$450 million in U.S. Department of Education Title 1V money. If confirmed, funds are liable to be taxed!
 
Earlier last year Opposition Leader Gaston Browne suggest taxing offshore companies which is a more improved reasoning for future growth "....offshore companies with an estimated three billion US dollars in assets should be made to invest an average five per cent of their deposits in Antigua and Barbuda."  (Dick Durbin US SENATOR FOR ILLINOIS ASSISTANT MAJORITY LEADER)


NO POVERTY ALLEVIATION
 
Growth was obvious under the UPP, but neither poverty alleviation nor inclusiveness of growth were realized. For instance FDI and strong growth were recorded from 2005 to 2007, pellucidly in the tourism analysis of Stock Taking RIO+2010 "........in 2007 estimated to account for 40 % of all employment, 85 % of foreign exchange earnings, 52 % of total investment and 70 % of GDP (directly and indirectly). Total earnings, and tourist arrivals saw a strong growth in 2007 (up 26.5% from 2006)" Also, UNCTADSTATS recorded FDI inflow: US$238 million in 2005, USD$361 million in 2006 and US$341 million in 2007.
 
During Dr. Cort tenure as Minister of Finance 2004-2009 there was no concern about people's development only elite business interest. And indiscriminately using PIT, not necessarily for it's underlying purpose of livelihood changes, or for public spending to help the poor, but to offset businesses tax exemptions and building a Stadium in his community costing exorbitant sums of money. While mostly white foreigners and middle easterners get richer, the poor Antiguan and Barbudan blacks are consumed by the business of politics.


Today, the  reality of a minimum wage increase is far-fetched, workers anguish is the only increase as inflation rises, the GDP contracts!  From 2008 Antigua & Barbuda GDP contracted by 25%, three years of negative growth from 2009-2011. The outcome was predictable inflation was -0.55 in  2009. Yet, government mandated CIT tax and basket of essential reductions only benefited the business sector. Earlier indiscretion of  tax exemptions and selling of state assets for pennies are now a costly payback.These pennies have a costs usually accompanied by escalating crime and poverty. Sufficient has not been done, more needs to be done, perhaps lowering the ABST, while at the same time  increasing the basket of essentials. What next?
 
The detrimental policy of the Government of Antigua is traditional, created from pre-colonial times, the mindset towards empowerment remains the same, uplift the few, pauperize the majority. Let us ask ourselves some serious questions: Who benefited from the privatization of the Royal Antiguan Hotel, handing over Admirals Inn to Peter Deeth, liberalizing APUA telephone, privatizing APUA  Water, giving away Crown Lands, and IHI Grand Corruption! These are several of the many reasons why Antigua & Barbuda is in such a dreadful dilemma.

Also, will PIT  be  cancelled , ABST lowered, minimum wage and basket of essentials increase, locals empowered, procurement be more equitable, national land  and food policy realized? These are all relevant issues, instead of promoting 'mockumay' politics, debate the issues responsible for disempowering your rights! So which way Antigua & Barbuda? Actually, changes will only come when it's too expensive to resist!

"That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that History has to teach"  -Aldous Huxley


Kwame Nkosi Romeo


Reporting by Caribarena news, publishing by Ofer Shaked.

Hits: 4225

33 Comments In This Article   

HEADER   

thebanned-one

#33 Migration » 2014-02-21 04:29

Just following up on a question about the tax to GDP since the PIT and ABST. I know you have great research skills and that you can find those figures just as you found those prior.
0
0
+
−

Migration

@ RP Grenade » 2014-02-17 14:05 #1

#32 Observer... » 2014-02-18 02:42

I do of course have a great part of equity in it presently. But that is if the market will allow me to sell at a reasonable price so that I can pay of the balance of the mortgage and keep my equity earned over the years. So the debt was not bad for me, because it had a revenue component tied up to it. Same thing the government is doing with most of the loans, Tied it up to the revenue stream it was taken for. Now if the debt was to pay for groceries. Nothing with a revenue stream. To buy a car and just drive it. That I have to find other money to pay back the debt. So borrowing for paying salary might be a short term solution to further tackle the um-employment but the fact remains that you will have to find the money to pay back for that. So in fact you will probably take out another loan to cover that hole. And so it will go one and on until it burst.
2
0
+
−

Observer...

@ RP Grenade » 2014-02-17 14:05 #1

#31 Observer... » 2014-02-18 02:41

I don’t claim to be an economist or a financial wizard, but that is in line of my profession. I always say you cannot find two economist to agree on the approach to any of the theories learnt in college. But the reality in live cannot be disputed. One such is In 1991 I invested in a set of apartments. It was hard for me to go to the banks. But I did. The economy at that time also allowed me the opportunity to have tenants that could afford the rents I charged. My mortgage was directly paid for by the rental income. Therefore I have no worries. Only building equity every step of the way. It is only now that we are hitting hard times for so long that I have to dip into my savings to pay for them. Or what is lately more on my mind selling. Because if I do not sell the bank may eventually do so. The profits which I would eventually earn was at the back end. When the mortgage was paid off. Which in estate planning was for my children.
3
0
+
−

Observer...

@ thebanned-one » 2014-02-17 13:18

#30 Observer... » 2014-02-18 02:11

Could not agree with you more. We seem to give away the baby and the bath water. For what? Sandal is a case that needs to be studied on its own. What is the trickledown effect of Sandals in Antigua? You would think with such a flag ship hotel they should carry our tourism product. But the contrary has been the fact. Even with Sandals on our shore our tourism product is suffering. And what is are the other advantages of having another Sandals/Beaches. How many persons will be employed. And then calculate that contribution to the GDP. Note the concessions Sandals will not pay any taxes for many years to come. Also note that others may want what Sandals got in order to make any meaningful investment. Where do you then draw the line. What you give to one you should also give to others. You cannot have favorites. We have created as far as I can see our first monster, and thereafter we will have monster after monster to deal with.
1
0
+
−

Observer...

Thebabbed-one

#29 Migration » 2014-02-17 18:44

Any luck in finding tax to GDP figures for the period after PIT and ABST?
0
1
+
−

Migration

agree with meigo man

#28 sitco » 2014-02-17 16:17

They need to think outside of the box.This company is the third largest on planet earth in terms of value, enough revenue to make every adults in Antigua a millionaire, it does not take much space and you cannot smell it or feel it. The name of the company is GOOGLE a search engine.
2
0
+
−

sitco

RP Grenade

#27 thebanned-one » 2014-02-17 15:29

RP Grenade so APUA is broke yet it can afford to spend tens of millions of dollars in retrofitting a building plus 13 million to purchase it, but has no money for spare parts? The board appointed after the UPP came into office saw it fit to give themselves, with the approval of the then minister (October 2004), free utilities yet you telling me the company was broke?

Additionally

Cannot afford insurance on its engine or buy spare parts but:
Making donations to mass club(s); They can spend money in a re branding effort of PCS; Purchase Stanford's lands (two parcels at the airport)? Pay out millions (1.75) to the Abott Family because of trespassing; According to Martin (GM), lose 37 million due to the 10% discount they gave customers (see APUA Tightens Screws,October 11, 2013 Observer Media). I take it all of this is the ABLP fault?
4
0
+
−

thebanned-one

RP Grenade

#26 ANTIGUAN WOMAN! » 2014-02-17 15:23

Are u aware how long the market has been built? i would think not.All department of Telecomms were doing pretty well way after,with the Market arrangements in place. I stand to be corrected,but i think INET /PCS came after that fact.At least the Market is there,a valuable asset to the People of A,gua.Its completed and serves its purpose.Leave matters that you know nothing about,your Spin on this matter is just a frivolous attempt to cast blame on someone else for the demise of Telecomms and APUA by ext,as is the norm with this Govt.Account for nothing,its someone elses fault. It will not work,not everyone is dumb. After the UPP has deterioated peoples life style,people like you have the Gall to be talking about Living above means.You people have more nerves than brains.
4
0
+
−

ANTIGUAN WOMAN!

@Observer, some more

#25 RP Grenade » 2014-02-17 14:05

As for the WPP, I have found out that the reason that all the engines are not online is because the engines have gotten to their required 10,000 hours service point and Apua can't afford to buy the necessary spare parts to service the units. Go figure. APUA could surely do well with some market money now! I think that politics is dividing and blinding this country so we are so easily led by deceitful politicians. Both the red and blue teams are guilty of this.
The way I see things, the WPP would have been the flagship of the UPP's accomplishments and the other side could not allow that, so though NOT optimum, the leaking gaskets/ seals on the plants were blown up out of proportion and shown without taking the nationalistic view that were are getting our own. Apua can barely afford to pay APC. 1.5 million per week is a lot and salaries and WIOC not included yet. So between APC and WIOC their hands are tied and no hard decisions are being made to get the parts needed to run WPP and reduce the APC fees.
3
5
+
−

RP Grenade

@Observer try this on

#24 RP Grenade » 2014-02-17 13:50

Observer, and what has happened to the US economy over last 6 years? They are only seeing signs of recovery now. But to take you on, if APUA had the funds that were diverted to pay for the market right now, don't you think that APUA would be better off? Suppose they had reinvested the same diverted money into it's telecomms department (inet, then PCS and landline) don't you think that things would better there too.
As for the car park and transport board office, firstly, the car park is a private venture or public private as some may term it. The only thing the government put in was the land. Both the car park and transport board generated considerable economic activity (constrcution was booming).
When a government competes with the public for scarce funds (crowding out effect) it has a negative effect on the economy, please research 'the vicious cycle".
I am not going to defend the UPP, they have numerous PR people. But if they borrow to pay salaries, where do those salaries go? Those same salaries are what spur economic activity.
2
4
+
−

RP Grenade

Interesting

#23 Fuzzy Math » 2014-02-17 13:25

I find the writer's argument compelling though from my view his theory is somewhat flawed. There are those who from an academic perspective think (and quite rightly so) that taxes are the only fiscal driving force of a government. I mean after all where else would government get revenue for expenses besides loans ?

The missing link here is just as "Observer" indicates, the incompetence and naivete indicated by the policies of both parties; clearly show the inability to think outside the box.

To his credit, Mr Romeo was able to show clearly that while increased revenue was collected it was also squandered under Errol Cort's watch.
Quote:

On the other hand, Dr. Cort legitimized Devcon International Corporation non-payment of taxes by offering a tax credit of US$7.5 million for the $5.1 million Devcon owed the government. In specialized covert language the government was in fact paying the government...

Simultaneously, Dr. Cort ignored the economic consequences of previous CIT reductions, increasing oil prices, increasing food prices by decreasing the basket of essentials. These cuts deeply affect poor and working people, therefore, I agree with former Minister of Finance Molwyn Joseph **sment "....the government should not be taxing the poorest in the society," (Tax Proposal Wicked and Diabolical -Caribarena Wednesday 27, 2013)
6
0
+
−

Fuzzy Math

Observer

#22 thebanned-one » 2014-02-17 13:18

Observer you make a good point. It has to be about value for money. If we had invested in the things we should have, we would not be in the mess we currently are. The problem for the current government is it cannot justify how it has spent our tax moneys. The tax system Romero is proposing is more for developed countries. They more have the ability than developing ones to ensure that persons do not beat the system. When incentives are given, we need to have transparent methods in place to measure its success. It makes no sense that we give 20 year tax concessions and the person simply imports labour; or refuses to pay utility bills and uses his employees as hostages; or keeps the money outside Antigua and instead engages in direct competition with locals driving them out of business in part due to his concessions.
2
2
+
−

thebanned-one

RE: Economic Devastation

#21 ANTIGUAN WOMAN! » 2014-02-17 12:18

We did not hire a Govt to teach us Accounting/Economics .. People hire govt to Better their present conditions PERIOD............ When you change a Govt, its not to hear what the previous did not do,but to show what you can do.We do not want to hear about IMF said this World bank said that. All of a sudden some people have the gall to try to insult persons intelligence to the point that they are telling us what our financial status was as Individuals,as if we dont know how we existed before 2004. All these Financial language will not put food on people,s table,it will not create jobs for our hundreds of un-employed young people,it will not lower the cost of living.it will not address the issue of crimes.It will not improve the quality of our loan health facilty. This Govt has no vision no fore-sight.It is time for them to go,really tired of hearing lame excuses coming from them and their choir singers.What rain cant full,really dont see Dew fulling it.Ten dead years, that will not change under the UPP suddenly.
4
1
+
−

ANTIGUAN WOMAN!

@Meigo Man » 2014-02-17 08:44

#20 Observer... » 2014-02-17 10:21

Most Caribbean governments have failed to think outside the box when it comes to bringing in revenue for the country. They all result to the ages old method of Caesar. Raising taxes on the people. You would think that with all the knowledge and progress overtime we would have found new ways of doing things. No. We remain just like Caesar. At least in the Bible God ask for only 10% of your fruits. Why do governments need more than God. They must be of the devil.

فشلت معظم الحكومات الكاريبية التفكير خارج منطقة الجزاء عندما يتعلق الأمر لتحقيق عائدات للبلاد. أنهم جميعا نتيجة لأسلوب العصور القديمة من قيصر. زيادة الضرائب المفروضة على الشعب. كنت أعتقد أن مع كل العمل الإضافي في مجال المعرفة والتقدم أن وجدنا طرقاً جديدة للقيام بهذه الأمور. رقم وما زلنا تماما مثل قيصر. على الأقل في 'الكتاب المقدس الله' اسأل عن 10 فقط من الفواكه الخاصة بك. لماذا تحتاج الحكومات أكثر من الله. يجب أن تكون من الشيطان. !
4
0
+
−

Observer...

@ RP Grenade » 2014-02-16 22:28

#19 Observer... » 2014-02-17 10:09

If that is the basis of your argument I guess the US economy would be the biggest non starter for you. Since there economy which is the largest in the world has also the biggest national debt. 16 trillion and counting. However your theory is flawed. It's not the debt that makes the econmy grow it is the economic activity that that debt brings. APUA funding was a debt to built the public market. That economic activity is still being felt today. It's a nother thing if the government in charge is not responsible to pay for it. While the WPP is a debt that is not and has not brought us what was promised. So it is just a debt burdon on us. Sadly so. And you can go through the lists of debts and see if the related asset is bringing us fruits or not. UPP borrowing seems to be for Cash Flow shortages. So we do not see any related asset. Safe from the WPP and the Car Park and now the Transport Board office. Will any of these bring us savings or economic activity for years to come. I doubt it.
2
1
+
−

Observer...

RE: Economic Devastation

#18 Time to pay » 2014-02-17 09:55

NEW JOBS... NEW HOTEL NEW TAXES... THAT IS WHAT IS NEEDED. AH YES NEW GOVERNMENT AS WELL....! :D
5
0
+
−

Time to pay

@ RP Grenade

#17 Meigo Man » 2014-02-17 08:44

In the same News item, I also heard that the official from the Caribbean Development Bank saying that the islands need to reduce their tax Burden to stimulate economic growth!

بغض النظر عن ما مخطط أنها تأتي مع هذه الحكومة سيتم التصويت من منصبه!
3
2
+
−

Meigo Man

@SlyThatGuy » 2014-02-16 12:16

#16 Observer... » 2014-02-17 00:18

"A huge part of the government revenue comes from Personal Income Tax."
A very incorrect statement to make. What do you call 'huge'. Government revenor is inthe hundreds of millions. last time I checked about 800. PIT in its best year is about $60Million. You like to make up things.
5
3
+
−

Observer...

Largest economy based on?

#15 RP Grenade » 2014-02-16 22:28

Know your economics not just history sitco et al (the tenned-one). As you are shouting from the mountain top, Antigua may have had the largest economy in the OECS, but it was based on borrowing and debt accumulation. So then we were spending other people's money and smelling sweet without paying them back too.
I just heard on the news today that they are now saying that our Islands are enjoying the same high standard of living that is not sustainable because it is based on debt accumulation- Antigua's lead! Chickens have now come home to roost but it's the present governments fault.
4
5
+
−

RP Grenade

thebanned-one

#14 Migration » 2014-02-16 19:52

Still awaiting those tax to GDP figures for the period after PIT and ABST
3
1
+
−

Migration

we forget so quickly

#13 sitco » 2014-02-16 17:23

Antigua economy was largest and best in the OECS during the 80's and 90's all without personal income tax. Know your history.
13
5
+
−

sitco

RE: Economic Devastation

#12 Skyewill » 2014-02-16 15:05

During Dr. Cort tenure as Minister of Finance 2004-2009 there was no concern about people's development, only elite business interest. THANK YOU SIR. It is comforting to know some one else see this. Us Poor dutty foots and John French's picky head pickney dem is left out of the pie eating contest. UPP got into power and went straight for the troth. Their vision of Antigua is them and their new rich friends from the CIP program sipping Moet, eating caviar while we serve drinks and make beds.
13
7
+
−

Skyewill

thbanned-one

#11 Migration » 2014-02-16 14:54

So you cannot provide me with tax to GDP figures since the PIT and the ABST?
5
2
+
−

Migration

RE: Economic Devastation

#10 thebanned-one » 2014-02-16 13:52

Migration- the writers argument is that we still pretty much have a consumption based tax system. Most of our taxes are indirect. as miego man states he is comparing apples with oranges. Most of the islands in the region have a plethora of social programs to deal with inequality and poverty. Topping them off is free public education and somewhat free medical care. The places he is comparing us to have no such programs. In a comment some time ago someone stated that the island in the region with the most equality (on paper)is Haiti. It's also the island with the most poverty. Which is worse? I would think poverty. in order to fight it sometimes programs are put in place which create inequality(provide tax fee incentives for jobs). The writer seems more concerned about the possible cost of the medicine than the illness it sought to cure. In saint Lucia currently there is a construction stimulous where those who can afford it will build but pay less taxes. It creates jobs . There is less poverty. An unemployment rate of 24% would have been worse without such a program.
9
4
+
−

thebanned-one

@ SlyThatGuy

#9 Meigo Man » 2014-02-16 13:38

Ignorance is bliss! The PIT is approximately $35 - 40 million or 6% of the budgeted income!

Meanwhile, Gaston Browne has indicated that he could trim some $50 million from this 2014 expenditure!

At the same time the expenditure for rentals for 2014 is budgeted for a $37 million! In 2013 it was $38 million!

Sly...come better than that...$40K per month for two years for a building which has not been utilized - or $1 million over the last two years - wasted!

There is none so blind as those who refuse to see!
11
2
+
−

Meigo Man

Get back under the rock

#8 Dax Rebel » 2014-02-16 13:36

This is really elections season. I can smell the stench of the purging sea with the west wind. I can also see the blue crabs crawling from beneath the rocks.

These are the same blue crabs who left Antigua in search of greener pastures and cooler waters. With every pending election, these die-hard PLM-ites who have submerged beneath the waters to escape the "Sunshine", tend to raise their shameless heads above the waters in an attempt to stifle truth and reality with some foul stench and ridiculous comparisons from the pages of the IMF.

Bombshell should concern himself with the hardship being felt in Antigua/Barbuda TODAY. This futile attempt to promote a smiling and useless minion in the St. John's City South constituency is comical. Just as he was used by others who sought power in the Football Association, the desperate UPP is trying the same, only this time around, everyone knows he is completely useless. I really pity MR’s simplicity.

In this 2014 election season, Bombshell should simply crawl back under the rocks from which he came; and stay there.
8
7
+
−

Dax Rebel

Economic Devastation

#7 Mel » 2014-02-16 13:12

I agree with the previous poster that this piece is not as effective as it could be, due to its language a usages. No doubt the writer feels strongly about his subject,but appears to be tripping over his own vociferous anger.
Regarding the implementation of a salary-based income tax, as per much of the western world, I would support that, as long as the poor are fairly represented and the middle cl** do not take an extra hard hit, as they do in some coin ties, such as Canada,
2
3
+
−

Mel

RE: Economic Devastation

#6 SlyThatGuy » 2014-02-16 12:16

A huge part of the government revenue comes from Personal Income Tax. So in order to provide funding sufficient for the needs of the government, Gaston Browne ( if he becomes prime minister) would have to replace PIT with something else should he decide to abolish it--either he replaces it with something else completely or he raises sales or consumption tax to make up for cash flow that will be definitely lacking. But , unlike he fool others, Gaston could never fool me with all these unworkable plans, not even with his best POOOKER FACE ON!
9
10
+
−

SlyThatGuy

thebanned-one

#5 Migration » 2014-02-16 11:08

Could you give us the tax to GDP since the introduction of the PIT and ABST? It would be interesting to do a comparison.
3
3
+
−

Migration

know your data

#4 thebanned-one » 2014-02-16 09:44

Quote:
The average tax to GDP ratio in developing countries is low compared to the majority of countries with the most developed economies, but more importantly it is low compared to its own potential. In the period 2006–08, central government tax revenue as a percentage of GDP in western European countries was approximately 20 per cent, while in regions such as South Asia it was equivalent to 12 per cent. Oxfam report 'Owning Development: Taxation to fight poverty'
The writer has a tendency to transcribe what his sources state and come to a totally different conclusion that them. Stevenson is not against a VAT based system. He advocates ones which are designed not to negatively affect the poor. An interesting part of the document is the statement that poorer countries (due to their dependency on a badly designed system) tended to pay less taxes than richer ones. Did Romero take the time to calculate prior to 2005 (PIT implementation) what our tax to GDP rate was? The Western Economies average was about 20% (2006-2008). In most countries things like payment for drivers licenses and social security payments are considered taxes. Yet in Antigua without considering such as taxes our tax to GDP was: 2003-21.0%, 2002-21.5, 2001-19.5%, 2000-21.7%, 1999- 21.9% (see IMF article IV 2004). This happened before personal income tax and even VAT.
10
5
+
−

thebanned-one

OK!

#3 Meigo Man » 2014-02-16 08:15

In a country of blind people, a one eyed man is King?

For every economic "theory" a thousand articles could be found supporting each and every theory - even though they are all conflicting!

Mr. Bombshell's article would have been better received if he had shown examples in the Caribbean to support his "argument"!

By the way he does not address the fact that the UPP have already promised the IMF that they will lay off thousands of Government workers if they are re-elected!

Soundbites and quotes on their own doesn't mean "squat" to back up a flawed argument! Why is Singapore so successful - compared to many of other so called "first world" countries? Why has Cuba failed (don't go over the old "America is to blame" bogey)?

Finally, it is interesting to have a person who was part of the Socialist Movement in the '70s and '80s move to the land of Capitalism and now become an expert on Capitalism!
13
11
+
−

Meigo Man

Need to know why?

#2 Need to know » 2014-02-16 07:04

Caribarena continues to give such airy fairy writings such prominence?Makes absolutely no sense to me.
15
15
+
−

Need to know

Just a bomb-shell

#1 Wisdom » 2014-02-16 06:07

Antigua is a unique place. It is the only place where people become experts without study and where men, especially men who do not feed their children speak loudest about nation building.
The very use of English language makes this article so difficult to read and the Utopian theories are not supported by the statistics and quotes provided. Please Caribarena, do your readers a favour and justice by stop projecting every nary-tary posing as bombshells but who are nothing more than bomb- shells
16
16
+
−

Wisdom

Add comment

Follow us on Facebook

Spotlight on Education

Previous Next
Govt to give Two Uniforms
Antigua St. John's - Minister of Education Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro has confirmed...  Read more

Latest Opinion Pieces

App

Android LogoDownload Caribarena's Android App Click To Download

Find us on Twitter!