St. John’s Antigua- The Small Business and Manufacturers Association has raised concern that the Minister of Finance and Economy Harold Lovell is creating a legal dilemma with the introduction of the stimulus package.
Interim President Lawrence King in a press release said the laws relating to the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) and Revenue Recovery Charge (RRC) would have to be changed if the stimulus is to be enacted.
“The same questions remain not only as to implementation, but whether we are subject to implementation by law or by the minister in office at the time” wrote King.
King suggested that the Comptroller of Customs can only act in accordance with law and not by orders of the minister that contradict the law.
“Please note that the comptroller of customs is guided by law. We therefore wait to see the laws regarding ABST and RRC taxes are to be changed almost immediately,” he said. “And if this is not done, customs will be compelled to follow the law as is. In that situation, the stated intentions will only remain as stated intentions with no meaning or direction.”
King said further that the package merely returns its members to the situation that existed prior to the implementation of the ABST.
Meanwhile the group praised Senator Joanne Massiah’s recent addition of responsibilities to review the manufacturing sector and asked that a group of business people be included in the review.
“We hope that a working group of business persons involved in manufacturing can be a part of the crafting of a detailed manufacturing policy that will benefit all stakeholders,” King said.