Antigua and Barbuda’s opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) has promised legislation to waive work permit fees for nationals of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic if elected to government.
The people of Antigua and Barbuda will head to the polls on January 18.
“Under the ‘One Caribbean Act’, effective March 1, 2023, the new UPP Government will waive all work permit fees for nationals of CARICOM and the Dominican Republic, who have been working and resident in Antigua and Barbuda on or before January 1, 2023,” a statement on the UPP’s official website stated.
According to the statement, a ‘One Caribbean Employment Stamp’ would replace work permits for CARICOM and Dominican Republic nationals.
It said the stamp would be transferable from one employer to another, within the same industry and same job class.
“The OECS Economic Union has been effective in bringing citizens of the OECS together as one people and one community. Work permits are not required for OECS nationals to work throughout the OECS, thereby expanding opportunities for job creation and the growth of regional economies,” UPP Leader Harold Lovell stated.
And he explained that by replacing work permits with the ‘One Caribbean Employment Stamp,’ the ‘One Caribbean Act’ will extend similar opportunities to CARICOM and Dominican Republic nationals.
The UPP leader said this represents further advancement towards the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) and regional integration.
The UPP is one of three political groups contesting the upcoming Antigua and Barbuda general elections.
But Prime Minister Gaston Browne has called on citizens and residents to make the right decision entering the New Year in charting the way forward for the country.
In a New Year message, Browne noted that his Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Administration had achieved growth and development.
And he warned that risking the UPP is risking retrogression and the country’s future, as well as the future of the nation’s children.