Antigua: Hotels face tough new measures

The government of Antigua and Barbuda plans to go after hoteliers who fail to pay their fair share of taxes when it implements the Tax Administration Procedure Act (TAPA), according to local media reports.

Prime Minister, Gaston Browne told parliament Friday that his administration will introduce legislation in which leading business principals including hoteliers could be jailed for tax evasion.

“There is no fear in the system,” Antigua Observer quoted Browne as saying.

The new bill will be brought to parliament later this year, the Prime Minister said.

During his contribution in parliament, Browne appealed to the management of Sandals Grande to further reduce their three-month closure period to six weeks.

Initially, Sandals said it was closing the hotel for five months to undertake maintenance work, a move that upset the government.

The hotel then said the closure would be for three months.

In a press release, the resort reaffirmed its commitment to the country as it seeks to renovate the property to maintain its title of World’s Best, a title it has held for 23 consecutive years.

22 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    July 30, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Well done. Now implement the same measures throughout the other islands otherwise they will just jump ship.

    1. Anonymous
      July 30, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Agree

  2. moosh
    July 30, 2017 at 7:49 am

    St. Lucia is a joke. The hotel’s are buying their own tour boats and land rovers and opening their own purchasing companies using tax concessions to compete with indigenous companies that have zero concessions. It is only a matter of time whereby the anger and disbelief turns to unrest. The greed of the hoteliers is sickening. One hotel in the north illegally offers sports fishing to its guests with its duty free “dive boat”, has bought a land Rover to avoid paying local operators and plants it’s own high priced vegetables to avoid purchasing from local farmers.

  3. Alana
    July 30, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Congratulations is in order to u Mr prime minister of Antigua, it’s time st lucia follow such measures, and stop them also from wrong dealing the island and it’s people.

  4. Anonymous
    July 30, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Best prime minister ever

  5. Anonymous
    July 30, 2017 at 9:45 am

    We should exchange prime minister ours love to much vacation and he give his god father to much right

  6. Anonymous
    July 30, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Well done Prime Minister Brown. Give St. Lucian politicians a bit of your DNA to grow some back bone like yours.

  7. wow
    July 30, 2017 at 9:46 am

    SMH. You want to jail a hotelier for not paying taxes? How will that help pay the taxes. Btw are the hoteliers staying in your country ? Let us say they take jail. When jail term finishes, he/she simply closes the hotel and you lose jobs and lots of revenue. So find another way to collect taxes, like directly off each hotel booking. This guy is gonna drive Antigua in a downward spiral.

    1. Anonymous
      July 30, 2017 at 7:37 pm

      who ever you are, you must be a st Lucian with a business that joking out your fellow locals eyes like them hoteliers,
      when one hotel close down more will come and provide more jobs again
      one thing Antiguans don’t take shit from people we are a proud nation and survive we can

  8. Anonymous
    July 30, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Idiots. …. you’ll bringing down you’ll own country and government to compare other countries .

  9. Lucian in misery
    July 30, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    The people are just being honest that don’t make them idiots. I think if there’s an idiot it’s more than likely it’s you.

  10. Anonymous
    July 30, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Governments are the ones in the first place who give these large businesses the freedom to do certain things, concessions and so on. Then they want to come back later down the line and implement certain laws when things are no longer in their favor. And then now who suffers?

  11. Lucian in misery
    July 30, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Because most of them are not qualified these decisions are made at luxurious dinners where the investors pay. They not use to that they nervous and make decisions that will hurt the citizens cuz they may have had too much wine at the dinner

    1. Proud St. Lucian
      August 5, 2017 at 8:05 am

      Not qualified?! Who the hell put them there? I guess you are saying your people are a bunch of idiots. ..we’re always so quick to see the remedy for everything but all we do is sit on our “torsh bordahs ” and complain.. we do not know the reason for some of these decisions that we believe is to satisfy the politicians pockets..Maybe, just maybe if we educated ourselves some more , we would be in a better place to address certain issues.

  12. Anonymous
    July 30, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Plantations by the beach

  13. Lucianalien
    July 30, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    All the commentators that agree with the Antigua PM please stop, breathe and then think.
    This is absurd, draconian and will only make the situation worse for investors who would have wanted to come in and believe me they won’t. Additionally which hotelier will they jail? The director of a foreign registered entity licenced to do business in St Lucia? Where will Gaston find Butch to jail him for example. This is stupidity is a threat and just the thought of it is ridiculous. Then Gaston would have to jail himself and some of his ministers for failing to declare their other income…. The ones that they obtain through corruption. Additionally he would also have to jail ordinary Antigua businessmen who do not pay their company taxes not because they are avoiding it but because they may not be able to. Yes all of you just jumping up and saying yeah yeah….. The thing is…. Everyone will be at risk of jail if they don’t pay their tax and that includes unscrupulous politicians and surreptitious businessmen. Good luck Gaston and whoever else who is thinking about nonsense like this.

    1. tenman
      July 31, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      The Antigua and Hotel Association chairman has opined he is in agreement with what the bill seeks to do. This was stated a few days ago via Caribbean times newspaper. Is it that you prefer investors who don’t pay their way?

  14. Anonymous
    July 31, 2017 at 9:20 am

    A Prime minister that is actually for his people? been awhile since we have that in St.Lucia

    1. Proud St. Lucian
      August 5, 2017 at 8:08 am

      The Antiguan Prime Minister is crazy! Kinda reminds me of Trump when it comes to decision making…

  15. Anonymous
    July 31, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    With all the bravado, what Gaston and other of our so called leaders don’t get is that we a merely beggars on the world stage. So we pose and flex our little muscles while those with the real power site back and laugh. What he should focus on is stamping out the cancer of corruption in the country which is the real killer!

    1. bazo
      August 3, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      “flexing our little muscles”….hahaha

  16. Anonymous
    August 3, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Gaston Browne is a mad, brown-nosing dictator. His sidekick Assot Michael is now calling the shots. The two of them have been invoved in so many alleged deals for personal enrichment that its mind-boggling. Now, with weeks to the elections, the are taking bread from porr people mouth. SIN!

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