FinMin Harold Lovell announces tax free Budget 2014
Finance Minister Harold Lovell has presented his Budget 2014 a few weeks before elections are due in March this year. The Finance Minister announced that the budget would be for EC$874.8 million (£194.13 million; $321.98 million) and that there would be no new taxes.
The Finance Minister went on to say that in the budget employees earning EC$3,501 to EC$15,500 a month would be charged 8% down from 10% and that the level for tax-free income would rise from EC$3,000 to EC$3,500. The Finance Minister said that the new measures would be backdated to the beginning of the year.
The Minister also announced that the government would pay more than EC$100 million in outstanding salaries to public servants owed in the period 2000 – 2002.
Mr Lovell said that to meet these commitments the economy would need to grow by 1.72%. He anticipated that revenues would grow as increased economic activity in 2014 resulted from a number of projects implemented last year. He said that indirect taxes would amount to EC$484.8 million and of that the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (AVST) would bring in EC$224.4 million (just over 46%). A further EC$60 million would come from the Citizenship by Investment (CIP) programme.
In the March 2009 general election the ruling United Progressive Party (UPP) won nine of the 17 elected seats in the House of Representatives and the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) won seven with the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) winning one seat.