Praise for holiday tax break

St. John’s — At least one director of several major businesses has praised the government’s decision to reduce the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax for four days up to Christmas Eve.

Paul Ryan, a director of Antigua Plumbing & Hardware, Antigua Home & Garden Discount Centre, Antigua Motors and Bike Plus, said the initiative resulted in good business.

“The hardware store did excessively well, extremely, extremely well. The Antigua Discount Centre, too, saw a marginal increase, much better than last year this time around and Bike Plus also saw a massive increase in bicycle sales over the four day reduction,” Ryan said.

The business owner said some of the stores saw close to two weeks’ worth of sales in the four-day period.

However, Ryan said sales at Antigua Motors were not quite as good as hoped.

“For the car businesses it was not as expected but we did move a few cars,” Ryan said.

Antigua Motors did not extend their opening hours for the first sales tax break.

Businesses had the option of offering a reduction in ABST from the regular 15 per cent to just five per cent between Friday December 21 and Monday, December 24.

It followed an identical reduction on the weekend prior when several businesses, most notably car dealers, praised the initiative for a huge boom in sales.

Ryan said the timing of the initiative helped and called for it to be made annually.

“It’s the time people want to fix up their homes and buy gifts and do those things they have been putting off all year with the little monies they have saved,” Ryan said.

Annual undertaking

“I think it should be annual, obviously it doesn’t have to be the same time every year and given a two week notice (next time). I think people will get a better time to get themselves ready,” he added.

Ryan said the first tax break, which only covered Saturday and Sunday was given with too short a notice, so the second break allowed more businesses and consumers to benefit.

“The first one took businesses by storm and they were up in the air as to what to do. But given the notice, I think it will go well hand – in – hand for both the government which is in dire need of funds and businesses places who really, really look forward to such a break,” Ryan said. (Antigua Observer)

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