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Local economist Everett Christian says the intended 10 percent “windfall tax” to fund the fourth landed campus of the University of West Indies (UWI) in Antigua is a bad move.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said that in order to finance the campus in Five Islands, the new windfall tax will target banks, insurance firms and telecommunication companies.
But, according to Christian, the local consumers are the ones who will feel the full burden of this new tax.
“These companies will inevitably pass on that tax to the consumers by way of higher charges and fees for their services. So, ultimately it is the consumer, the ordinary taxpayer, who will be footing that bill, not the companies.”
Christian went on to give his solution as to how the funding of the UWI campus can be realised.
“If the prime minister is truly serious about funding the fourth landed campus of UWI, what he really needs to address himself is how to enhance the compliance rate because, in my view, there are sufficient taxes on our books that if administered properly, he can generate the revenues required to fund the campus without increasing the tax burden on the taxpayers,” he told OBSERVER media.
The Five Islands campus is expected to open its doors in September this year.