PM proposes windfall tax to fund local UWI University

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has proposed introducing new tax measures to fund the local arm of UWI in Antigua in Five Islands.

During a talk show programme over the weekend, the prime minister said the government will do whatever is necessary to sustain the funding of its university.

“We may have to have some windfall tax on properties that are making significant profits. Maybe have a threshold for anything over $5 million [and] we take ten per cent of your windfall or we can probably increase the corporate rate of tax from 25 per cent to 30 per cent, Browne explained”.

The prime minister also spoke of an alternative where they would introduce some form of tax for the banking sector so that they can raise the necessary funding to ensure the stability of the university.

The government had previously announced that it is considering using Citizens by Investment Programme (CIP) funds to financially sustain the University.

Prime Minister Browne said that is still an option but more will need to be done to get a sustainable source of funding.

He has asked for the full cooperation of Antiguan and Barbudans and the corporate community that may be affected by the possible taxation, as he maintained that the University is too important to allow the project to be frustrated by a lack of funding..

“The university is one of the most important aspects of the infrastructure of transforming this country into an economic power house and I repeat whatever we have to do to raise the funds we will do it, not withstanding any opposition coming from anyone,” he said.

News Reporter
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