Talk on the streets, radio broadcasts, and general discussions with residents in Anguilla , suggest that many persons are still very apprehensive about the impact the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will have on their ability to afford goods and services on the island.
In response to media questions on Monday, the Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr Ellis Webster assured residents of Anguilla that, despite the implementation of GST, his administration is looking into ways to control the cost of living in Anguilla.
Also at the above media questions session, he expressed opposition to the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine and noted its impact on persons living in Anguilla.
He observed: “What we have seen is that prices have gone up, especially with fuel. We already see that inflation was on the rise with issues of shipping, and supplies have been reduced.
“We are, as an administration, looking at ways to try to relieve some of these increased prices. I have been speaking with the financial advisor, the permanent secretary, the principal assistant secretary, the controller of customs, and the controller of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), as to ways that we can look into controlling the cost of living here in Anguilla.”
Dr Webster indicated that the finalised cost-controlling strategies and measures would be brought to the public, then taken to Executive Council for consideration and approval before being presented to the House.
In terms of how the rising cost of living in Anguilla – which is impacted by the Russia/Ukraine war – will affect the implementation of the GST in Anguilla, Dr Webster stated: “GST is a broad-based tax and so rising prices will be rising prices. GST is scheduled to be implemented July1, 2022, and the IRD is working with the businesses that would fall over the $EC 300,000 threshold to educate them [and] to let them know what equipment they will need. This is an ongoing process… The marketing campaign is out there to educate the business community and the consumers.”