Youth Parliament Debates Sales Tax Amendments

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

The Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax Amendment Bill 2024, introduced in parliament on Friday, aims to tackle the rising rates of non-communicable diseases by increasing taxes on sugary foods and using the proceeds to subsidize healthier options.

The Pan-American Health Organization has flagged diabetes and hypertension as the leading causes of death in Antigua and Barbuda.

The Youth Parliament supports the amendment, calling for expanded public education and assistance in creating meal plans. Youth parliamentarian and National Youth Ambassador Shaquan O’Neal proposed a new breakfast program for secondary school students, pointing out the national school meals program’s focus on primary schools.

Opposition members criticized the bill for its lack of explicit provisions to subsidize healthy foods, demanding clear commitments in the legislation. Despite these critiques, there was agreement on the urgency of addressing health issues.

“We must implement proactive measures to reduce consumption and the occurrence of preventable diseases,” one speaker stated. “This amendment presents an opportunity for the government to generate revenue that can be reinvested in the healthcare system.”

The bill was passed after several amendments.

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua! We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.Contact us at [email protected]