Campaigners in Anguilla opposed to the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) have handed in a petition to the island’s Governor seeking to have the law overturned.
Attorney Josephine Gumbs-Connor of the Concerned Citizens group said they have collected over 2,000 signatures from respondents at home and in the diaspora challenging the controversial law on several grounds.
These include the way the government went about the public consultation on the new law, and how it was eventually was passed in the Anguilla House of Assembly.
The GST was passed on July 29th and received the Governor’s assent the following day bringing it into law.
Elected members of the members of the government benches had voted with the opposition against the GST, but the vote was subsequently carried by the two unelected ex-officio members - the Attorney General and the Financial Secretary who are civil servants.
The Anguilla House of Assembly is comprised of 13 members, 11 of whom are elected. The Government has a seven to four majority of the elected members.
Speaking for the Concerned Citizens group, attorney Gumbs-Connor described this outcome as undermining Anguilla’s democracy.
The GST groups several taxes under one heading and is intended as a means to correct the territory’s fiscal imbalances including budget deficits, large amounts of uncollected reduce government debt.