Do away with heavy travel taxes, Grenada PM tells neighbours

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Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has called on Caribbean countries to make sincere efforts to encourage easier intra-regional travel and do away with the heavy taxes that discourage free movement of the region’s population.

“We have to have more transport, sea and air transport. But if we have it and it is too costly, we still don’t have it,” Mitchell told the 40th annual convention of the ruling United Workers Party (UWP) in Vieux-Fort, St. Lucia over the last weekend.

“So if Grenada has a pile of taxes on a ticket, St. Lucia has a pile, Barbados has a pile, St. Vincent has a pile, Trinidad and Tobago has a pile and making the ticket too costly for travel then we must drop taxes and let our people travel,’ Mitchell said.

“We are not talking about dropping all of it, we are talking dropping (it) sufficiently to make the ticket easier for people to travel,” Mitchell said, supporting the idea by prime Minister Allen Chastanet for a regional civil aviation authority..

Mitchell’s request comes less than a week after Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders met in Trinidad and Tobago to examine ways of improving the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and skills across the majority of the 15-member grouping.

The regional leaders have since agreed on a timetable to ensure that certain measures are put in place to facilitate the deepening of the regional integration movement through the CSME.