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Sealy defends deal


Marlon Madden

Sealy defends deal

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Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy has defended the concessions offered to Sandals Resorts, saying they were not unusual.
He sought to set the record straight and “put the issue to bed” yesterday. His response followed suggestions from players in tourism that the tax breaks of up to 40 years would put other hotels at a disadvantage.
Speaking to reporters at Grantley Adams International Airport following the arrival of a new Thomas Cook flight out of Manchester, England, Sealy said the concessions given to Sandals were the same given to other ventures that were “similar” in nature.
“The only thing that is new is the concessions we are offering with respect to food and beverage . . . ,” he added. “That concession was given on the basis that it was an all-inclusive property and on the level of investment involved.
“Nothing has been given to Sandals that was not given by previous ministers of finance to other ventures similar in that nature, whether it was Royal Westmoreland [or] whether it is the Pierhead Development Project. We have given them the same concessions with respect to tax relief and VAT and the capacity to bring in vehicles and so on, and of course facilitating work permits,” he said.

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