Amnesty should have been offered at a time when all residents could have benefitted, Lovell says about APUA and other write-offs

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The Gaston Browne Administration needs to come up with ways in which all persons would benefit from its electioneering moves – in particular the wiping-off of utility arrears – says Harold Lovell.

On October 5, the Cabinet announced that the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) will forgive the debts of residential customers whose electricity and water accounts were in arrears before and up to December 31, 2021.

Additionally, those who pay the current month’s obligation, from this amnesty, will be reconnected by November 1, the Cabinet decided.

But Lovell, the United Progressive Party’s (UPP) Political Leader, says there should have been a more sustainable and people-friendly approach to this decision.

For quite some time, the UPP has been suggesting that the fuel variation charge – which forms a major part of the domestic electricity bill – should be adjusted according to the price of fuel on the world market.

The whole point of the fuel variation charge, Lovell notes, is that the price of fuel varies.  Therefore, when the price is high, the charge will increase, and when it goes down, the charge, likewise, will drop. This is the reason it was introduced years ago, he says.

Had the Government been utilizing this method, Lovell says, there would have been no need to offer some customers an amnesty while others receive nothing.

The UPP believes that keeping the cost of electricity low –

by correcting the issue of the fuel variation charge – would have made the payment of utilities much more manageable for the average household, and therefore many who fell into arrears would not have done so.

Lovell says this would have been a more responsible way to manage the country’s resources.

The Party has no issues with certain relief measures, since many people are in urgent need of assistance, Lovell says.

However, he adds that the timing proves the Administration’s motives are sinister, since the UPP’s recommendations for relief were ignored during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet has also decided that unpaid property taxes up to December 31, 2021 will also be wiped off under its amnesty programme, provided that home-owners pay the current year’s tax.

Hospital bills owed to the Sir Lester Bird Medical Center, and in arrears for more than 180 days, will also fall under the amnesty programme, and these balances will be forgiven.

Lovell says, again, that all debt forgiveness should have been accorded at a time when most people were feeling the pinch and were in need of such help.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. APUA offers 10% discount for customers who pays on-time. When you was minister of finance, APUA was in the Red and couldn’t pay it’s bills. Just hush your blasted mouth Harold Loser Lovell

        • This Imam obviously hasn’t paid his bills In a very long time so this behavior is expected. I think that his neighbour is disgusted with having to charge his cell phone so he’s excited to get a write off.

      • @ Here ye! Did you really expect an ABLP generational supporter to make any sense of simple mathematics?

        They’ll continue to blindly support them, despite not understanding simple facts, figures and finances …

        However, sadly, they could hold the key to Gaston Browne’s re-election – hopefully, there’s not enough of these UNLETTERED to do so!

  2. Pure election gimmicks. But how is this sustainable? How long will it be before these people run up their bills again if they don’t have proper jobs? Nonsense.

    • @Gaston The Crook – how long will it be before they default on their bills *even if they do have proper jobs*?
      Why not walk away from the bill if one knows someone else is going to cover it?

  3. Even if the fuel variation is lowered or remove it will still not change Some people. The same set of people who are disconnected for not paying their utility bills is the same people getting cut off all the time they just don’t pay even if they have the money.

  4. What is happening in the UK is a telling case that politicians will say anything to get elected and once in there is a U-turn regarding all the good they said they will do. Careful of these #UPPNEARGA and their promises.

    • Ah, again, nice comic relief from @ Just Saying; however, what you INTENTIONALLY forget to mention to ANR readers regarding the UK and the ABLP governments, that they have both been collectively in power for around 20 years (Conservatives for 12, and as we all know the current incumbents for about 8 years).

      S0 @ Just Saying when talking “generational” rubbish about U-turns … please remember who and which political parties are currently in GOVERNANCE.

      Talk about the blind following the blind!!!

      • … Again, I love the verbal jousting on these threads, however, where’s the DECENT debating competition from the ABLP “generational” supporters????

        COME ON …

  5. @Gaston the best PM Ever. “Sustainable” you say. I guess you haven’t heard the promises of #HFWL to be then asking what and what not is sustainable.

  6. LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯
    LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE 🎯

    • … and again, the above nonsensical utterance from @ Smh proves my point about the lack of discussion or debating skills amongst ABLP supporters. Embarrassing!

    • @Smh

      nah man, you have it wrong:

      LOVELL IS A FORCE TO RECON WITH
      LOVELL IS A FORCE TO RECON WITH
      LOVELL IS A FORCE TO RECON WITH……
      that’s why you all fraid him so, including lady wickham, darren, gaston, melford,murdoch, and all the minions

  7. APUA was almost bankrupt when Harold Looser Lovell was Minister of Finance of Antigua and Barbuda, Apua could not pay for the fuel to generate electricity apua couldn’t pay Sepcorp to provide the water capacity that was available. How now could Harold Looser Lovell become an authority on APUA and how it should run its finances? Anybody that doesn’t elementary accounts understands the write-off of bad credit. Guess all the smarts in the world belong to “can’t fool nobody crew upp”.

  8. Unemployment fund cheque isn’t paid to employed persons.
    If you haven’t paid since December then you’re really in need of the waiver. Some y’all just bunch of lowlife
    Pay your bills when you can afford it. After working and paying your bills for the luxury you enjoy is the best thing in life- but as I said there’s the lowlives that mostly supports the upp

    • @ I-Man

      low lives, all the ABLP does is give handouts to people like you to enable them to stay in power.
      ONLY LOW LIVES LIKE YOU SUPPORT THE ABLP, YOU BEG FOR YOUR SUPPER, I WOULD RATHER SUFFER STARVATION THAN TO SUPPORT ABLP AND BEG FOR HANDOUTS!!!

      You do realise that it was the UPP who first suggested the write off of utility bills since two elections ago, AND THE ESTEEMED ABLP led by the DAWG said that it couldn’t be done, BUT NOW it can be done by THE USEFUL IDIOTS.
      GET RID A DEM

  9. No amnesty was offered prior yet we survived. Lovell people have gone pass that dependency syndrome that you think can wing you into office.

    Tabor said #UPPNEARGA will be able to borrow at 1.0 per cent interest rate. He never said which creditor could possibly lend at that rate. The reality though is that with global inflation rate around 3.42 per cent, only an institutional creditor like the IMF or World Bank would lend any money whereby the debtor will end up paying you money which would loose its purchasing power. So again when they come with their rhetoric wanting you to believe the have the panacea for all things think long and hard. Any loan at any 1.0 percent could very well mean these people are thinking IMF or maybe the have found some creditor operating a laundry business some where.

  10. @ I-Man

    Finally, you all just go where the money is!!!!!

    I guarantee you, if the UPP was in power, people like you Lamming, Colin Oneal, Winston Williams, Donna Chaia would still be with them. ‘They going where the money is’……I cannot wait to see the end of this experiment.

  11. Was APUA in a better position under Harold Looser Lovell?
    A real question for “poverty and Brixtonian”
    Was APUA properly managed under them?
    Y’all fooling nobody

Comments are closed.