Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister warns of possible crisis if public sector workers’ demands are not moderated

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston A. Browne

Prime Minister Gaston Browne shared his concerns about the impact of public sector workers’ demands on the country, warning that their actions could lead to a crisis.

He urged workers to consider the consequences of their demands, given the decline in government revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite this, the government has agreed to increase wages, against the advice of institutions like the International Monetary Fund.

Browne cautioned that if the government is forced to pay more than it can afford, it may have to raise taxes or cut jobs.

Meanwhile, the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers (ABUT), Casroy Charles, emphasized that industrial action should be a last resort and that alternative options should be exhausted before taking such measures.

The ABUT recently took industrial action to demand teacher upgrades, improved school security, and Head of Department Ex-Gratia payments.

The action ended after the government and union reached satisfactory agreements on some issues, while others remain outstanding.

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  1. This financial genius stood in parliament claiming 8.5% economic growth; he was singing a different tune last year when he was seeking reelection but now he talking about plunge into crisis. Antiguans just could not see through this dunceness. 12 billion dollars in 8 years and he has nothing to show for it. This idiot is a curse to this nation’s finances. But alas, people voted for this. Again.

  2. You the Lieton Brown you keep Blaming Covid-19 for your wastful spending.The unnecessary pay checks for your Minions, You find money for Free Concerts, The widespread of Free monies during Election campaigns, wasteful spending on the Unnecessary Billboards.Yet prople like me cannot Start getting my social security money for over a year. Now you get in power by any means necessary you threatening to raise Taxes…Good for those you Fooled and buy their Votes… The same stick licking the wild goat, The same licking to Tame. Grabson Brown and his Cabal Must Go.

  3. They find money for what they want to find money for, no way workers should be owed for so long. Election time money is spend just to stay in power to enrich themselves, but they don’t clear off their expenses. Some people are really low minded to put these self centered people back in power. Covid or no covid they found the handout money.

  4. gaston browne, when the administration paying all the different chairmans ALL THE MONEY THEY GETTING, that will not lead to raise taxes or cut jobs?

    So some people friends are put in positions to make ALL THE MONEY but poor civil servants should not want a better living financially?

    gaston just shut up.

  5. How come then Prime Minister Gaston ‘Marvellous’ Browne that you didn’t advise these “salary restraints” in the run-up to the last General Election when your magic money tree was in full bloom?

    A Dishonest person can’t remember to keep he story straight – A LIAD IS ALWAYS FUGETFUL, YOU GASBAG 🥸 …

  6. We don’t want anything from the IMF, right?
    Sounded like the “advice” was important to mention.

  7. They find the monies to put up all dem theater screen billboard and for gee people $200.00 and $100.00 after they done vote and for all dem free shoe they hosted but now it’s time to give people raise so they can provide a better living for themselves, it’s all of ah sudden gonna cause the country to go into a crisis. Gaston wen u hear God ready for ppl like you right look ah hope you have a answer for him. Yah wicked cun, and the thing is y’all have people going to school and receiving all these qualifications just to come out to find out we can’t be paid for our qualifications or their is no job for us. All them promises you made about more Jobs etc ah this the excuse you come with now bout crisis. Yah rass never deh talk bout crisis when aru win but wait you ago get what ah come your way

  8. Antigua people just talk and they are dunce, low life, selfish and badmind who u put in power tells alot about one’s character. Antigua is a circus and gaston browne is the head of clowns

  9. how about the PM give some of the millions he is taking in kickbacks to provide a decent wage for PS workers. Seems there is always money whenever politicians demand a pay rise, but never any money when it comes to ordinary workers. Did we hear the PM complaining about “politician’s demands on the country” last time they demanded an increase in their already enormous salaries?

  10. Gaston, you said that some people had millions in their bank accounts. They have to have millions because you were irresponsible to do away with income tax for the wealthy. Tax them and pay poor people a decent wage. How can anybody live on $300 per week? A steal they go have to steal to survive.

  11. Covid, covid , a stick record to find excuses, if it’s not covid the former administration. Lies to stay in power but nothing done to address the problem. Grabston and his lies is the problem not a solution. How can people trust a man that has Hitler as their role model, look at the mustache and you will see what he stands for, dictatorship, lies,deception and greed.

  12. PM Browne has been clear that though the economy has grown significantly, we are not out of the woods yet. The GDP in 2019 was 4.586 billion EC while in 2022 it was about 4.9 billion. In 2022 total revenue was $912.5 million (expenditure $1.08 billion) vs $847.5 million in 2019 (expenditure $1.02). The deficits become debts which have to be paid. Increasing wages (in 2022 423 million vs $394 million in 2021) mean bigger deficits unless ways are found to increase revenue which may mean higher taxes. Expenses (1.04 billion) forecasted for 2023: Pensions and Gratuities of $74.1, Wages and Salaries of $425.9 million, Goods and Services of $183.5 million, Transfers and Grants of $163.9 million, Statutory Contributions of $41.1 million; Interest Payments of $146.5 million.

      • @Fess UP – 4 children, the youngestm a boym two. During covid found myself of like mind to the PM that it was time to add to the family. How many you have?

    • @Tenman
      People need a livable wage. You had better feed your dogs well and shine your guns as public servants may have to steal to survive. Why did Gaston’s government bring in all the non nationals and now have so many people on the government’s payroll, going to work when they please, and sitting around the offices doing nothing? Can the so-called economic powerhouse create jobs outside the public service.

      • What is a livable wage? For one person it is $3000, for another person it is $10000. We need to look at the standard of living and cost of living too. Some live in a little shack and feel very comfortable, like some in Boobey Alley and some live in concrete houses like in Paynter’s or even better like in Hodges Bay and Blue Waters. A livable wage is therefore very relative to one’s standard of living. I have never understood why some people have a car that costs $100K but live in a house that costs $30K. Means their priority is so much different than mine. I prefer to drive a car that costs me $30K and live in a house that would cost me $100K. My housekeeper lives in a small house and has everything so wants in it. She just makes $400 per week and guess what she has as far as I can tell a livable wage. She even has two cellphones. And she goes on vacation to her native Island every year with Christmas. I on the other hand cannot even live with $20K per month. But that is a livable wage for me if I try hard. So, a livable wage is not something that one can just derive at by saying it. It is difference for people at different standard of living.

        • @From The Sideline…..aka #Mr. Arrogant_Condescending.

          A…fram de Garrat Language: #dutty_fingah, always a p’int pan oddah Neargah. U kno wah dis ya mean, tru dat?

          Translation from #Garrat to English: One’s dirty finger, always points at the other person.

          Meaning: R u dutty, hab badmind and no lub fu admit, R U duttiness!

          Translation from #Garratt; Those #Who’re self-centred with a dirty mind, always find a way to blame others, to cover your malfeasance.

          B…while, the square footage of a property is a determining factor in the value, of a property, location, amenities, style plays a significant role in the price as well.
          I’m quite sure, that you’re familiar with the word #gentrification. In most gentrified neighborhoods whether in Europe or North America, in particular the Victorian Row Homes, once they go from looking like war zones, drug infested, blighted, crime ridden neighborhoods to upscale condominium, trendy Brownstones, the square footage rarely changes except for maybe a rear and rooftop deck. However, once the interior is transformed with furst, top flight and top shelf amenities, that same square footage will go from 10K to 250K in an instant, as the drugs, the crime and grime plus the income level rises those said community’s go from night to day. It’s not where your at, it’s what you do with what you got.

          To score, go deep not wide. Your diatribe is always condescending powered by arrogance.
          As my 95 year mother listens to your comments, as they’re read to her, she wants to know, who’s this #Lust_Butt?

          Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
          De ‘ole Dutty Peg🦶🏿Foot Bastard

          Vere C. Edwards.

          • gentrification
            “the process of making someone or something more refined, polite, or respectable”
            I think you need to go through that process.
            Are you going to address the point that I made or what? Or was what I said again above your comprehension. We were talking about what a livable wage is, and I made some points to let you know it isn’t that simple.

        • @From the Sideline
          Is it the other way around that one’s earnings determine one’s standard of living? If you have no money to buy chicken breast you buy back and neck. If you can’t afford proper housing, you live in some rundown house in the ghetto. When your maid sees where and how you live, don’t you think she dreams of a better future? Please, you are not living on no $20,000 per month for just you and your old lady. What are you doing, feeding an army of dogs to protect you from poor people like your housekeeper? I can’t help but notice she is a non national. Are you telling me you don’t know what poverty looks like?

          • @Pay people enough to a decent standard of living
            I appreciate your comments on the issue and not resorting to the usual gutter that others do.
            In some ways you are correct. When I used to work for $3000 p/mnth I would spend $3000 per month. But economists have a theory for that. Let’s take the Billionaire that used to own the ALFA NERO. Now that we know how much it costs to maintain such a ship, you would wonder why someone would want something like that. But bring it back to reality, you cannot eat more just because you earn more, but you can improve your standard of living when you have more money. Everyone knew Mr. Joseph that owned Christo’s. He was a very rich man who never improved his standard of living even though he had so much money. Those are very rare personalities. I forgot the name of the guy that sells fruits in town going from business-to-business walking with his tray of food. Another man that you should not judge by the look. My expenses after clothing and eating are not your regular expenses. Yes, I need to pay my housekeeper and yes, I also need to pay my gardener. My car and my wife’s car are washed every week. My five German Shepards get the best food and even eat fresh beef. They have regular visits to the vet. Then I have my apartments to maintain and my Orlando Condo. I have Golf Fees here and in Orlando. I mean if I sum it all up, it will show that I have low balled the figure.
            The question of whether I have seen or know poverty? I must admit. I was not born in poverty. But I have come to see poverty when as a Rotarian we started the meals on wheels program. And when you go into the villages and see the poverty some of our elderly folks live under, even penning this now makes me emotional. But when I see and hear of how our Prime Minister came out of poverty, I stand proud to see such a blessed example right here in our midst. No other country can boost such a remarkable experience. From poverty to Prime Minister. It’s like a fairy tale. And strange, he never ever forgot and distanced himself from his roots, where he came from. And therefore, when he fights for them, he fights with lots of conviction. He doesn’t dress in the most expensive clothes and shoes. Unlike Lovell. Mr. Armani and BOSS himself.
            People choose what they are content with. My housekeeper is content with her job. She left her native land over thirty years ago and made Antigua her home. She has been a domestic worker ever since. She has raised two beautiful children who are well educated and doing well for themselves in the USA. She has helped raise my children and while her workload these days is very light, she can retire if she wants to. I have already severed her, and with that money she bought lands in her native country. Very smart. I was only showing you with her example of the spending pattern of some people. I even mention about a man that has a car worth $100K but he chooses to live in a house worth $40K. Now I really think the house is worth less. But safe to say this man value his car more than his house. A livable wage therefore in Antigua is very hard to determine. But one thing I must say, with this government housing revolution sooner rather than later we will be able to get to that point of determining what a livable wage should be. When the people in Boobey Alley would be given the keys of their new homes you will have increase their standard of living. I remember a woman from Boobey Alley, when she was given the keys of her new temporary home saying, this is the first time in her live she has taken a shower. I found that hard to comprehend. But yes, Antigua still has extreme poverty amongst us. And we should all work to stamp it out. But my believe is not to give a man a fish, but to teach him to fish. My life lesson has taught me that people do not appreciate free things, they appreciate what they have worked for. And that is where I differ in views with this government. They like to give away free beeze. Thinking they are helping people. Look at Barbuda. Everyone is getting a house for free after having their homes destroyed by hurricane Irma. Do they appreciate that? Hell NO!!!

          • What a disrespectful remark to a VALID response from Ras Smood:

            “Or was what I said again above your comprehension*[?] …”

            Hey, @ From The Sideline (here’s a great line from that marvellous film ‘Tombstone’) … “I’LL BE YOUR HUCKLEBERRY!”

            * Note how Brixtonian helped you out there!

        • EXCEPTIONALISM from the one and only @ From The Sideline.

          I knew you were a IDEOLOGUE from the get go; you show no sympathy for your fellow Antiguans, and you come across as uncompromising and dogmatic.

          People like you prefer the GREED of capitalism that benefits the few, more than a truly decent democracy that spreads the wealth for the many.

          I now fully understand why you defend Gaston Browne and his colleagues self-enrichment behaviour in the ABLP.


          • My dear friend Brixtonian. Why make it about me and not about the issues I address.
            As a Life Long Rotarian I have demonstrated over and over again that to give is to be bless. Those are biblical laws. The more you give the more you will be blessed. Many rich people understand this biblical law and live by it. Our Prime Minister certainly does. Just look at the many donations he has given freely. $100K to the Barbuda Relief Funds, $50K to his church. To the Villa Primary School many thousands of dollars. A feeding program for the poor. I mean it is too numerous to mention. But he does that because he lives by the biblical law. To whom much is given much is expected. And as I stated in my comment above, I do believe in helping the least amongst us, but I rather teach a men how to fish then to bring him a fish every day. My wife is a member of the St, Vincent the Paul Society for many many years. And all they do is feed the poor. You cannot get rid of poverty that way. You need to help people to help themselves. Education is the key.

          • You say you are religious, but if you are, you’ll know that Jesus didn’t like the “Money Changers” that created an environment of avarice and greed.

            Gaston Browne and the ABLP has created the same said thing amongst his Minister’s, his ministerial associates, and his family.


            Your HEARTLESS towards the suffering of fellow Antiguans – just like the current incumbent government.

    • When did Gaston send you this bit of nothingness? We have already exposed the deliberate lies in the said document, repeatedly so you are obviously still treating the Labour Party supporters as fools. I have never ever seen so many vendors on the streets of this island and don’t talk about panhandlers and you are still fooling your followers about growth. Everyday, there are scores of new disillusioned you folks entering the capital and you are doing absolutely nothing to correct the situation, when you fully well know what’s going on with them , because they have a common problem. You should assist some of them because, as a ghost-worker, everything you earn is a bonus.

  13. Gaston Browne you are the freaking CRISIS. That is why the economy is that way.NEXT LEVEL OF BROKENESS,THEN NEXT LEVEL OF BANKRUPTCY.

  14. What is the definition of a Pathetic Narcissist, see Gaston Browne. Do not look my way for any pity,Stache.

  15. You know the PM is wasting his time trying to warn the people who he is negotiating with. They really do not give a damn about the country. It is all about self. Obstinate has a song, ALL OF SELF AND NONE OF THEE.
    That is how we as a nation are.

    • @From the Sideline.
      You definitely need to be paying income tax to help pay the salaries of the poor public servants. Then we can say you care about other people and not “all of self and none of thee.”

    • @From the Sideline
      Egbert Joseph, Christos, was from a poor family. He achieved his wealth through his natural abilities. As a matter of fact all his siblings are business people. One of his sisters operates a successful supermarket on Whenner Road and owns a mansion in Hodges Bay. His brother who was murdered also operated a business and lived in Blue Waters.
      Mr Joseph did not attend a secondary school because his family was poor and couldn’t afford to pay. He was not a politician or son of a politician with access the country’s resources. He and his siblings achieved their wealth through their god given abilities. Not every rich person likes to flash their wealth by living in a big mansion and driving expensive cars. He certainly had improve his standard of living as he owned a house in Crosbies.
      Mr Joseph educated his son. He has left at least three businesses for him and his grand children. Hopefully, they will build on his legacy.

      • Did I say anything wrong about Mr. Joseph? No, I only said that he did not show his wealth by driving a Mercedes or Bently and dressing in the latest suits from the big names. He was a simple man that money didn’t change. And I said this in response to @Pay people enough to a decent standard of living. Who said that one’s Income determine their standard of living. Anyway. I said these types of people are rare. And his son and his son’s wife are living the very same simple life, not letting money change them. I can tell you; my life has changed the more I earned the more I tried to live to a higher standard. I would easily buy a US$5K suit and wine and dine in the best restaurants when I travel. I like the good things money can buy. I have a different philosophy on life. You only live once so enjoy it to the fullest while you can. Tomorrow is promised to no one.

      • Well highlighted @ Observation, however, ideologues like Sideline can’t comprehend that you sometimes have to reach out to others who aren’t born with a silver spoon.

        These “super spiritualsl” types don’t live in the real world, as they surround themselves with like-minded people and live in a bubble … just like the current government.

        Give me hardworking families like the Joseph’s that are self made over religious zealots every time.

        Well said … 👏

  16. Anytime this incompetent idiot is facing making decisions that will benefit the citizens of this country, he resorts to covid and whatever else excuse he can find. The man is the proverbial dunce. He just got through bragging (lying really) about 8.5% growth, he never had this stupid outlook last year when he was seeking reelection, but now that the clowns took money to put him back in, all promises have gone out the window. You foreigners were stupid enough to believe that he will remove work permit fees and now, where are you? Do you not think that he will double fees to find money somewhere?
    He nonchalantly dismisses his son raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars, but speaks of retrenchment and raising taxed to facilitate wage increase. Gaston Browne, just move aside and allow people who know to do the work. Alas, I can only sigh. We had the opportunity to burry you in the dustbin of history as the worst prime minister and finance minister ever, but took bribes and now we, who saw you for the incompetent, narcissistic failure that you are, must deal with our present condition.

  17. @Sidelines: In that song by Obsti he did say. Dem get with the rich and they rip off the Country. All for them and none for we. I am now wondering,which Political Party formed the Administration back then. Do you care to tell us all?

  18. @Pay people enough to a decent standard of living.
    How can I forget our very own and my friend Sir Robin Yearwood? A typical example of a man that although he has lots and lots of money, he refuses to update his lifestyle. The only thing he is consistent with is always driving a new SUV from Hadeed Motors and smoking his cigar. But he is still living in the same house with his goats. Many of us with that kind of wealth would show it in the way we live, the clothes we wear and the house we live in.

    • @From the Sideline
      This shows you that no matter how you steal more and acquire more, you can only live in one house and sleep in one bed. How much can you eat when you old. I can never understand how greedy people don’t realize that they take nothing with them when they go to the great beyond and go back to dirt like everyone else.
      Is Robin Yearwood CEO of APUA? Is he being paid? Don’t you think the position should be given to some who does need the money? Certainly, what can a man who is always having a quick nap contribute?


      • Why not stick to the issue instead of making unsubstantiated allegations towards people? Being Rich is a blessing. Being envious of another person’s wealth is a curse. Yes, you can only sleep in one bed at a time. And you can only eat so much. Yet they invented Time Share for the poor. To make them think that they also can own a house/condo for just one or two weeks a year in as many countries as possible. The poor always try to live like the rich. I used to stay at least three months of the year in my Orlando Condo, but lately the traveling is a bit too much for me and the wife. The children are using it more than us. Disney Land is close by. And I also have my SUV there. And wealth creation is a very healthy thing, but you can get addicted to it. The more you have the more you want. But the very rich do not even have to make an effort to make money. They have hired people to make money for them.

  19. @From the Sideline
    Mr Browne is returning to the people some of what was stolen from them.
    When they were nearing the end of thief lives, the rich criminals in Italy would make substantial monetary contributions to the Catholic Church for the priests to prey for their souls to escape purgatory.

  20. If you cannot blame a government, well why have a government? Here we “from the sideline” talking about ” teaching people to fish” and all the foolishness, when at the same time we have a government/politicians twh are reaping the benefits of the hard working citizens. If government is not there to benefit the lives of the people they serve, well why have a government? They are put in position for the ideas and innovations they bring to the table, and not simple put in government get a salary and better themselves, so again we have people like @from the sidelines celebrating rags to riches of a man, instead of celebrating the rags to riches of a country. Antigua is in big trouble as a nation, and that’s simply a fact. Too many broken institutions in one small island, from prison system to the school system, and it simply must be fixed, and that’s precisely why governments were put in place. So all this crisis talk, only have one system to blame, and that is your government people, simply put.

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