After almost three years of private and government entities struggling to maintain their work force, Antigua and Barbuda saw hundred of persons getting back to work in 2022.
It was disclosed during the country’s Budget speech this morning that last year, “more than 900 employed or self-employed persons were added to the list of registered workers who are contributing to the Social Security Scheme.”
And as a positive consequence, private sector savings in banks across the country grew from $1.97 billion in 2021 to $2.1 billion in 2022.
“This significant increase was due to an expansion of $145 million in household savings; showing beyond any shred of doubt that greater income flowed to our people,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne said in his speech.
Browne said that those figures indicate that although aspects of the cost-of-living have increased, “a large number of households were sufficiently aided by our government’s policies that empowered them to save.”
The higher cost of shipping, insurance, port charges and other fees, resulted in increased cost-of-living all around the globe.
Global inflation jumped from 4.7 per cent in 2021 to 8.8 per cent in 2022 – the highest it has been in several decades.
“That figure would have been higher had our administration not taken pre-emptive actions to cushion the impact of rising prices,” Browne posited.
He also stated that in 2022, his government gave up over $50 million in revenues, “all of which was passed on to our people to protect them from the ravages that other nations have endured.”
In addition, he said that a number of “interventions” that were made by his administration “maintained a wide basket of ABST-free essential goods, helping to keep down the costs to all, especially the neediest in our society.”
Some of those initiatives include social programmes, such as the Peoples Benefit Programme and Government Assistance Programme, delivering relief to thousands of people.
Additionally, since March 2022, nearly 120,000 fuel vouchers have been provided to taxi operators and about 85,000 vouchers to bus operators, the finance minister revealed.
The estimated value of the subsidy to bus and taxi operators over the past twelve months is said to be $5.7 million.
Furthermore, he shared that at the end of November 2022, money aggregates amounted to $4.2 billion.
“This represented a $230 million increase over the same period in 2021; pointing to the recovery of the services sector and greater output and earnings from the production of goods,” he added.
A major contributor to the expanded money supply was a 25 per cent upswing in foreign currency deposits from $511 million in November 2021 to $639 million in 2022.
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Can you publish these figures and statistical data for all to see Prime Minister Browne, so that Antiguans MAY start placing their trust in what you are saying. Pretty please!
As Antiguans will now be saying after 2 terms of NEGLECTED office: “Once bitten twice shy” …
Not sure those numbers say much. Was that increase amongst the top 0.5%? Was it amongst Expats? Was it due to new immigrants? Did people move their money to the banks because of the increase in crime? Were people just making a sacrifice of some things to save for other things? Just because a person tries to save for something does not mean that all of their other needs are met…
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