Bailout For Businesses Among Promises in ABLP Manifesto (VIDEO)


Prime Minister Gaston Browne made yet another commitment ahead of the March  21st General Elections, this time to the business sector.

Browne presented his Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party’s 2018 manifesto entitled, Vision 2023 and Beyond, today at the Multipurpose Cultural Centre before a packed audience of well-wishers and party supporters.

“What we’ve decided to do is to put together a business recovery package,” announced Prime Minister Browne.

“My government will undertake to assume a number of [private business’s] bad loans up to 75% of the value of the security.”

Browne said that this will, “ensure the continuity of the business, continuity of employment and at the same time it will assist domestic banks, in particular, in cleaning up their loan books.”

The Prime Minister promised to do this while making another promise to the sector to lower corporate taxes from 25% to 20%.

Staying with the private sector, Browne said that he has already allocated $1 million for an Entrepreneurial Development Fund (EDF) that will be operated by the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority and managed by the Antigua Development Bank. This fund will seek funding for entrepreneurs.

The manifesto also boasts of use drone technology for delivery of medicine homes; an urban renewal program to get rid of all of the dilapidated houses around the island; a third reverse osmosis plant specifically to service farms on the island; and a ‘Happy Initiative’ that affords up to a $20,000 grant towards the purchase of a new home.

The manifesto also promises an investment of $270 million joint venture between APUA (Telecoms) and other telecoms companies, including small local operators in Antigua and Barbuda, to deliver the Superfast Broadband that will, “catapult us ahead of the Caribbean.”

Browne also tackled the issue of the high electricity prices on the island charged by the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA).

“High utility rates are not unusual for this region. It is a structural problem. It’s not a case of price gouging as some would want you to think,” he said.

“The only way that we can reduce the cost of electricity on a sustainable basis is to reduce the cost of electricity. We also need to ensure predictability, stability… rather than subjecting the country to the vagaries of oil prices.”

The Prime Minister says that his government will lower the electric price by, “investing in green energy.”

He has vowed to invest $40 million in a combination of wind and solar technologies and has already issued contracts to and that the funding is in place and will be coming from the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

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  1. He also said that Santa Claus is alive, the sky is lime green and the Potters little men were spotted on Factory Road.

  2. Now PM I need to further understand this. You cannot just take up my tax dollars and go bailout private companies. I need to know what this is all about.

    • Agreed more details are needed. From what I understand we have some biz, especially small hotels, which see themselves facing foreclosure. Question is do you allow them to fail, putting persons out of work? Do you do something similar as what happened with Jolly Beach and get them back to health? I expect that government in all of this would be getting some equity. We will also need to ensure that the businesses are being run properly. Logic just as with Jollybeach, tourism hence hotel rooms are important to our progress. We also need to ensure that locals are getting a big peace of the pie. They too must get a piece of the rock. The banks involved are also mostly our indigenous banks. Looking forward to more details

      • Entrepreneurship is about taking risk. I lost lots of money in my early years in business. Was it not for my determination to keep on trying I wouldn’t be where I am today. It were not bailouts. Where will you draw the line which business to bailout. I understand Jolly Beach. You are talking about a company with a tremendous economic foot print in our economy. And furthermore our government through APUA was owed millions as well. So that is the debt that was turned into equity. And the you know the other side of the shareholders were the very same ABI Group. Which by the way they were warned to walk away from. But I’m not sure if it is settled. They still owe the Timeshare Company which the staff have no clue what is going on. We saved ABIB and not one thank you from the staff or depositors to date. So my neighbor can laugh for having saved his deposit and still try to vote out this government. Anyway I need to see more of this plan. But from the surface it say a big NO WAY. Not my tax dollars. Or I will rebel paying my taxes.

      • Well tenman I heard the PM yesterday on Point FM explaining how it suppose to work and I can now see the wisdom of it. But I still think he needs to be very cautious not to willy nilly take up our tax dollars and bail these companies out. Some of them need different management and perhaps owners as well.

  3. You Red Kool Aide people, when ABLP win uall gonna get some surprises from left right n centre.

  4. Will Deluxe and LEEWIND PAINTS and the businesses of comrades be bailed out. What about civil servants. What about poor people. The ABLP is the party for rich people.

    • Poor people seem to always get bail outs when they cannot pay their utility bill. Arrears are been forgiven and they get a clean slate

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