Blowback on cancellation of ABST-reduction weekend prompts Browne to shift the blame



After a huge outcry from residents, public criticism, and a call by the
Opposition for protest action against the cancellation of the yearly
ABST-reduction weekend, Prime Minister Gaston Browne appears to
be backtracking on the decision.

Early Friday morning, November 17, media reports disclosed that
the much-anticipated “social programme” – to which both residents
and businesses look forward – will not be implemented in

This, reportedly, was to enhance the Government’s financial position
and allow it to meet increasing obligations.

However, following the widespread blowback, Browne took to
Facebook, where he alleged that the recommendation for
discontinuing the sales-tax reduction had been made by officials in
the Ministry of Finance to the Executive.

According to Browne, who chairs the Cabinet, the body will make a
final decision on the tax initiative at its next sitting, which should be
next Wednesday, November 22.

Some persons say the prime minister appears to have been testing
the waters with this announcement to see how the public would

If there had been no uproar it would have gone through, sources
suggest; but since there was such a public backlash, Browne quickly
shifted blame to Finance officials.

Residents are complaining that this is no way to run a country and
the Browne Administration should get its act together.

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  1. All this joker does is throw blame around. He accepts all the praise but quickly blame someone when the sh.. hits the fan, and this is often.
    Who the hell said this man was a financial wizard again? He better talk to St Kitts, and just about anyone else, because they making him look like the Lani Bozo he is.

    • Because he’s “brilliant”

      “Brilliant” people don’t make mistakes, so he make sure that it’s the dunces that he blames

    • Has he ever done anything to deserve any kind of praise? Maybe self-praise because he thought that he had us fooled with the US$12mil kickback from PLH but he outsmarted himself. Trevor Walker tripped him up in Parliament ; he got caught.

    • St kitts operates on 17% VAT(sales tax) and they give ZERO duty-free on importation of Vehicles and Goods. When a resident of St. Kitts travels abroad and return to st. Kitts they are only allowed $150 usd of goods by customs and no more. Facts

  2. This government has ran out of options a long time ago, and quite frankly I really don’t know how they got reelected.

    Infrastructure is a reflection of one financial status. Generally when people or government have a surplus of money, you will see it spent on cleaning up themselves or their house.

    Just look at the state of St John’s as a capital (dirtiest town in the Caribbean by the way) and you will see what a broke government looks like.

  3. Useful definition for the day

    Gastone- an extremely wicked self centered man who loves to take praise when things go well, but when it goes bad place blame on others. This individual Is arrogant, all about deception love himself only and extremely greedy

    Gastonite- A person who worships Gaston and never see the wrong he does. These people love him more than themselves .

    Labourites: not a fan of Gaston but love party because of former members, these are the one that will sing for their supper once they get to be on boards and part of the self enrichment schemes. They will be yes man until they fallout, then try to condemn the wrong they participated in.

    Upperites: citizens that are aware of the deception of the Gastonites and labourites. These people desire for the country to move forward, they will speak on issues, condemn the wrong

  4. Gaston Browne play too many games. He throw these crazy things to test the waters and if people are outraged he pull them back to score points and appear that he has the people best interest at heart. But this 6-vote majority is going kill him. It will keep his reckless behavior in check. Pass the bull bud.

  5. Of course it was the senior employees in the ministry of finance who told pointe fm radio and newspaper that there will be no a.b.s.t. waiver this year.

    You all really believe gaston would have told the truth and say it was he as finance minister?


  6. Sick and tired of this Jack-ass PM. Thinks he is a financial wizard. How could he not see that announcing an ABST increase, shortening the dollar barrel initiative and then cancelling ABST free weekend BUT then in the face of all of that announcing another multi-million dollar concert to be paid out of the Treasury, would blow up in his face???? This man is a visionary? The only vision he seems able to see if that of himself getting rich.

  7. Gaston is a boss at throwing others under the bus for his own decisions. A world boss at shifting blame and then attempting to take credit for reversing the bad decisions allegedly made by others but which are really his own decisions. Narcissistic psychopath.

  8. The Budget Debate is a farse, presented yearly by the ruling party intended to make them look good.
    That’s why we have glowing reports about GDP, second best in the Caribbean and Latin America; and record income at The Port but taxes need to be increased.
    This speaks to the need for reform of our systems of government, which was given to us by the British from the Constitution on down.

    Such a system works for the UK, where there are countless entities who are able to dig into and monitor the details.
    The Budget Debate/ Presentation in Antigua and Barbuda is One and Done.

    The Budget Debate like a meaningless dream with no details and soon forgotten.

    It results no running WATER etc. for there is no published short term or long term Capital Budget for rebuilding or repairing the water system or government services .
    There are no details or processes to question or monitor the bang for the buck of procurement or cost over runs.

    No information is readily available about the spending of each Ministry or Statuary Bodies.
    The entire system is to “soak the poor” and “give it to the rich” and the Ministers and the connected Nepo Babies get their piece of the action along the way.

    The recent announcement of increase taxes and the elimination of social programs to ease the squeeze for the holidays is being stated to be a trial balloon. The system of Government we have encourages mediocrity and enables corruption.
    With the glowing economic reports, if they were not farcical; they should be resulting in a decrease in the ABST, an extension in the Holiday Tax waivers, and an extension in the $10 barrel from Nov.1 to Feb 15th..
    The public is intimidated and afraid.
    To Gaston Brown…. Stop ostracizing those who call for Reform of the Constitution and Government Operations. Stop dehumanizing individuals and their families with punitive measures when they stand up for a better Antigua and Barbuda. Rein in your surrogates.
    To the People …Show Up! Stand UP! Talk UP! This is your Land

  9. He had to back-off!

    Gaston Browne continues to run the government from HIS perspective and NOT collectively with his colleagues or cabinet members – so it seems!

    Our economy is suffering, the great people of this great country is struggling to make ends meet; and the Prime Minister didn’t realise this fact?


    Antiguans deserves better!

  10. Gaston was expecting to squeeze the public with higher costs and taxes. While he and Maria and his agents hand out Ham and Turkey to the poor and destitute, as some form of altruistic welfare and goodwill.
    It appears that dog done bite any longer.
    Asot is surprisingly quiet. Has there a deal bern cut to bring him back into the fold?
    Rather I hope Asot is doing his research that illustrates how ridiculous it is with the numbers being put out on the economy by Browne when Parliament opens.


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