Browne says back pay and raises may be deferred to next year; accountant says deferral is a political strategy to give ALP room

State Insurance Treasury Building

REAL NEWS: Public-sector workers are disappointed that the salary increases and back pay promised by Prime Minister Gaston Browne might not be received before next year.

In an address to the Nation, weeks ago, on State television, Browne promised that government workers would be paid the outstanding funds and raises by December 2022.

However, in Parliament on Thursday, December 1 – in response to a question from Barbuda MP Trevor Walker – the Prime Minister qualified his promise, saying the Government would do its “endeavour best” to pay before the end of this year.

Addressing the raise in pay, Browne notes that an agreement has not yet been reached.  He says that negotiations are taking longer than expected; therefore, he could not say definitively that the increase would be given before the end of the year.

According to Browne, however, the Government might have to pay a percentage of the anticipated increase – possibly before the end of December.

In the meantime, several public-sector employees tell REAL News they are “disappointed but not surprised” by the Prime Minister’s “back-pedalling.”

“When I heard [Browne] on TV saying that thisthat, and the other would be paid by the end of the year, I took it with a spoonful of salt,” a teacher says, “because it all sounded like an election gimmick to me.”

Others say they were hoping to have extra money to shop this Christmas – including for big-ticket items like appliances – taking advantage of the expected reduction on the sales tax.

On the other hand, a financial planner tells REAL News that “the Browne Administration is simply giving itself room.”

She says that deferring the back pay and salary increases removes the immediate pressure from the Prime Minister – who is the Minister of Finance.

And if he loses the upcoming elections – expected in January – then the pressure will automatically be transferred to the incoming administration, the accountant says.

“The delay has nothing to do with union negotiations and everything to do with ALP politics,” she concludes.

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  1. Don’t be fooled fellow citizens of Antigua & Barbuda.

    This seems like a ploy to extend calling the next General Election by 90 days or so, just to give Gaston Browne and the ABLP much needed wriggle room; and time to call the election around June time in 2023.

    Desperation ah set in now – if this contrivance and stratagem wasn’t so serious for all of us living and working here, it would most certainly be a laughable matter.

    I’m so glad that as an Antiguan patriot, I am not POLITICALLY WEAK as much as the world perceives us to be. Phew!

    • 50 years of Birdism must go! Times up ABLP.

      We can wait, however you want to play it for 2023 – YOU DONE DONNY … GARN!!!

      • Gaston Brown knocking on doors trying to canvas votes:

        Gassy 🥸: Knock … knock

        House holder: “Ah who dat? You just wake me up!”

        Gassy 🥸: “it’s your Prime Minister …”

        House holder: “Wha’ you want now? More money?”

        Gassy 🥸: “Will you vote for me again next time?”

        House holder: *resident gone back to sleep*

        Gassy 🥸: Knock, knock bang🚪BANG, CLADANG🚪

        • Birdism is a state of mind and behaviour of the Labour Party and their foolish supporters who are the most backward people in the world. Brown is only continuing what he read in VC little red book.

        • Ok, let me change it to Browne/Birdism then.

          Remember the links with Browne/Birdism has been around for 50 years @ From The Sideline, and for that amount of power in office, surely even you can see the issues that my beloved Antigua has incurred since ABLP’S combined 50 years.

          Oh, by the way, I forgot to ask you about your Gaston Browne worship meeting at Government House.

          How did it go? And did he attend, or was there some sort of OBELISK 🗿 that you had to bow down to? 🤣🤣🤣


  2. Hold onto those BACK PAY,TAP DAWG.Promoise to give it just before the Elections.Do you think they would vote for you and your Labor Party? You had better think again,DAWG.

  3. Those people who are foolish enough to believe anything that comes out of Gaston’s mouth please show your hands
    ……Somebody, anybody.

    The silence in the room is telling!

  4. We criticised the UPP for running the country bankrupt but realistically they were doing a great job we only want to be in power for our selfish gains that’s why we spread all false information about them. Our party is very incompetent, we made so much money but spend wrecklessly. What is our next move? We don’t know what to do. A government that boast about economic power house but we have create alot of hardship on our citizens.

    Right now we are clearing alot of lands to let it seems like things are happening trying to decieve the public I hope they fall for it, we want the power, if The other party gets in power alot of us might go to jail for our corrupt practices. Any of my ministers that are more corruption than I am I will put them out to save myself can’t let them get more money than me.

    I have millions of dollars I only need votes don’t care about paying workers what’s rightfully theirs. Will give them their raise and back pay and tax it, because they will want to use the money to buy make up, to do their hair and buy shoes, I can’t allow these people to live comfortable I know what poverty is about. The more I keep them in poverty giving them ham and turkey with this beggy beggy mentality I have a strong chance of winning my seat

  5. @ Gaston Clown



  6. Come on, folks! Search the track record of this administration led by the most incompetent, narcissistic, pathological liar, and see if you can point to anything that he has done than will benefit Antigua and Barbuda holistically for years to come. NOTHING. NADA. They owe millions of dollars to contractors and God alone knows who else they owe and have not paid. They did not pay American Airlines and the post became a problem; there were financial issues with the pharmaceutical folks and the list goes on and on. If elections were not nigh, we would hear nothing about the water woes, back pay, overdue minimum wage increase, road repairs etc. What, you did nothing for nine years, and now at the back end(Choko), you expect to be re-elected? Think again. If you want a well-chronicled history of the ALB governance, check out the book “The Failings of Governance in Antigua and Barbuda, The Elections of 1999, by Douglas W. Payne. Worth the time.

  7. SBF/FTX teef de investment money — Dem bruk!!
    Watch yu goh 👀 arl ah de 🏠 building tap – carz dem bruk. De promises wan by wan nar goh get fulfilled – carz dem bruk. Antigua inna moah $$$ trubble dan dem ah tel aru — carz dem bruk. So, wah likkle lef bak, dem goh kip fu demself — dem bruk.

  8. The real issue is the insult of raising minimum wage to just $9. Wall of our consumer prices derived from the US dollar. Our minimum wage should be tailored to support what an average household needs, not some imaginary number that the government figures it can manage. It should be at least $15 by now, which is just $2400 per month before tax. The problem is that our legislators are fat and lazy and no longer know what it is to be in the lower tax bracket. They also don’t legitimately care about our families well beings. Reduce the government ministers’ salaries to the $1440 per month ($9 per hour) they are suggesting and see how they like it. I guarantee most of them would find greener pastures. We need more revenue generating ministries and divisions and get rid of nay unnecessary ones that exist. Also citizens need to be encouraged in the private sector and entrepreneurial endeavors, instead of expecting everyone to find a job in the government service.

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