Cabinet discusses dire situation in St. Lucia; Says the Antigua and Barbuda formula is working

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PM at V.C Bird Day celebrations

Cabinet Notes: The Cabinet learned of the dire situation in which St. Lucia has found itself.

The Prime Minister of St. Lucia has indicated that the government is out of money.

One of the most successful small states in the Middle East, the country of Dubai, has indicated that in six months it will also run-out of money to fund government.

The COVID-19 global pandemic is the sole cause of the global decline in economic activity, as countries close their borders or impose severe conditions for entry into their territories. The movement of people, goods and investments has been slowed significantly, adversely affecting employment, government revenues, and once-successful enterprises.

In Antigua and Barbuda, the Cabinet made the decision to invest the scarce resources available; to keep every public employee on the payroll; and NOT to fritter away the revenues by handouts of stimuli money, as proposed by others.

The Antigua and Barbuda formula is working. Nevertheless, many private contractors and service-providers have been receiving a fraction of the monies owed, because of the decline in revenue collection.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. Lord please help us in this country with logical reasoning. What is so great or smart with the government not assisting the poor and vulnerable with some kind of assistance in this covid situation? The government could not assist because it does not have the wherewithal to do so. Medford Nicholas stated that much. So for the government to be stating that it is so smart for not giving a stimulus like St. Kitts, for example, is pure nonsense. St. Kitts could provide a stimulus to its citizens because it manages its finances in a prudent manner. Lionel Hurst has also put forward the silly argument that St. Kitts could provide a stimulus because it is smaller than Antigua. Such rubbish from Hurst is mindboggling.

    • “The coronavirus pandemic has created an economic crisis “like no other” — one that is “way worse” than the 2008 global financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund’s top official said Friday. … “We have never seen ever such a growing demand for emergency financing,” Georgieva ( IMF ,managing director) .Apr 3, 2020”

      Tabor, the problem with people like you is you do not understand what a stimulus is. There is a big difference between safety net programs, which we have in place, and an economic stimulus. You stimulate the economy in general when there is a growth issue. We are in a pandemic, growth is not the current issue As has been said many times by the PM, we have a plethora of safety net programs which are specifically dealing with the pandemic. The following is a list of a few:

      1. Ensuring persons who fit the criteria for testing get tested at no cost to them- Do some research where the US is concerned and you will find persons having to pay a great deal of money for covid testing
      2. Ensuring (building/investing medical capacity)that our medical facilities can deal with persons infected with Covid
      3. Providing food packages to the vulnerable
      4. Providing incentives to local farmers to increase local production, in case there are foreign shortages
      5. Providing loans to local businesses via government credit guarantee scheme now available via ECAB
      6. Payment moratoriums for APUA clients
      7. Payment moratoriums for banks and credit unions

      Most of what’s offered to our people now, was not offered when the UPP was in office, during the recession, which experts will tell you, does not compare to the crisis now faced due to this pandemic. I recall the 2008 UPP undelivered promise of unemployment insurance, the constant late payments of not only pensioners but also government workers. Fact is this government has been able to sail the boat better during a period of tougher challenges. Tabor, we all know that fact burns you but quoting one of your soldiers: “Tek um inna yuh nennen”

      • Tenman, Do you not think the time has finally come for ALL the politicians and hangers on, dating back to whenever, to have their freebies STOPPED? We, the people are subsidizing all their utilities and ridiculous salaries (for a mere 10 years of so called work). I do not have access to the monthly figure but it has to be in the numerous digits!
        These salaries and freebies were ridiculous when established and are more than ridiculous now. What non-government attached person can work 10 years and enjoy a lifetime of monthly salary?? Why on earth should we, the people pay for government ministers and some civil service workers, past and present, to be charging their air conditioning and who knows what to US causing OUR APUA bills to be horrendous…ranking amongst the most expensive in the world?
        Little Antigua’s economy cannot afford all this excessive living for the privileged few and I am not aware of another country who has their treasury funds drained by this nonsense every month! This “caring” government needs to put a stop to it NOW. WAKE UP ANTIGUA, we are supporting greedy, all about me, people and the country cannot afford it.

    • @ Charles Tabor

      Well stated. This pandemic has truly exposed the current govt members and all the lies they have been spewing. Other countries fared better than Antigua because they had leaders in charge as opposed to our misleaders.

      I am not for one party or the other but for the individuals who make our country a better place for our nation.

    • Mr Tabor I think you are playing politics. Ypu n I kno that the population in st kitts is half the population in Antigua,. Giving the same scenario we all facing, whobis easier to feed with the same amount of CIP funds. The Antigua government staff complement is 3x that if st kitts. Dont come on here trying to mislead people with your bright self. It makes you sound stupid as an intellectual.
      It seems as if you want the government of Antigua & Barbuda to give away all its monies then u laugh saying they are dourtish. Come on, let’s examine; where wld the government get the money from. America had to print 3trillion dollars just to give a stimulus. Do we print moneybin Antigua? You Sir makes me laugh bcuz I’m sad to say I hv a Degree bcuz it doesn’t make us intelligent.
      Please stop the rhetoric n let’s fight this covid. U say upp will win the next election? U want to win with a broke(r) treasury? Anyway, winning is in ur dreams.
      Stop fooling the people of this country.

    • “What is so great or smart with the government not assisting the poor and vulnerable with some kind of assistance in this covid situation?”
      Tabor, you can do better than this. Tabor to date the PDV Benefit Program has not stopped. The Board of Guardians programs have not stopped. Actually since Covid the government has started many more Food Programs. Ensuring that those affected have access to the most necessary things in live. FOOD. The PM has even exposed that it was he who ensured that people like Mr. Ayers and 1st Choice and a few others made donations to the UPP, because it was brought to his attention that some people did not wish to accept any help from the ABLP government because of politics. The PM has informed that his government on a monthly basis distribute over $300K in food packages. And the dollar barrel has been extended now until the end of the year. To date over six thousand barrels have been imported under this arrangement. The waiver of all duties and taxes is like putting money in your hand. APUA has been mandated not to cut off people who are affected by layoffs because of Covid. Banks have been requested to extend their loan moratorium for persons affected by lay-offs because of Covid. And because of these measures you do not see scores of people in the supermarket and on the street begging. Actually in Antigua it is as if Covid has no effect whatsoever. And I know this will change the longer Covid stays with us. During the 2008/9 financial crisis Antiguans went through hell. Begging was the order of the day. Many lost their homes and cars. And many families broke up. I mean many young women lost morality and dignity. And the UPP had no answers other than to run to the IMF. The lender of last resort. And yes it was then that those social programs of PDV were born. Thanks to Chavez of Venezuela who saw it solidar, to start this social energy program. As you know Energy cost is the most expensive and most critical for any country. If you cannot afford your energy cost you cannot afford any development. And no one will credit your oil shipment. You pay cash on delivery. So you may think that only when you give people cash it’s called stimulus, but if someone feed and clothe and house you that is equal or more than hard cash in your hand. But I guess comprehension is missing by you guys. Bring me to the parliament meeting last Thursday when the PM was wrapping up his argument on the motion to extend the State of Emergency. They the Opposition Leader and the Barbuda member claim to have no problems with the protocols issued by the government but are not in favor of extending the emergency powers. When the PM is trying to tell them that it’s because of the emergency powers the government is able to put these protocol in place. As he said it they are not mutually exclusive. I guess that is too hard for them to comprehend. You cannot have one without the other.
      Tabor you need to do better in your arguments in opposition to anything done by this government. Giving cash to people is not sustainable in the long run. And when you start doing that you also creating a monster. Just look at USA, there is a big fight between the Republicans and the Democrats on that. Even though they just gave them a couple months ago trillions of dollars the money is finished and they want and need more. And the USA have no shortage of printing money. They do that so easy. A compassionate government should always find ways to help the poor, but not to the point where you create a beggar. I wonder who will be handing out Christmas ham and turkey this Christmas. Cause the UPP has shown that in opposition they are not able nor capable to assist anyone. All they do is blaming the government for not doing this or that. but they themselves not doing anything at all.

      • FROM THE SIDELINE I know that you believe that the Prime Minister is always right. He is dead wrong in his mistaken belief that you need a State of Emergency in place in order to implement and enforce the Covid protocols. The covid protocols can be enforced under the Public Health Act Cap. 353 of the laws of Antigua and Barbuda. Let me further educate you and the Prime Minister. The State of Emergency is only required to enforce the curfew I.e., the times that a person can be outdoors, a numbers assembling etc. Those would be breachs of a person’s constitutional right of free movement and right of assembly and such breachs can only be allowed under a State of Emergency. That is the only reason therefore for the State of Emergency. The State of Emergency and the implementation and enforcement of the covid protocols are therefore mutually exclusive. I thought the Prime Minister had a learned Attorney General to advise him. As usual tell the Prime Minister to stop talking nonsense. He might have to turn to me for advice. I will give it pro bono since it would be for the greater good of the society.

        • Tabor he has a real lawyer advising him, not one who it seems paid someone to take his exams or found professors who felt sorry for him. Look BDS has ended the SOE and utilized a public health emergency act to aid them to continue what the SOE allowed. Under that act they have the power to impose a curfew if the minister (PM)gets advice from the CMO to do so. Fact is the powers under their public health act (theirs)are no different than those offered via the SOE. BDS in May amended the said act to allow them this flexibility. It is you who has argued that our act (Public Health Act Cap.353), since the amendments (regulations) were not adopted by parliament are null and void (See COMMENTARY: Legislative Chaos of the Government June 3, 2020). Based on your own argument (changes null and void) it does does not offer us the same flexibility as the BDS similar act. Tabor, we tired of the hot and cold, one minute you arguing something is botched, another minute you arguing its all good. Brethren, I don’t enjoy telling you this but you come off as confused. Brethren again you tend to engage in essentially unneeded arguments since fact is there is hardly a difference between the powers provided (based on the amendments).

          • TENMAN what you have written there is such rubbish that it is mindboggling. The covid Regulations that are being implemented by the government are all unlawful. Firstly, Molwyn regulations were unlawful because under the Public Health Act (PHA) cap. 353 of the laws of Antigua and Barbuda he did not have the authority to do so. Secondly, the regulations correctly made by the Chairman of the Central Board of Health (CBH), Eustace Lake, were also unlawful since they were not confirmed by Parliament. What I am outlining to you are the requirements of the PHA for the enactment of regulations. If those requirements are not followed the regulations are null and void and of no effect. As an aside, let me also educate you that the $5000 charged for not wearing a mask is also unlawful. The PHA set the cost at $500 for the breach of any regulation made under the Act. By setting the cost at $5000 the regulation was amending a provision of the PHA without that authority to do so under the said Act. TENMAN please read carefully and understand because you are quite confused. Now to the issue of the State of Emergency (SOE). Minister Joseph declared covid 19 to be a dangerous infectious disease. By that declaration Regulations could be made under the PHA to combat the disease. That has been done on several occasions with the various amendments to the Regulationas. The implementation and enforcement of these Regulations do not require the existence of a SOE or CURFEW. However, a Curfew cannot be imposed unless an SOE is declared because under a curfew a citizen’s constitutional rights such as freedom of movement and assembly could be abridged. Such abridgment of ones constitutional rights is only legal under an SOE. I do not know if I am getting through to you, but if you still cannot understand these simple ideas and concepts I am open to take a call from you to assist.

        • Tabor here you go again accusing me of always being in the PM’s corner, when just the other day I pointed out to you that I was in agreement with you. And I told you it would come to this not too long. But here is where your flawed thinking is again about the State of Emergency Powers. Without those powers the government cannot mandate the nation anything not even the tourists that are visiting. And we all know that if we do not have the curfew for one in place than fetes would be all over the place and who knows what that will do for the spread of Covid. So please don’t say that we do not need the State of Emergency in order to manage this Covid situation. And we have seen now how Nationals are returning home and don’t want to adhere to the protocol of staying in quarantine. And with the emergency powers we are able to at least put some heavy fines on them. But you guys are shortsighted and want to politicize everything. So rather than to work with the government to control this pandemic you guys prefer to take political shots.

  2. Is “to fritter away the revenues by handouts of stimuli money??”

    What a bunch of uncaring asses

  3. I was hoping to read something that would educate me on how dire things are in st Lucia so I can make the comparison to things here in Antigua. NADA
    This article is missing substance and leaves the reader to assume way too much and to trust whatever meldorf says.

  4. ANTIGUANS Wake up !
    YOU FOOLS !
    FOLLOWING BEHIND POLITRICKIANS …….ONLY FOOLS DO THAT ! All you businessmen, statutory board members, trade union misleaders, taxi drivers, bus drivers, air traffic controllers, calypsonians, radio talk show hosts , political party jumpers and skippers, religious misleaders, civil servants. YES….I AM REFERRING TO YOU. YOU ARE CORRUPT AND A BIG FOOL TOO. YOUR DAY OF JUDGEMENT IS SOON TO COME. WHERE WILL YOU RUN TO ? YOUR CORRUPT LUCRE WON’T SAVE YOU. YOUR BUDDY RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE RICH AND FAMOUS WO’NT SSAVE YOU. YOUR PARTYING AND FETING WON’T SAVE YOU. HODGES BAY CLUB…..ASHANTI’S MONEY WON’T SAVE YOU.
    YOU BEGGY BEGGY ANTIGUANS AND NON-NATIONALS….. THE LITTLE CRUMBS WHICH FALL FROM THE HANDS OF BRIBERY; THAT YOU GRAB ONTO, WON’T SAVE YOU ! YOUR DAY IS SOON AT HAND ! CORRUPTION IS THE NORMAL IN THE LAND AND SO DESTRUCTION WILL BE YOUR CONCLUSION. YOU FOOLS ! YOU BIG FOOLS !

    THERE ARE ONLY TWO OPTIONS IN LIFE: NO MIDDLE GROUND. YOU STAND WITH THE FEW WHO WALK THE RIGHTEOUS WAY OR YOU DIE WITH THE MANY, MANY WHO FOLLOW THE WRONGTEOUS WAY.

    MAKE YOUR CHOICE. ETERNAL LIFE OR DEATH.

    YOU ARE BEING WARNED. TIME TO WAKE UP, YOU FOOLS.

    WORLD “CRYSIS”: YOUR END SOON COME !

  5. TENMAN please don’t make me laugh. Since I do not know what a stimulus is please educate me. You guys try to find all sorts of ridiculous excuses to justify the government’s ineptitude. Let us for a moment accept your safety net argument. What happens to the thousands of persons who despite the so-called safety net still cannot make ends meet and are penniless with children to feed. What the hell do they do? Can the government’s “duty free for cars” stimulus help them? I await your erudite explanation.

    • Boss, go join DNA, so you can continue pretend there is no history:

      pg 7 of upp 2009 manifesto
      UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
      While working diligently to ensure
      the full employment of the country’s
      workforce, there will be times
      when certain individuals will find
      themselves temporarily out of
      employment.
      The UPP government is the first
      administration in the Caribbean
      Community that will institutionalize
      a system of Unemployment Relief.
      This is indeed a very important
      measure for a small nation like
      ours to adopt and underscores the
      sincerity of the UPP administration
      as a “People First” movement.
      The procedure for persons who
      have lost their jobs to access
      unemployment relief will be
      simple and unbureaucratic. The
      programme will be administered by
      the Social Security Board. All eligible

      • TENMAN you really do not want to talk about history. Do you realize that all the major international scandals that this country has been involved in since 1981

  6. What is the purpose of this information? Is Gaston Brown and his cabinet going to mount a financial rescue mission to assist St. Lucia. The St. Lucian Prime Minister is just been honest. This idiotic talk by some leaders that they are doing better than most is total nonsense.

    • Paul T great question. And the answer to your question is that our inept government is grabbing at straw like a drowning man. The comparison with St. Lucia is absolutely pathetic.

  7. So Antigua’s Cabinet is gloating because of the position St Lucia find themselves?

    How pathetic is that? Isn’t St Lucia a part of the currency union? How will this affect the EC dollar wait this Cabinet did not look at the big picture?

    Based on the current world trends even Einstein will admit a tourism driven economy will suffer asphyxia.

    I am looking forward to hearing in the coming budget, Antigua’s economy is the only one that grew since March in this hemisphere including USA and excluding Guyana because they have oil.

    • Wasn’t it you people who always compared St. Lucia to Antigua and castigated the PM for not doing what St. Lucia is doing. Now that the PM is showing the result of what St. Lucia was doing and where it has brought them you ask why he is focussing on St. Lucia? Shame guys shame.

  8. TENMAN you really do not want to talk about history. Do you realize that all the major international scandals that this country has been involved in since 1981occurred under an ALP government. Just to name a few Space Research, Guns to Colombia. Medical Benefits, IHI, Obebrecht. Now to be more specific since you are talking about Manifesto promises, don’t forget the ALP’s mantra in 2014 of more jobs, less taxes and more investments. None of these have been realized. No need to mention the 500 homes in 500 days, failed tourism investments, failed YIDA Project, failed water supply etc. I forget the Peter Virdee failed Solar Energy project. Do I need to say more TENMAN to convince you that the government has failed miserably. If you are honest enough with yourself you would agree that all the investments that the ALP government has implemented to date are investments left by the UPP administration. Anyway, as they say government is continuous. However, that does not mean that you should not give the UPP some credit.

  9. I’m wondering if this is the time for partisan dialogue during a pandemic.

    Why don’t we all put our heads together with sensible suggestions and encouragements for our country. This is not ” UPP or ALP” country, but a country for all Antiguans especially now.

  10. Tabor and company limited, enough of this trite, boring line: no freebees to all and sundry = no love for people. Well thank God that you and your kind are NOT steering the Ship of State at this time!! St. Lucia’s PM gambled and lost. Like his ally and supporter, he believed his God Trump, thinking that Covid-19 would be overcome in a matter of weeks. Alas, Covid-19, like death, reveals nothing about its final date. So Chastenet with an even redder face had to admit to the folly of embarking on such an ill-advised plan. It did not work for St. Lucia, it would not have worked for Antigua and Barbuda? What of St Kitts my beloved homeland? Perhaps if Robert Smith, the wealthiest Black man in the US with an estimated value in excess of five BILLION US dollars were to criminally store much of his wealth in Antigua and Barbuda as he does presently in the St Kitts offshore facilities…. Our PM would not have allowed it anyway. Also, the Nigerian Ponzi scheme fraudster who a few months ago was arrested for his multimillion dollar heists? Was he not granted a St Kitts passport a year or so ago by virtue of his marriage to a Kittitian also within the same time frame. Let’s not compare apples and oranges. These things will all come out in the wash by and by. Until then, no stimulus, no apology.

  11. Why everything has to be politics. Mr Tabor makes a comment and a number man has to bring in Upp and DNA. Discuss the issues, don’t sing for suppers here. My gosh.

  12. Tenman:. Wow, wow. You know something.JUST SHUT UP. Shut up and dissappear out of this country.Give me a bottle of aspirin. Tenman you can see from your article , that your bread is indeed well buttered.You are singing a lovely soprano for your supper.You seems to be a very selfish person as long as you and yours,and all the cronies, red kool aid drinkers and the corrupt politicians are doing well, you all don’t care about anybody..Just wait and take it easy.Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.The day of judgement will come.Poor Antigua people.We really got the govt we deserve. Tenman could you pls take some food to Clarevue for me and pls adopt Clarevue as your Charity.I will ask the treasury to give you, let’s say about 2 million dollars to help your charity.

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