CABINET NOTES OF Wednesday 16 November 2022

18

HURST REPORTS ON CABINET OF Wednesday 16 November 2022

The weekly Cabinet meeting commenced at 10:30 am following prayers; one member was absent. The Cabinet held preliminary discussions on the Burna Boy concert to be held in December, 2022. Despite the presence of Government officials at the launch, there is no financial liability on the part of the Ministry of Tourism or the Ministry of Creative Industries. Since May 2022, the Ministry of Creative Industries has endorsed 147 such events, without providing financial support to any.

  1. The Cabinet invited the National Minimum Wage Commission upon the submission of its Report. The five members explained the theoretical underpinning and the economic methodologies utilized, in order to arrive at the two proposals submitted to the Cabinet. The Chairman pointed out that the current minimum wage stands at EC$8.20 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work-week (for a wage of $328.00 per week). The proposals from the Commission were to move to:
  2. $8.90 per hour; and, ii. $10.00 per hour.

Following vigorous and lengthy debates in the Cabinet, a decision was taken to move the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour. That decision will be taken to the Parliament where it will be debated before becoming law.

  1. The Cabinet made a decision, in keeping with the policy of the Gaston Browne administration, to promote youthful professionals to leadership positions. Effective January 1st, 2023, Carl Christopher will become the Executive Chairman of the Free Trade Zone. Another young professional will replace Senator Eustace “Teco” Lake in the Senate of Antigua and Barbuda who retires on December 31s, 2022. Another youth will be placed as the Chairman of the ABICE Board of Directors. The Gaston Browne Administration has been committed to providing youthful leaders with opportunities since winning office in 2014. Senator Shenella Govia was appointed to the Senate at 22 years and has performed marvelously. Honourable Maria Browne was elected to the House of Representatives at 26 years; and, several other youthful professionals were appointed to leadership roles within the governance system.
  2. Effective January 1st, 2023, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda will have a new Financial Secretary in the person of Mrs. Rasona Davis-Crump. She is a competent and experienced female who will become the country’s first-ever woman to hold this position. The Cabinet thanked Mr. Whitfield Harris for his outstanding service to his country and to the Ministry of Finance.
  3. Negotiations are continuing among the Unions representing Public Servants with the expectation that there will be an agreement on the quantum of the increase which the negotiations will yield. The Cabinet is cognizant of the additional costs which an increase in wages, salaries and emoluments will have on Government’s revenue; therefore, the increase will be tempered by the additional cost for services and goods which the Government must also now absorb in an era when global inflation has plagued every country because of Covid-19 and the Russian/Ukrainian conflict. No decision has yet been made.

 

  1. The Cabinet continues to negotiate with the LIAT court-appointed receiver to settle the severance payments owed to the former LIAT workers who resided in, and are citizens of, Antigua and Barbuda. Every effort will be made to pay a lump sum that will represent a final payment to all former LIAT Staff resident in Antigua and Barbuda. Last Christmas, the Gaston Browne Administration deposited 2 million Eastern Caribbean Dollars with the receiver, guaranteeing 50% of the amount owed to former employees of LIAT who are residents and citizens of Antigua and Barbuda; a significant portion remains with the receiver. However, the Cabinet is of the view that a better response is likely this time around.
  2. 6. The Potworks Dam, capable of holding 1,200 million gallons of water is still near-empty because of the long drought that may now be coming to an end. The APUA therefore relies 100% on its desalination water to reach homes, business and institutions in Antigua. While the R/O plants in Antigua produce more than 7 million gallons daily, and consumption at peak exceeds 8 million gallons, there are challenges in the distribution system because of old and broken pipes. The Cabinet continues to press APUA’s water manager to ensure that no community goes without water for any longer than two days.
  3. The technical team undertaking the registration of lands in Barbuda reported that their work went well on the first day. Utilizing the most modern technology available to surveyors, the team has set itself three days to complete the necessary first phase of the geographical mapping of Barbuda. When the work is completed, every piece of land in Barbuda that has been leased will be shown on a cadastral map. The residents of Codrington who prefer to proceed without a certificate of land will be allowed to continue on the land which they have occupied for generations; those who wish to have a certificate of ownership will be allowed so to do for the consideration of $1.00, payable to the Treasury. The Privy Council ruled several months ago that all land that is not privately owned in the state of Antigua and Barbuda is the property of the Crown.
  4. The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda congratulated the National Swim Team that returned—from an OECS meet—victorious. For the very first time, the Antigua Team won many gold medals and proved to be superior to all the other teams from the OECS. The Cabinet applauds the coaches, teachers and parents who invested in the success of the athletes.
  5. 9. The Cabinet has again made arrangements for an Annual National Service of Thanksgiving to be held on the first Sunday of the New Year, or on January 1st, 2023.

 

 

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Chups!

    80 cents increase in minimum wage?

    With no relief in food and fuel prices (like in other islands).

    So people must continue to live on under $400 per week, with out of control cost of living, which Gaston and co get richer and richer?

    VOTE DEM ALL OUT!

    • How much did Harold Live increase it by? Answer $0.00
      Errol Cort increased the minimum wage by $0.75 in 2006 and again by $0.75 in 2008
      Harold lovell was Minister of Finance 2009-2014 and he never made and increase to the minimum wage.
      Gaston has increased the minimum wage by $0.70 in 2018 and has now increase $0.90 in 2022.
      Harold Lovell too wicked

      • And to you this is good??
        Because of people like you this country will always be in shit. It’s obvious that you don’t work for minimum wage so you can stay on your high horse and chat this crap. You all don’t care bout nobody else as long as you all are good. But jah jah is not sleeping. People are working and you all want to treat them like they are begging. MASA is still in control. It’s is disgraceful when MASA is black people.

  2. @. Your analogy of ‘WICKED ALP’s’ comment is so ignorant and irrational do you know the amount of educated citizens in Antigua & Barbuda are unemployed that received a ‘good education?’

    Maybe you had the luxury of getting the great education and later the great job so you don’t need relief, however the citizens deserve a relief on fuel and food prices. The miniscule increase will be jus a mere drop in the employees bucket.

    Also I don’t know if you actually keep up with your statutory deductions, remember employees will be paying a 1/4% extra until 2025 so the increase may just amount to nothing come January 2023.

      • But you all want the same uneducated people to vote for you all? Shame shame shame. I hope all the people for some reason that didn’t get a great education to listen well when people like you are talk.

      • Am not focusing on what the UPP government is promising I was being very neutral with my comment. My point was focused on our people who suffering by the hands of the government that can assist them by giving these people what they deserve a better salary that equals to a better way of life.

        I hope when they announce the next general election they note that uneducated government workers making minimum wage are barred from voting, based on your assessment of them not deserving more money.

  3. Alister “inTERllectual” Thomas DROPOUT got a “good education” from ACLM. He never did a graduate, but is a SELF-PROCLAIMED, POMPOUS “Regional Expert” 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣

  4. It’s is a disgrace. Just disgraceful and down right wicked and evil wicked human being for 5 people to sit down for months and then come up with 80 c raise on minimum wage is a disgrace. Cau you the 5 persons live on 9.00 an hour? Can u?? I am a government worker carrying 365.00 weekly and I can’t buy food to last me for a week on that. I literally can’t see my way and 5 days a week I go to work faithfully and at the end of the week I can’t afford to feed my family. Everyday is like a war scaping to survive. You all are wicked. 9.00 is not nearly enough it can’t buy food much less pay light bills and water bills. Jesus we are crying out for help. Help , help, help, help help help help help help help help help help help help help help help. Who can we run to for help. People out here are contemplating suicide, people are depressed, people are hungry, people we need 13-15.00 an hour to survive in this country.
    The Government don’t understand how it feels to go out to work Monday to Friday 8am to 4 pm and at the end of the week go to the supermarket and can’t afford tt buy proper food to last until the next end of week. It’s a damn shameful situation. people are dying of hunger in this country. You can do better for the citizens SO DO BETTER. CHILDREN CANNOT LEARN IF ThEm CANNOT EAT PROPERLY.

  5. This is worse than slavery. This is pure evil you all are promoting modern day slavery. Minimum workers will never be able to build a house, still won’t be able to get a loan from the banks. What you all really doing to ease the squeeze for poor people? And then you all are looking for the same hungry gut, depressed down and out people to vote. This is witchcraft. When you all finish you all are talking bout diabetes. People can’t afford to buy proper food on 8.20 or 9.00 an hour.
    Prime Minister Gaston Brown you have to do better by the lower income workers. 9.00 an hour before tax . Is not good.

  6. How much did Harold Live increase it by? Answer $0.00
    Errol Cort increased the minimum wage by $0.75 in 2006 and again by $0.75 in 2008
    Harold lovell was Minister of Finance 2009-2014 and he NEVER MADE ANY INCREASE to the minimum wage.
    Gaston has increased the minimum wage by $0.70 in 2018 and has now AGAIN INCREASED it by $0.90 in 2022.

    Harold Lovell TOO DAMN WICKED!!!! The IMF PUPPET is heartless!

    • @Really. Ms. Massiah already let us know wah kinda person MR. IMF ROMANTIC RHYTHMS WADADLI POWER CAN’T ABST HOTEL RIPOFF ABIB COLLAPSER BANKING-SECTOR COLLAPSER ANTI-UWI FIVE ISLANDS CAMPUS BAICO COLLAPSER be.

      He studied “ROCKS and DIRT” so he nah have a clue bout finances. Relying on Everett Christian to guide him over the cliff every time.

  7. This is not about politics and blue, red orange purple or white. It’s about human being in this country that can hardly feed their families. STOP STOP making everything about politics and politicians. I am a labor party voter and I am talking about survival. Not because I voted only red that don’t mean I am going to agree with everything. Well I don’t agree with the 9.00 minimum wage.

  8. Am not focusing on what the UPP government is promising I was being very neutral with my comment. My point was focused on our people who suffering by the hands of the government that can assist them by giving these people what they deserve a better salary that equals to a better way of life.

    I hope when they announce the next general election they note that uneducated government workers making minimum wage are barred from voting, based on your assessment of them not deserving more money.

  9. How can anyone in Antigua survive on a little over $1300 per month? Where can these people afford to live? In some dilapidated house in the ghetto. These people can never dream of owning their own homes.
    Now talking about run down homes, Gaston has habitually gone on his radio station and talk about landlords who won’t maintain their properties in the ghettos. He is a major landlord and should know what it costs to maintain properties. He is not renting to minimum wage earners who don’t take care of his properties and sometimes can’t pay the rent. I will say to Gaston, he should ensure people get a decent wage so they can move out of the ghettos and get their own homes. Or better yet, the government can build or provide low interest financing to individuals to build rent geared to income properties, like they do in other countries for poor people. Gaston May also consider renting some of his properties to poor people instead of always talking about overseas individuals living with their manicured lawns and not maintaining their properties in Antigua. Does he realized some of these people work two and three jobs to get what they have?
    When people work for a whole week and can’t afford to buy food and pay for decent accommodations, it is the government’s problem. The government should pay and private companies should pay its employees a living wage. Some of these employers are living in their multimillion dollar mansions while their employees can’t feed themselves.
    Where are the investors Gaston is to bring into Antigua so Antiguans can find work outside of the public service. The government can’t afford to pay all these people a decent wage. All Antigua gets are the Marvelous Mikes, Yida, Wiez and the land carpetbaggers in Barbuda. Just yesterday, it was announced that Barbados and Guyana along with a couple African countries were developing a pharmaceutical company in Barbados. Think of the high paying jobs and transfer of technology this will bring to Barbados.
    Antigua is going no where and a lot of people are destined to live in poverty because no credible investor will engage our leaders, who always want a piece of the pie, to create good paying jobs in Antigua.
    How does St. Kitts manage to set up a special fund from their CIP money so that they can pay bonuses to their people when all Antigua government can set up is more debt on the people’s back. All them labour supporters can continue braying like jackasses while Antigua goes from bad to worst.

  10. How much did Harold Live increase it by? Answer $0.00
    Errol Cort increased the minimum wage by $0.75 in 2006 and again by $0.75 in 2008
    Harold lovell was Minister of Finance 2009-2014 and he NEVER MADE ANY INCREASE to the minimum wage.
    Gaston has increased the minimum wage by $0.70 in 2018 and has now AGAIN INCREASED it by $0.90 in 2022.

    Harold Lovell TOO DAMN WICKED!!!! The IMF PUPPET is heartless!
    Harold Lovell TOO DAMN WICKED!!!! The IMF PUPPET is heartless!
    Harold Lovell TOO DAMN WICKED!!!! The IMF PUPPET is heartless!
    Harold Lovell TOO DAMN WICKED!!!! The IMF PUPPET is heartless!

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