Ministry defends purchase of luxury car for minister

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The United Progressive Party (UPP) is condemning the recent purchase of a Tesla X luxury SUV by the Ministry of Health and Environment as the official vehicle for Minister Molwyn Joseph.

The main opposition party, in a press statement, said that the decision to purchase the vehicle was “heartless” considering the economic circumstances facing the nation.

“How is this vehicle a priority given the challenges we face?” Party leader Harold Lovell asked.

“Further, with the poor condition and continuing deterioration of the roadways and the resultant hardships that both motorists and pedestrians face, the purchase of this luxury item by the Government is even more ironic,” the statement from the party added.

Meanwhile, in it’s own press statement, signed by Chief Environment Officer Diann Black Layne, the Department of Environment (DoE) confirmed the purchase of the electric car which uses no fossil fuels, saying that it is part of a broader green transport study being carrying out; adding that the vehicles were the property of the government and not any individual personally.

“This program seeks to purchase electric and hybrid vehicles to test the use of this technology in the DoE, the Ministry of Health, The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Transport. Data is being gathered on the use of each of these vehicles to determine the average cost to a regular consumer…” the DoE release read.

“At the onset of this project in 2016, the Minister was asked to swap his current Government issued Ford Explorer for an electric vehicle. While we shared the Minister’s concern regarding the political perception, we also recognised that a vehicle of this type would be both beneficial for the study and for the example that must be shown by Government officials,” the release continued.

Black Layne’s statement noted that after eight months of negotiation, Minister Joseph “reluctantly agreed” to be a subject of the study and relinquish his fossil fuel vehicle for an electric one.

“Despite these higher upfront costs, it is expected that these will be recouped in less than five years in savings from fuel and maintenance.”

The other vehicles purchased as part of the study include: For the Department of the Environment and Ministry of Health: one small Nissan Leaf, Nissan van, one small open back “lorry”, one Toyota RAV 4 Hybrid. The Toyota and Tesla vehicles were purchased new and the others are second-hand vehicles.

The department says these were purchased with “funding from a variety of projects as part of the DoE Greenhouse Gas assessment.”

For the Ministry of Transport: three commercial buses will be purchased to service the routes to Old Road, English Harbour and Willkies. Funding for these has not yet been secured.

“However, work is underway to assess potential options and budget required. Private sector individuals will be sought to manage these buses as part of the study,” the DoE said.

For the Ministry of Education, 2 to 3 electric school buses have been purchased. Funding for these came from the Government of Italy and procurement is underway. These buses should be in Antigua by February/March 2018.

While the UPP puts the cost of the Tesla X at “more than EC$375,000,” the most basic version of the vehicle costs US$80,000 (or about EC$217,000), though it is not clear which, or if any, costly customization will be included with the ministers’ Tesla.

Senator Lovell called on the Prime Minister to rescind the Tesla deal immediately.”These are the actions of an uncaring, selfish government,” he said.

“This is not the first time that Minister Molwyn Joseph has found himself at the center of controversy involving the proper processing of a vehicle at the Port,” Lovell added.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Chupz so why a Tesla though? I’m tired of you people disrespecting the average Antiguan taking us for total fools. It’s not everyone sit and wait for party in power to feed us garbage and then repeat.

    Contrary to belief a lot of us read and know how to use google; there are wayyy cheaper vehicles to conduct your so called studies with. Tired of Molwyn squandering tax payers money on nonsense.

    The thing that hurts me most with him he find it hard to grant a born Antigua a duty free; but alllll the Guyanese in Antigua rum up and get duty free for everything then bring in this country.

  2. Bullshit…..and the ministry hab the gall to be defending such purchase …
    Eheh… hadeed harney no hab jeep …
    Nice try ppl ……the tesla is the latest model on the American market ….but wait cos dem lub ketch ah fiah wjen dem overheat….so many tests on dem came back negative…

    Its a state of the,art car using hardly any gas it mostly runs on solar power…

    While barbudans mouth white lakka chalk how dare he splurged on nice car…rude n disrespectful…

    When dey have power and authority ….
    Dey dnt give ah dammm bout nobody…

    Hey can a yardy tell me who sings dis song😊

  3. them people ya crazy no fuc. …yspen all this money on this shit. ..when people hungry and can’t get pay

  4. Uses no fossil fuel? So how do you charge it? Solar? Wind? Don’t our grid still gets 95% of it’s power from fossil fuels?? I wonder if his electric bill will remain the same. Hmmm hope they pay civil servants at the end if the month.

  5. COME BACK HOME TO JAMAICA FOR WHAT??PLEASE TELL ME ,I RATHER STAY IN ANTIGUA AND DONT GET PAY THAN TO LIVE IN JAMAICA WITH PAY ,THAT IS CHALK TO CHEESE, ANYBODY WHO LIVES IN JAMAICA IS PEOPLE WHO CANT DO BETTER THE CRIME RATE IS CRAZY 60%OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE SOME KIND OF MENTAL DISABILITY THAT ALLOW THEM NOT TO BE ABLE TO REASON. …..SO SORRY CONCERNED JAMAICAN THAT COUNTRY IS DONE NO COME BACK

  6. THE UPP COULD NOT RUN THIS COUNTRY NOW WE HAVE ALP DOING A LITTLE BETTER JOB I WOULD BELIEVE SO, BUT YET WITH THESE POLITICIANS HAVE IN THEIR HEAD HOW TO GET RICH PLAN THE COUNTRY SUFFERS…

  7. Me love ALL Caribbean people!! Big up Santo Domingans, Jamaicans and de whole lot.

    But please, answer me dis question, a how Guyana become wan Caribbean ISLAND when dem inna South America?

    TRICKS of the trade they are. Leave us “small” island people fu battle out our differences, while you concern you self wid you South American over populated criminal and trickery activities.

    Big up to de YARDY’s and Spanish people dem (Love you everytime). Just no come bring no dutty water yah, just live right and Antiguans will treat you right here.

    Government OFFICIALS!! Tap squanda are we HARD-EARNED monies on wasted lavishes, and invest to build a solid “economic power house” based on HONESTY and not SKULL-Duggary.

    ONE Love….

  8. Diann will never change. You are still a party of the corruption in government. How the hell can you justify the purchase of such a vehicle? Ok look at it this way. You have several electric vehicles on the market, including the Prius, which comes in various models. They are FAR cheaper than a Tesla, and is most likely that in the future residents will purchase an electric vehicle within that price range.

    How many residents will purchase a vehicle in the 300,000+ range? Very few if at all my dear. So Diann, it would make far more sense for the minister to use a vehicle that would more represent a vehicle a resident would probably use.

    Diann, your level of stupidity and ignorance ALWAYS amazes me.

    Please hurry and retire. We’re tired of your ignorance and corruption in the ministry

  9. Why do these people constantly try to take us for fools ? What test could they possibly do that has not been done and the finding shared ? The only test left is to test the vehicle shocks after driving a few months on these roads . Also until we change from fossil fuels to power our electric grid, any form of electric or hybrid vehicle will simply transfer the source of pollution but not eliminate it.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with you and the emissions. This whole thing with the electric cars test is completely outrageous, and the parties involved should be ashamed of themselves for this. I listened to Diann on the radio from start to finish, and I hoped that she’d say something that made some form of sense and she failed.

      If the minister wants to lead by example, then drive a smaller vehicle, which would leave a smaller footprint on our environment. Again, which everyday citizen will purchase and drive a $300,000 vehicle? The prius, and the leave would have made far more sense to determine how the regular resident could save with electric vehicles. Added to that, why would the government need to get involved in determining what the private citizen drive?

      Diann you’re full of it, and you need to go back to your little corner and keep quiet with your perpetuation of ignorance.

      Very disappinted

      • Wadadli Man where are u living can’t be in Antigua to be asking which everyday citizen would drive a $300,000.00 vehicle. Do u realize we have a porch, Range Rover and soon to be a Bmw and Tesla dealership here … how much do u really think the Lexus, Pathfinder, Patrol, cost they all up in the 300,000 range and they here to bang dog… stop underestimating what Antiguans can afford. And since you so care for Barbuda have u been over yet to give a helping hand in cleaning up

  10. Most of the ABLP average supporters don’t even have a house that cost that figure. When they’re done they want to ask people they owe to hold on for their money. These people ae heartless.

  11. MUDER ADVANTAGE, miss blacklane stop making bad matters worst in this present time in our country there’s no justification for such a heartless decision,enven just the perception,stop making your emotions bringing your intelligence into question

  12. How about making sure that Barbuda is taken care of before wasting money on electric cars. Even if this was being planned before the hurricane it should take a back seat in light of recent events in Barbuda. It is such an insult to the people’s intelligence how they attempt to justify these stupid decisions. Seems like regardless of who is in power, even if they have good intentions they will eventually become corrupt once they see how easy it is to take advantage. Shame on you!

    • Do u really think the government should rebuild Barbuda’s residence or should they be claiming from their insurance policies … relief funds are not made available to rebuild houses, but is used to repair the infrastructure and provide temp shelter till u get on your personal affairs sorted. When hurricane Luis destroyed Antigua did you hear Antiguans bawling for government to rebuild our homes or we took our insurance monies and did it… U guys need to stop using this Barbuda thing as a political football.

  13. Now that ambassador Black-Layne has clarified that the funds are not coming from the Treasury, you think Harold Lovell should apologize and take back his words?

Comments are closed.