350K Is ‘Immaterial’ Says PM

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne says the approximately 350 thousand dollars spent on Saturday’s One Nation Concert is “immaterial.”

The annual event was again strongly criticised as being a misplaced priority of the government.

Many residents took to the media ahead of the concert to ask the prime minister to prioritize roads, payment for scholarship recipients abroad and the back pay.

However, speaking on his radio station over the weekend, Browne who is also finance minister down played the cost involved in staging the event.

“They behave as if 350 thousand dollars can fix every single problem in the country,” Browne said while addressing “naysayers and detractors.”

“If we owe UWI, it can pay off all of UWI money, we probaly owe UWI 10-15 million dollars.

“350 thousand dollars can fix Friars Hill Road, 350 thousand dollars can pay back pay for public servants. I mean it ridiculous.”

He said considering the country’s annual budget of 1.2 billion dollars “350 thousand dollars the accountant (general) will tell you is immaterial.”

The concert went ahead even though the Festivals Commission cannot say when it will pay millions of dollars it owes for previous carnivals.

Solid Waste workers are owed eight weeks pay for grass clearing works.

31 COMMENTS

  1. It’s like you owe the bank money and the bank manager meets you in Le Bistro and wonder why you didn’t take the money spent in Le Bistro to pay your loan. That is how ridiculous these people are. They want to decide the priorities the government should set when spending our money. Well if they wanted to be the one to decide they should have won the election.
    By the way the show was well attended by the youth. People seem to had a very good time.

    • If you think having lavish dinners at fancy restaurants is more important than paying your mortgage or car loan, then something is clearly wrong with you. Think about that when you’re walking home to your tent.

      • There is a time and place for everything. A diner would not make a difference whether or not I could pay my loan. There are even some biblical examples where expensive oil was poured over Jesus feet and head, but when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
        So you may not see the wisdom in what the government is doing and you may have other priorities but that is OK. Many enjoyed themselves and this owed will still be paid at a later time and guess what there will always be people to be paid.

    • You better speak for yourself! When it starts to hurt your pocket, then you will speak differently.

      Wicked set a people!!!

  2. For multi millionaires 350,000 is immaterial. For a man that lives from pay check to pay check every cent matters. Sadly he who espouses can’t relate to living from pay check to pay check!

  3. Well 350k could have help to pay the contractors in Barbuda but Hey that’s not important to the prime minister and mullin cause they don’t have creditors calling them every day about delinquent payments.hitler the guys deliver for you made u look good on tv my heavens pay them so they can feed their family.

  4. 350,000ec$ divided by the number of people that attended the concert equals “chick feed” I’m not sure about number of people that attended but even at 5,000 patrons… That’s 70ec$… The naysayers can have my share! Have a decent lunch! Maybe 2 conch Roti with drinks… Maybe!!! LMAO!

  5. 10K persons who created more economic activity than usual. Ladies would have spent doing their hair, nails, etc Some men a new attire, haircut. Lets not forget the actual moneys spent directly with vendors at the event. One thing for sure we got more value in this than the 7 million spent some years ago for Romantic rhythms which would is yet to be accounted for, after years of the now former finance minister promising to have an audit done

    • Watched some of it on ABS. Not worth much in my opinion and the crowd didn’t seem too enthused. It is doubtful that any spillover to venders can justify such a waste of money in view of the dire financial situation.

      • We must have watch a difference show then. And what is waste for one is an asset for another. The disciples thought it was waste when the woman poured expensive oil over Jesus’s head and feet.

    • @Tenman PLEASE DEMAND THE RELEVANT AUTHORITY TO INVESTIGATE THE ROMANTIC RHYTHM CONCERT AND ALLOW THE HAMMER TO FALL EITHER WAY SO THIS ISSUE CAN REST IN PEACE.

      ABLP IS IN THE PERFECT POSITION TO DISPOSE THIS MATTER.

      • You know I have listen to the PM argument on this and many other investigations that should take place. he claims he doesn’t to waste money just to get people in jail and be accused of witch hunt. To me it seem more like Politicians not really bringing down each other.

    • Geez! why did I not think of this! The answer to our economic woes is to have a Free Concert every week. The spinoff from doing attendees’ hair, nails, new attires, haircuts, vendors etc would have our economy humming in less than no time. Brilliant Tenman!! NOT!!!

    • I agree with you about the multiple effect this event, but don’t you think concert promotions should left to the private sector? This is no the roll of government.

      • Well let me tell you Antigua is not unique organizing free concerts. Many large Cities have from Time to Time Free Concerts to boost Tourism and Economic Activity. But I must say they always find sponsors who want to promote their products like Beer Companies or Coca cola. The PM wants to ensure that the poor Antiguan Youth that would not be able to purchase a ticket to these shows, will now have the opportunity to do so once a year. And again this is not an astronomical amount. But the detractors of course would be against it no matter what. Last year was the same criticism. And than they found out that UB40 actually gave a free concert.

    • Tired of hearing that dumb anology about trickle down economics oh ladies went to the hair dresser to go her hair bull crap,ladies do their hair every god tham day …….if its dumb it is dumb

  6. Why don’t they pay me the immaterial sum of EC $10,000.00 that they owe from me Carnival then? Well lord. Such indifference.

  7. Congratulations to all who had fun and enjoyed their free concert…. Now back to reality…. How many people don’t have money today because they did not receive any money from government last week…. How many not going to be able to provide proper meals for their families tonight…. Oh my what about the pensioners that could not attend the free concert because they did not have bus money…. You see those who up hold this share the same reality!!!! A reality of Ignorance… Have a wonderful day now go out and spend that free concert at Epicurean!!!!

  8. The Prime Minister might wish to rethink his views on his hosting of a free concert in these economic hard times. We are behaving much like a country that is loaded with money and reserves. Government must prioritize how it spends its scarce resources and a free concert that costs the Government over EC$300K cannot be a priority. In fact, to host such a show given our financial situation is tantamount to recklessness. Our government must be more responsible than this $300K could have been spent in repairing the Police Stations which all looks like junk, and whose condition have all the policemen angry and frustrated at their working conditions. The Post offices, the magistrate’s court and many others are crying out for urgent repair and we waste funds on a show.

  9. My Prime Minister Gaston Brown could not have said those ignorant things. I know this man, I tell him when he is wrong when he is and right when he is. There can be no justification at this time for spending $350,000.00 on a party instead of using it on bettering things like road or offer a scholarship to a few people. The $350,000 may not be able to fix all the roads but it can fix part of the road.

    So, I am 100% sure that the Person I believe is the better Prime minister than the other options available could not have said this. Please stop lying on MY Guy.

  10. Why is the government doing what the private sector should be doing. Romantic Rhythms, and this was a terrible idea as well. The government should put incentive is place for assists local promoters to stage these events.

    • Soon we will want to say the same for Carnival. Government should get out of Carnival and leave it for the private promoters. And than we would not like to see the high prices at the gate. But I really think there is some merit in that line of thinking.

  11. This sounds just like the Democrats in the states when they want to do something stupid.
    Remember Governments Have No MONEY ,Only TAX PAYERS MONEY.

  12. He could have avoided all this if he paid for it out of his own money, but i guess when you don’t sweat for your cash its a cool breeze to spend it.

  13. One of the most ignorant and stupid statement I have heard in a long time. This explanation defy all logic. Stop insulting the intelligence of the people Mr PM . Fool may be talking but not all fools listening. Partial payment to the CBH workers is better than nothing because it could stop even one gap of the many that they have. Common sense don’t seem to be to common anymore . As the late Mr B use to say only in Antigua.

  14. This is a reckless and wanton way to spend Government money and no one, Prime Minister or not, should be allowed to use tax payers like that. I am very surprised that Antiguans have allowed this issue to die a natural death but I can assure you, this could never happen in Jamaica. Tax payers money should be used to provide and pay for public services by the government such as roads, education, health care etc etc. Though I am a non national, I believe that the concert was more to appease and please the large non national population in Antigua which vastly outstrips the Antiguan population. The Prime Minister is say….we are for you. Actually, we are looking out for more appeasement and amnesty cause that is really the bottom line. But payment for such concerts MUST come from the pocket of the sponsors and not government. The Prime Minister must be made to pay back the government ……but will that ever happen? No! Antiguans are much too docile and dead and with them, anything goes.

  15. When someone else that’s different with common sense and displays selfless qualities… Vote for that person… Don’t look @ red or blue

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