Government Reports Severe Decline In Revenue Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic

Health Minister Molwyn Joseph

The Minister of Health, Molwyn Joseph, has reported that the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) anticipates that its revenue will decline by $22 million dollars because of the decline in employment triggered by the Covid-19 global coronavirus crisis.

With the recent closure of a number of hotels on the island, the income of hotel workers and of other workers connected to tourism sector has declined precipitously; the payments to the Medical Benefits Scheme reflect the decline.

According to chief of staff Lionel Hurst, one hotel manager reported that workers who are laid-off will receive EC$150 weekly, until the crisis passes. All hotels have agreed to allow their senior workers to access 50% of the Thrift Fund which include the amounts contributed by the employer.

The Social Security System has reported also that its revenue has declined as incomes for workers who have been laid-off come to a halt or reduced significantly. The Government’s revenue has also declined significantly as several sources, including tourism receipts, decline.

However, Hurst has assured the public that salaries and wages and pensions for the month of March 2020 will be paid by March 31, 2020.

The challenge to meet salaries and wages in full will come on April 30, 2020.

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  1. Time to go to the IMF. The financial ship is sinking fast. Do not wait until we are sitting at the bottom of the sea before taking action to access IMF funds. Do it now so that by the end of April the government will have funds to meet its debts and keep the ship afloat. Gaston, please do not let your pride get in the way of approaching the IMF. We all know you cursed off the IMF in a speech a few years ago but they will help us again in our time of need. This economic situation ain’t no joke and will go on longer than we think. Act now!

    • Is that exactly what they want. They spread their man made virus lockdown the world and cripple y’all economy. Now y’all must come to them. The media hype up this virus and y’all fell for it hook line and sinker.

        • @cemerle. IMF has its place. What we really need is to shot down, spelling intended, this irresponsible government. Its time to accept that ABLPs approach, while good for personal enrichment, is not good for our development.

      • ABLP cannot do IMF. Dealing with lMF takes takes financial dicipline and that is something ABLP does not have. When you consider ABLP have borrowed so far an esyimate of 300 million, compared to the 100 million borrowed from IMF by the UPP, the increase of the public sector employment by almost 50 percent, then it is clear that this is not a belt-tightening government, such as what is needed now.

      • This kind of attitude and irresponsibility is detrimental. The virus is here – man made or not is not a concern. Conspiracy theories are irrelevant. Wash your hands, be vigilant, stay home and pray. Have some empathy and compassion. All the people who lost their lives are not fake. I feel sorry for your ignorance

  2. IF YOU, Minister Joseph, and your cohorts in government want to really do something for the people that a real “caring government” would do…give up your salaries for three months. It is quite apparent that none of you are anywhere near being poor and you do not have any living expenses. Go to Parliament NOW and put a stop to or at least rectify the ludicrous 2 term full salaries that past ministers get…at the very least change it to 4 terms. It is a drain on the country during the best of times far less. You would save millions and could actually do something meaningful for we, the Antigua and Barbuda people and your country that would be very kindly written up in the history books. Doing this would actually put some credence to your campaign speeches about how much you care for your people who are most definitely going into very difficult financial times right now. A selfless and sensible act like this would go a long way towards creating some pride and good feelings towards the ABLP. Take example from little St. Kitts and Nevis and do something good for the people.

    • …not just give up their salaries for three months, Jeb, but for an entire year! The way this, “whatever” Living Dead, Dead Living Being called COVID-19 is running around, being PUMPED UP, by hype, gripe or instinctive insight, there could be a – Da BOOMERANG EFFECT…, and the way this is going, in North America, and the Fear Factor in Antigua, this could run well into November/December 2020 for Antigua.
      Now, this is the, as they say the start of the Regular Flu season. Which if, one goes by the experts, COVID-19, being a Member Of The Elite Family, called Coronavirus – SARS, H1N1, etc., and since, these are allowed to run wild because “VACCINES” are available for those family members, once the VACCINE for COVID-19 has being bum rushed, through the labs, of Big Pharma. COVID-19 will be flying free to, as the newest Ninja from the Wutan Kung Flu Klan….

      Government Ministries give up, their PAID salaries, remember all of the perks they get…Ten square meals a day, is one such perk! Give them up for a year.

      DA BOOMERANG…pay attention!

  3. Bernie Sanders is right. If any politicians in the billionaire class they need to be kicked out of office.

  4. I anticipate that Namco will deplete the Medical Benefit coffers before Clovid 19 even gets a chance. and social security and state insurance.

    They are putting this out there so we can look the other way while these bodies become insolvent.
    There is a reason we have a consolidated fund, more eyes means transparency. But nobody lub hide tax payers money from people like ALP.

  5. All the politicians that love people so much need to step up and put their money to work or shut up.

  6. Molwyn Joseph,are you folks in Cabinet foregoing a month’s salary.Could you imagine how far that could go to your Constituents.Especially those who were hand to mouth before this Covid 19 matter.

    • Are you foregoing your income and donating it to your community? I hope so. You should lead by example and show them how it’s done.

      • Hypocrisy:
        I gave away thousands of dollars every year.To organizations at home and abroad.I do not look for fame in doing so.

  7. “the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) anticipates that its revenue will decline by $22 million dollars”. Can you imagine if the Top Dawg had left the millions in Social Security and MBS, how many people would be in a better place now”? Anybody remember him saying no statutory corporation should have so much money in reserves, that’s why he took out all the money from them? And nothing for it? He get away scotch free?
    See now why you need reserves? When these guys are finish with us, we would be walking on our hands backwards.

  8. When was the last time antigua had a surplus or even a balanced budget. This government has been borrowing, borrowing, to finance their grandiose projects and pay current expenses. All the money from CIP has disappeared and the people have naught to show for it. Dirty water and no water coming out of the pipes. Old people use to say live within your means and save for a rainy day.

    • Time to start, taxing the Church. They’ve being collecting taxes from all angles for Centuries…

      A…from the State for protection! Free real estate given from the spoils of the captured Territory’s.

      B.. from the People for protection! Tithes…

      It’s Time To Tax Da Church!
      They have being TASKING and TAXING our Mind, Body, Spirit, Soul, long enough!
      They need to continue, to pay up like the Catholic Diocese World Wide, have being settling and paying for their past atrocities.

      It’s time, we go after the Church for their roles, in past Inquisitions.

      God Is Real in the Unknowing Sense of Being…The Church is knowing in the Sense Of Being!

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