Lovell says $0.80 Minimum Wage is Inadequate and puts forward a Payment Plan for Businesses

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United Progressive Party Leader Harold Lovell said:

“Well, our position is that the $0.80 is really inadequate. It’s really, really inadequate.

The rate of inflation since the last review until the present time has been something like 20%.

Prices have gone up by over 20% between 2013 and the present time. Now, giving a 10% increase simply means that you are not putting people back even to where they were.

We’re not talking about improving anybody’s standard of living and conditions of life. We are even worse off than we were in 2013.

And that has to be addressed.

But you see, the argument is being framed in a way that leaves out the role that the government has played in popularizing the business community and making it difficult for the business community to survive in a situation like this.

So you hear the argument that the business community is arguing that an increase above the going to lead to job losses and so on.

Now, if we look at the situation as it is now, and we expect it to continue like under the Labor Party, where there is no support for the business sector, then we have a problem.

But what we are saying is this, the government is largely responsible for the condition in which a lot of the businesses find themselves in problems and some have gone out for business.

I keep on saying it, and I make it a point every program to bring it up, the government owes, I know one security company, the one to go on Harriet, $4 million plus.

Now, when you owe a business $4 million plus, that’s just one, and they owe everybody around the country.

So a lot of businesses simply cannot stand on their feet and they’re choking because of the amount of money that this government, in a very wicked way has just allowed to accumulate.

When you look at the revenues for 2022, the amount that is owed to local vendors and suppliers, last year when they produced the accounts in the estimates, it was something like $25 million that was owed. And today it is $163,000,000 that is owed.

So that money is what is keeping a lot of businesses from rising and getting ahead. So when you put the minimum wage [at $0.80], I  understand why they would argue. But what we say now, what the country needs is a fresh start.

And we’ve spoken about the first Start initiative. And this First Start Initiative means that early in a  UPP term, we will bring everybody together, all the people who are owed, and we are going to work out a plan with each of them.

You see how it is now, the government will owe you money and you don’t hear anything.

You go to the treasury, you try to get paid, and they just tell you not ready yet.

You come back the following week, not ready yet.

We have to put an end to that. Not only is it disrespectful, it does not allow for a recovery of the business sector.

And so we say what we would do is call everybody in if, for example, the government owes a business place $100,000 argument and you can’t pay all one time because we’re being realistic.

But what you do, you set up a schedule and you say, look, we’re going to pay you, let’s say, half now and then the balance, we will pay you over a period of time, and over that period of time, we will pay you interest at a half yearly rate or quarterly rate or whatever rate we agree upon.

But we give you something because that’s money that you’re losing and we’re going to pay you interest on the money in the meantime until we liquidate the full amount.

So that way we’re going to manage the repayment schedule of the funds that are owed to the local business sector because that’s very important.

If we do not fix the problem with the local business sector, we cannot fix the problem with job creation on. It has to be done.

It has to be done whereby we help the business sector to recover. Government is the biggest player in the economy.

Government is the biggest debtor in the economy owing just about every business place in the island.”

LISTEN TO LOVELL HERE:

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Somebody get this HYPOCRITE off the stage a beg

    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!

    • @ Hypocrisy

      TEARGAS TEARGAS TEARGAS TEARGAS TEARGAS TEARGAS TEARGAS TEARGAS

      ME BELLY A BUN ME. ME EYE A BUN OUT.

      • What he says make sense. Whoever is running the government next election should at least attempt what he is saying.

    • @Hypocrisy -Well said Boss. Also ask the hypocrite regarding the some 300 million that was owed to the same private sector, when he left office. Atleast government, though it had the covid excuse has been successful in reducing the debt they met. Here is a key statement from the IMF 2014 consult:

      “Context. The new government that came to power in June 2014 inherited serious fiscal and external payments problems, including arrears to the Fund (note: Harold Lovell said he had no time to pay since he was busy with his election campaign) and other creditors, and unresolved banking sector problems. Moreover, public debt remains at an unsustainable level of close to 100 percent of GDP, while economic activity has been weak with output still well below the level reached at the time of the 2008/09 global financial crisis.”

    • @ Hypocrisy

      Harold wicked? Who more wicked the TEAR GASSING GASTON AND CUTIE WHO BUN PEOPLE EYE AND BELLY AND CAUSE DEM TO BE ON THE VERGE OF HEART ATTACKS.

      GASTON who lost over 10,000 jobs during COVID when not one job was lost by Harold during the financial crisis.

    • @ Hypo, I may not agree with your political choice for the upcoming elections, but I do appreciate that you have tried your best to explain your thinking and thought process.

      Very rare indeed from an ABLP supporter.

      Hopefully, many more will try and articulate their musings instead of SOUNDBITES, CUSSING AND NAME CALLING – I LIVE IN HOPE!

    • @ Just Saying

      TEARGAS TEARGAS TEARGAS TEARGAS TEARGAS TEARGAS

      TEARING ME HEART OUT: WICKED GASTON AND CUTIE. HEARTLESS AND DO NOT GIVE A DAM ABOUT POOR PEOPLE

      • If you do not abide by the law, you should not only be teargassed, you should have received a few good lashes with a bull but as well to put some sense in your head.

  2. I guess when #HFWL and the rest of the #UPPNEARGA was in power we were probably experiencing 0 inflation or better yet deflation. The audacity of this man is frightening.

  3. MR. IMF ROMANTIC RHYTHMS WADADLI POWER CAN’T ABST HOTEL RIPOFF ABIB COLLAPSER BANKING-SECTOR COLLAPSER ANTI-UWI FIVE ISLANDS CAMPUS BAICO COLLAPSER ETC IS a LOSER and a LIAR!!!!

  4. The wage needs to be increased to a substantial amount where people can see their way and make a decent living, nobody can survive off that chump change with the rise in essential goods. I think at least 600 to 800 after taxes would be reasonable. Stop the exploitation!!! Why is there even a minimum wage? 😕

  5. https://knoema.com/atlas/Antigua-and-Barbuda/topics/Economy/Inflation-and-Prices/Consumer-price-index
    Antigua and Barbuda – Consumer price index (2010 = 100)
    118.6
    (index)
    in 2021
    In 2021, consumer price index for Antigua and Barbuda was 118.6 index. Consumer price index of Antigua and Barbuda increased from 84.2 index in 2002 to 118.6 index in 2021 growing at an average annual rate of 1.83%.

    The description is composed by our digital data assistant.
    What is consumer price index?
    Consumer price index reflects changes in the cost to the average consumer of acquiring a basket of goods and services that may be fixed or changed at specified intervals, such as yearly. The Laspeyres formula is generally used.

    When certain politicians like Harold talk, they try to mislead the public. They have the information, but they believe no one else does. The average annual growth rate of inflation is 1.83% up to 2021. Therefore, when you need to have a basis to increase the minimum wage or any wage for that matter, you need to work with this percentage. 1.83% per annum. And if you are generous you work with 2% per annum of back pay. So, for example.
    If in 2018 your hourly rate was $8.50, in 2019 it should be $8.66, in 2020 $8.81, and in 2021 $8.98. These are figures based on facts and not on emotions. And do understand you cannot compare that to the cost of living of today yet. That adjustment will be made in the next three years. Cost of Living adjustment does not happen every year. But every three years. And it is based on a basket of goods. Which includes not only groceries, but also energy cost and others. Mortgage rates as well. So, one might feel the pinch harder in one sector than in the other. Therefore, sometimes we can see the benefits of government controlling the price of certain sectors. Like the utilities. They are bawling in Europe now about their energy bills. They rose over 300 percent in some countries. Europe is going through a rough winter this year because of the Ukraine war. People are desperate.

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