Observer Newspaper misleading public about PM Browne’s remarks

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The Director of Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister, Maurice Merchant, rejects a misleading story carried in the Observer newspaper, concerning remarks made by Prime Minister Gaston Browne about salary increases for parliamentarians and public servants.

In its January 11 edition, The Daily Observer carries a story, that Prime Minister Browne is contemplating a pay increase for parliamentarians, including ministers of the government.

Mr. Merchant points out that the Prime Minister said the exact opposite of the inference in the Daily Observer story.

The Director of Communications emphasised that, indeed, “the Prime Minister’s exact words were as follows: “Many of my ministers since last term would have said to me that at some point we have to review parliamentary pay”.    The Prime Minister was clear when he continued by saying: “I don’t know when that will be. Clearly, we cannot do it now because of the COVID situation and so on”.

Mr.  Merchant said, “The words spoken by the Prime Minister can be heard on the website of Antigua Newsroom where it was posted by that Internet news portal’.

“It is most unfortunate and misleading reporting by the Observer newspaper to omit from its story, the pellucid statement by the Prime Minister that no consideration can be given to an increase in pay for parliamentarians at this time or at any time in the foreseeable future”, Mr.  Merchant declared.

In the interest of fair reporting and acceptable standards of journalism, the Observer Newspaper should consider correcting its misleading article, by highlighting the Prime Minister’s words, rejecting an increase in pay for parliamentarians given the adverse impact of COVID-19 on government finances.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. That is the Observer signature style. No wonder Mickel Brann et al had to run leave them. They are the SELF-PROCLAIMED “only independent media” in Antigua, but everyone knows that is not true. They are biased, have an axe to grind and vehemently anti-ABLP!!! They cut and paste and omit what doesn’t suit their agenda.

  2. The EDITOR of the Daily Observer is UPP CANDIDATE, Algernon “Serpent” Watts!

    Here is some advice given to Observer in 2020 from one of its former editors:

    “Immediately, a clear and concise statement from Serpent indicating he is an owner and programme host, but he will be REMOVED FROM PROGRAMMING AND NEWSROOM DECISIONS, and BE SEEN TO BE REMOVED from these programming decisions, should happen. And then he should let his word be his bond.

    “The Daily Observer itself NEEDS AN EDITORIAL STATEMENT and they need to recommit to fair and balanced news process and they need to be seen to be doing that regardless of where the owner sits and what their editorial i.e. their opinion is,” Brann added.

    https://antiguanewsroom.com/why-serpents-entry-into-politics-is-a-big-deal/

    Will they take the advice of their former Editor?

  3. ANTIGUA NEWS ROOM: On January 9 th your headline did read: PM says Members of Cabinet have made request for higher Pay.Why Gaston’s bag carrier Merchant did not refute that headline? That same Merchant was a bag carrier for the former UPP Prime Minister. Spineless,balls-less,men of straw in Antigua.

    • Hey “RAT”, be thankful for the clarification. That is so balls-less of you. Just stick with
      the facts. Thank you “RAT” for reading this. Chuups.

  4. CHUPZ CHUPZ. YOU THINK WE STUPID EVEN FOR HIM AND HIS PARLIAMENTARIANS TO BE THINKING ABOUT IT IS HEARTLESS
    SO KNOW MATTER WHAT WORDS HE USED WE GOT THE DRIFT.
    SO OBSERVER DON’T HAVE TO CORRECT NOTHING .

    • Yeah the Derricks had a vendetta with LB, which is their choice, but stop peddling the lie that Observer is even minutely independent.

    • Go listen for yourself what he said on Pointe FM on SATURDAY LAST. It is on his Facebook page.
      Let me ask you. Why did he mention it and even compared Antiguan politicians salaries to other Caribbean countries. Wait and see what he does because he plans to fo it.

  5. DID ALL OF YOU GASTONITES LISTENED TO HIM ON SATURDAY? IF NOT,LISTEN TO HIM IN THIS MEDIUM SPEAKING ABOUT THOSE WHO ASK FOR INCREASES IN SALARIES,CABINET MEMBERS.GREEDY BASTARDS AND B–CHES.

  6. Maurice you come out of the hole you have been hiding in for months? The people who you have been hiding from, when they try to contact you for the scholarship stipend is still waiting to hear from you

  7. What did Observer report that was wrong or opposite to what was said?!

    After u outline what Minister’s in other islands were receiving n talk about they work very hard, what’s the issue here????

    Leave Observer alone n give public servants their increase! If they can survive on $1200 monthly paying rent, utilities, food n bud fare…. Why is 10,000 so hard for them plus perks?

    U said the country is making billions yearly so use it to fund social programs for the people including raise pension payments n give unemployed benefits.

  8. The Daily Observer is published in St. John’s by ALGERNON WATTS who resides at Mount Joy. The Editor is Gemma Handywho resides at Bolans Village, St. Mary’s Parish, Antigua. Contact: 156, Redcliffe Street, ABI Financial Building, 4th floor,St John’s, Antigua, W

  9. Let me ask, why did Gaston mention this in the first place? He should just tell the parliamentarians that it was not the right time. I guess the backlash embarrassing him, if he knows what embarrassment is.

    • He did say that it is not the right time because we are in a pandemic. Go back and LISTEN to the entire thing, not just the part that Observer pick and choose.

      • Why didn’t he tell it privately to Cabinet and not report it on his radio station? He wants an increase. This man knows how to cast a fish Line to see what he catches.

      • Gaston not going to put through No increase now because of the blow back he got from Antiguans, especially the civil servants. He knows they are a large portion of the population. They wouldn’t vote for him. Wait until he wins the election and see what he does.

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