Opposition Leader Pringle’s Response To Prime Minister’s Invitation To ERC Is Still ‘No’

Opposition Leader Jamal Pringle

Having received an official invitation to join the Economic Recovery Committee established by the Cabinet of Antigua & Barbuda, the Hon. Jamale Pringle reiterates his position that he will not participate as a member.

This decision by the Leader of the Opposition is strongly supported by the Executive and Membership of the United Progressive Party (UPP).

The letter of invitation, dated April 24, 2020, and signed by Prime Minister Gaston Browne, was received electronically during the evening of April 25.

Just prior to that, the Prime Minister was on the airwaves castigating the UPP– of which MP Pringle is the Deputy Political Leader – and members of its leadership, as is his practice.

Prior to that display, and after, the Prime Minister again took to social media to make not only disrespectful and disparaging remarks about the UPP, but posted a gross untruth about fundraising for this Party.

Since the Prime Minister is also the Chairman of the Committee on which he has belatedly invited MP Pringle to serve, there can be no expectation of respect, honesty or good faith on his part.

Further, MP Pringle maintains that the institution he represents has not been accorded the respect shown to the six organizations named to the ERC, and that he will not allow himself to be used to discredit the UPP.

Meanwhile, given the new developments brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UPP is currently engaged in updating its Plans, shared with the Cabinet in March, to make them more relevant to the worsened economic situation.

As promised in the Party’s statement of April 24, these Plans will be shared in the coming weeks, with the public invited to give feedback and share their ideas.

On Wednesday, April 29, MP Pringle will speak, in greater detail, on the decisions he has made and how the Party will proceed. His presentation will be made via social media.

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  1. Mr PM please withdraw the invitation from Mr Pringle and give it to Trevor Walker.

    This way you have an opposition on board and Barbuda will be represented as well.

    This will make good sense.

    • Gaston is just using the ERC as a smoke screen.
      .. a reset to cover for the fact that he has done almost nothing since the last multi-partisan meeting.

      UPP already presented comprehensive recommendations and Lying Gaston said they were all already under consideration and in the pipeline.

      That was since 18th March. Where is all the promised relief and stimulus?

      Now that he bluffed the people once, why should the UPP rep go to another Gaston-summoned joke session.

      From Harold Lovell’s Facebook:

      Many have raised questions about how the UPP would have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below for your review are just some of our proposals that were presented to the ABLP administration at a multi-stakeholder meeting held on March 18th.
      At the time, PM Browne indicated that the vast majority of these proposals were “already under consideration.”

      To date, the UPP has not been officially invited to be a part of the Economic Recovery Committee meeting slated for April 27th. Although the Leader of the Opposition Hon Jamale Pringle finds it highly disrespectful, he has committed to channeling his efforts into promoting the Party’s proposals for economic recovery directly to the People.

      The UPP is mindful of the need for collaborative planning to deal with the economic ravages of COVID-19. We will continue to offer support, while critically assessing the Government in its management of this crisis.


      Economic Measures

      1. Temporary ABST relief on goods and services essential for COVID- 19 Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), defense and mitigation, which are not currently ABST exempt.

      2. Enforce price control on goods and services essential for COVID- 19 Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), defense and mitigation, which are not currently subject to price control.

      3. Delay the implementation of planned new taxes and increased tax collection regimes in the 2020 budget, especially those that will impact the spending power of individuals and businesses.

      4. Expand the Peoples Benefit Programme to cover persons outside the social safety net, whose economic state seriously compromises their ability to practice Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures.

      5. Introduce a programme of unemployment relief to assist those persons impacted by a COVID-19 stimulated downturn in business

      6. Encourage banks and other financial institutions to adopt a proactive approach with respect to payments of loans, mortgages and credit cards bills, based on circumstances within their client portfolios, through Call or Contact Programmes.

      7. Design and implement tax concession packages and grant relief or deferral on particular taxes, for local businesses.

      8. Roll back of work permit and renewal fees to ease financial pressure on employees and employers alike.

      9. Remove ABST from telecommunications services to incentivise and motivate “precautionary self-isolation” to reduce community transmission risks.

      10. Suspend all utility disconnections by APUA for unemployed persons.

      11. Provide an emergency credit guarantee programme with local financial institutions to support local businesses.

      12. Encourage a flexible vacation leave regime among public and private sector employers.

      13. Relax agriculture land rent collections to incentivize food production.

      14. Facilitate agriculture input suppliers to import and maintain adequate supplies in advance of cessation of ship arrivals.

      Social Measures

      1. Immediate evaluation of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practices at elder care facilities and implementation of strict Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guidelines, provided to all through customized educational campaigns.

      2. Mandatory enforcement of health & safety and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practices for all sanitation and janitorial workers in public and private sectors. Evaluate the knowledge levels and ensure implementation through customized educational campaigns.

      3. Provide Daily updates at a designated time on local aspects of COVID-19 and the latest available information and advice from WHO, PAHO and CARPHA.

      4. Encourage public and private sector employers to exercise flexible vacation leave regimes to facilitate any required COVID-19 social distancing.

      National Response Mechanism

      1. Implement a COVID-19 Training Workshop for Media Workers immediately, aimed at improving COVID-19 Media Coverage, to reduce mis-information and dis-information.

      2. Develop and make public a COVID-19 National Response Budget and Work Programme detailing the national implementation actions and the budget allocations.

      3. Prepare a cross sectoral inventory of personnel and skills available to combat the Community transmission of COVID-19 and co-opt non-Public Sector medical and clinical personnel, and technically trained persons in allied or related areas to be part of the National Emergency Response Team. Recruit and utilize local personnel. NB. The COVID-19 defense and mitigation response cannot be managed by Public Service employees only. The process requires more personnel.

      4. Develop a detailed, functional and comprehensive Port Screening and Arriving Passenger Handling Protocol and Procedure, and implement it with adequate staffing. The protocol should include a comprehensive questionnaire, with trained scrutineers posted to all ports at all arrival times.

      5. Implement immediately rigorous screening for all arriving passengers into Antigua and Barbuda. Every traveler must provide proof of being thoroughly screened or negative tested, dependent on travel history, or work or lifestyle exposure risk. Outline how un-screened persons will be handled, etc. such as immediate denial of entry or quarantine only or quarantine and isolation.

      6. Advise the Governments of UK, USA, Canada and other major visitor source markets, airline companies and ports of departure of the pre-departure screening requirements for travelers to Antigua and Barbuda.

      7. Establish the various demographic subgroupings in the country, e.g. youth, elderly, shut-in, etc. and develop discrete public education programmes, not only public awareness for these various groupings.

      8. Scrutinize the cleanliness of potable water trucks. Some trucks use Country Pond for pavement cleaning, etc. Such trucks should not be allowed to carry potable water unless subjected to scrupulous sanitizing and disinfections by CBH personnel.

      9. Daily disinfection of the city streets, pavements, drains, gutters, and its widest suburban environs must be implemented immediately.

      10. Public health institutions such as MSJMC and Community clinics must be equipped with water, soap, paper towel, hand washing stations, gloves, masks, toilet paper, etc. such that staff and clients can practice the highest standards of IPC at all times.

  2. Just being curious…. How/What will sharing the UPP’s plans on social media do to improve our situation in the country?

    Mr. Pringle your mandate is to represent the people, not Mr. Lovell’s ego.

  3. The Leader of the Opposition has made a serious mistake, a blunder that will cost him dearly in the eyes of the Nation. Politically, it was one of the dumbest moves I’ve seen for years. Now is not the time to play politics. We’re in times of life and death. People are falling like flies. Everyone must pull together. This is a state of emergency. Stop the party politics. The People have a long memory.

    • The UPP have made the best decision ever to stay as far as possible from the parasites in the ALP. Good job UPP social distancing is key.

      • Mrs.Knight

        You’re such a divider.You cannot see as far as you nose on your face.You also DO NOT care about Antiguans / Barbudans. You are just your BIG BIG mouth on the Snake Pit.You keep on giving BAD advice. You are not and will never run for office.Your advice can only hurt Jamal Pringle. You Guys are sorry that Jamal won the election. Now you are destroying Jamal as you are doing to Observer Media.Mrs.Knight you’re AWFUL.

        • Mr Knight don’t give a 💩 about Antigua and Barbuda. He has his American passport and he done say America don’t acknowledge dual citizens. He just salty that Trump nah send he stimulus cheque yet.

          • The question is, did he file his taxes in the USA to report of all his income in Antigua? If not, then he will not receive a stimulus check unless he register online. But who knows…!?!?!? May be the red flag will pop up if only he log on to the system and enter his name.

    • The Church(ACC) needs to come up all those billions of dollars, which they can’t take to heaven, and fund the Nations Recovery Package; then, their lord and jesus, would’ve saved Us. Don’t you think?

    • He so DESPERATELY needs it. Grammar, Comprehension, Subject-Verb Agreement etc. It’s back to primary school for him

  4. You are damn right, my friend Mr Pringle/ I agree with you – Me nar mingle/ Your presentations have, to date, been unstable/You have nothing to bring to this Table!

  5. As a Person living in the Constituency of ALL SAINTS and St. Lukes I am appealing to Hon. Jamal Pringle to attend the meeting. Do not follow Harold Lovell , D.Gisel Isaac , Serpent , Knight ,Tabor and the Others. You are representing Antiguans and Barbudans and by extension Your Constituency . Please take the Politics out of this. You won the only seat for the UPP by 10 votes. I do not like what I am hearing in the Constituency . Kindly attend the FORUM. All you so called Advisors DO NOT have anything to lose. Please guided accordingly.

  6. Mr. Patrick April 25, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    To my UPP People. Please take my advice and Do not follow Knight , Serpent , Tabor and others. I believe that Jamal Pringle should attend the Economic meeting. We should not be playing small politics and look after the interests of the People . This attitude can only hurt the UPP . We always fall for Gaston Browne bait. Please have a change of heart and make your presence be felt. Thank you.


  7. I really thought Pringle was for the people.

    1. Are these the same people you want to re-elect you come next election?
    2. Isn’t the slogan for the UPP “ PEOPLE FIRST “?
    3. What has the UPP done in any positive way to help Antiguan and Barbuda so far from COVID -19 touch our shores.
    It’s time we think about country and not party.

  8. What a bad decision by Jamal Pringle and UPP. It is a burning shame . Jamal We in ALL SAINTS EAST and SAINTS LUKES will remember you on the next election. Only 10 votes why you are in Parliament. There were 20 spoil ballots . Please re consider your decision. Do not follow those People in the UPP. The UPP Do not care about you. UPP Not happy that you won the election. Take proper advice.

  9. Put forth your plans??? I am confused, You were invited by the Government to be a part of the committee- u you took the decision not to accept. Just what plans are your party putting forward, and how will they be implemented- a little reminder – You are in opposition. You declined to be a part of the process along with those who has the final say, so Buddy, on this matter, it’s the end of the road for you and the UPP, this is not a political campaign, get real

  10. Pringle has the makings of a good political leader, now is just the time to learn, Country First and Politics after.

  11. All you nayseyers and hater’s of the UPP.
    Do you think that the Democrats should not work the President of the USA? Your decision is nonsensical and show you are not fit to represent anyone.

  12. Why would the PM and his supporters want Pringle to attend the ERC?
    You folks done say Pringle can’t talk, can’t spell can’t etc,etc. Why would you folks want him to attend when you think he has nothing to contribute? Seems you only want him to attend so Gaston can humiliate him.
    Frankly, I would stay from any committee Gaston and his ministers are chairing. If the PM really wants constructive input, you put together a small team, including accountants, economists and finance specialist. A group of people with no knowledge of finance or world dynamics, each putting forth their opinion is a waste of time and will contribute nothing towards helping the crisis.

  13. That’s the problem I have with them politicians…It’s Party before country…Mr. Pringle is not representing the U.P.P but the people of all Saints East and St. Luke…I want to know his constituents agree with him… when them go parliament…there is no consultation what’s so ever with the people but with the party… im tired of the opposing for a opposing sake..

  14. Pringle, take your place at the table as a full member of the committee. None of your so-called exevcutibe was invited, but YOU were. YOU, sir were invited by Her Majesty’s Government5 as THE Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Now get to the table. This is not optional.

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