PM announces debt write-off for people who owe for electricity

Prime Minister Gaston Browne

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has told today’s Budget Speech that homeowners owe APUA for electricity will have their debts wiped off.

Browne says the programme will apply to those who as of December 2017 had no electricity due to an inability to pay.

The amnesty will last for three months beginning February 14 and applies to people disconnected for 90 days or more.

In making the announcement Browne said, “my government is a caring government.”

People wishing to be reconnected would first have to pay a reconnection fee.

This is the second time in three years that such a programme is being offered under the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party administration.

In 2015 869 electricity consumers had their debts written off.



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  1. Man ……this is just crazy. APUA is always crying about not having money and this nonsense is what they do? What about those of us who do what we are supposed to do and function within this wicked system? What is our reward? Don’t they know it’s stressful for us as well , keeping our heads above water???

    Boy , politicians make me sick.

    • I was just about to argue this exact point. How you’re writing of these debts and APUA is constantly bawling that they have no money? In order to have a street light installed, or a bulb replaced APUA tell you that you’ve got to purchase the hardware, bring it to them, and THEN they’ll install.

      I pay my taxes, and do my part, why the hell shoujd I have to dig further into my pocket to obtain a service that my taxes should be covering? It is hurtful, and very disrespectful to those citizens who abide and pay to come up with this ignorance.

      So these people don’t pay their bills, and they got disconnected. what is there to say that it won’t happen again and they have to be disconnected?

      Look man, we need to run our Government institutions as a BUSINESS. This is NOT welfare!

      I’m hoping this is the last.

      Some may blast me and say what if I was in this situation. Hear this, We have a responsibility to nation building. You should not live above your means. If you want electricity, and things tight, then sit down, and make a budget, consider what you’ll cut in order to ensure that your household is running well. It’s about sacrifices.

      Come on!! Lets do the right thing and stop these foolish political games with the nation’s money.

      • @ Wadadli Man- Are you really serious with your comment? Live above means?? Really? Do you realize that people who makes a decent salary sometimes cannot meet all their demands on a monthly basis? You people really need to get practical. Governments are responsible for the welfare of the poor and indigent in any society,so yes Its Welfare to them and its the right thing to do..

    • Poor people na fu get nothing talk bout Sandals please saying THANKS to the world Boss on the behalf of the POOR PEOPLE. I pain in full and got my 10%

    • My sentiments exactly. What is our reward for struggling but still paying our bills so we are not disconnected? Why are these people constantly getting rewarded for their electricity getting disconnected? Just unfair and unjust b.s.
      Then APUA crying likkle more and rise the prices for our bills.

      • Has nothing to do with you struggling to pay your bills,The people NA HA NO MONEY FU PAY WHA YOU WAN THEM FU DO? Are u to dam wicked and bad minded. Tek DAT IN YOUR NENEN.

        • So true talking about living within means how much ppl living within their means and their paycheck cant even get them their basic needs? Yes….that includes electricity. What about parents who children currently doing homework by candle light. If you do your part and pay your bills on time kudos to you but the duty of the government is to make sure its citizens hv access to basic needs…chups allu badminded ppl sicken me now

  2. Boo hook if media houses and hotels can owe people Millions and still be operational why the hell can’t poor people get light
    Why don’t y’all make noise at a certain media house that owes or 1 million dollars and still on air

  3. I would only imagine the rationale is to generate potential cash inflow. One would need to look at the business principal here though unfair to other consumers who have committed to paying there bills on time. Dead receivables cant fix roads and pay salaries.

    Because the government operates on a cash basis and not accrual basis. The notion of having 869 persons disconnected from the grid reduces your future revenue.

    However there is a business risk that again after two months some of these customers or new customers will face disconnection.

    I believe though there should be more than the 10% incentive for persons who commit to making payment on time.

    • There is no guarantee that the same people won’t end up back on this list a year from now. Nothing says that the government will make one extra cent from doing this. It is a political gimmick.

      Some of the same people crying about paying their electricity bill will be at all the fetes for the carnival and will pay for costumes for the season. There are no free rides in life. Politicians just make you believe that leading up to elections.

  4. Electricity & Water are Social Essential needs. There are people among us who sincerely cannot pay their bills,its a choice between paying and staying hungry. It is the duty of any Government to assist the most vulnerable in society.if they could pay they would pay.Since when you’ll have all that compassion for APUA? Nothing but a bunch of hypocritical IDIOTS. Having said that,it is my view that the government should look into doing a means test and perhaps eliminating the very poor and needy from been cut off in the first place-when the write-off is done ,what are the chances it will not happen again? Better to put things in place that it does not occur at all.The means test can be done periodically to make sure its not abused.

    • JH I totally agree with your views and for those who are making all this noise calling the pm crazy they don’t give a damn about these less fortunate families

        • You people special I’m sure if the write off was for some big company y’all won’t be cursing
          Bet you if it was sandals the write off for the pm won’t be crazy
          Black people really don’t love black people

    • JH you really needs a means test for something so clear? Who you know that can afford to pay their bill, who would be disconnected for at least 90 days? I myself can’t even go for a day without such, how long can you go without it before even if you broke, you go and beg someone for the $?

      • @Tenman-Understand you clearly,i am of the exact sentiments as you,if someone can afford to pay their bill it will not be off for even a wk.. My suggestion for a means test was looking ahead in general-a means test would allow the government to determine the real vulnerable households and come up with solutions to assist them holistically,put things in place that they should not be disconnected at least until they exceed a particular amount..If they cannot pay they simply cannot pay,and since utilities incur a monthly charge,its only a matter of time before they will be disconnected again..

  5. You know you all attempt to make Gaston look like the hi bad wolf 🐺 Come to blow down the three little pigs 🐷 🐷 🐷 house.
    When In actuality he’s giving them an opportunity to to flourish in spite of the circumstance they might find themselves in are we so dense? As a nation.
    So as to not see this…

  6. ok….please give me a break .. there is nothing wrong with the world boss helping his people

    thats the role of a leader to lookout for his people

    Electricity & Water are Social Essential needs. There are people among us who sincerely cannot pay their bills,its a choice between paying and staying hungry.

    apua charging some much for water.

  7. Aru just f…ing badminded
    If it min be f….ing observer the write off fa aru f….ing r…. won’t dey ah cuss and call de pm crazy

  8. What a wonderful world we living in. Eat all you wish, drink all you can for as long as you can and don’t worry about your bill. The pm got it covered. You do know a debt is being made and you will have to pay eventually maybe at trice to amount. Oh can I get one of those new house and commence payment in three years time? Just asking.

  9. there is nothing wrong with clearing a dept for individuals who sincerely was in a tough spot and couldn’t pay their bills, but what about those whose bills got disconnected due to negligence on their behalf? it would be unfair for some individuals to sacrifice certain things to pay their bills while others spend carelessly on unimportant items only to now receive a handout. something like this needs to be done in such a way to truly benefit those in need and not the careless spender, but who is to make such a decision?

    • Reader-You have to be in real need to have your utilities disconnected for over 90 days.It says you are definitely unable to pay.. Someone who simply over spend and fall in arrears will be able to re-connect before 90days has passed,dont you think?

  10. This same election gimmick was used in 2014 and worked, so they brought it back again. If you don’t pay your APUA bill for 2 months you get cut off immediately. So it is unlikely that people would have accumulated large arrears anymore. It is a big announcement that won’t mean anything for a lot of people. If you have months of arrears and can’t pay your electricity bill, you probably need a job or better wages. More than likely, you will be back in the same situation by Carnival.

  11. All who cursing and saying that this is an election gimmick I guess they don’t know what it is like to sleep 2 years in darkness cause u have to make that tough choice of APUA or food
    Its not easy so if the PM decided to give people in these types of situation a break what the HELL is the problem. It is just poor selfishness and envy in some of your hearts why there are these types of comments saying the PM crazy. If some of you were ever in that position maybe you change your tone.

    • So what you’re saying here is that the economy is not doing so well at least for you so it’s a choice between food or electricity? Are you unemployed? Are you semi-employed? If your wage is not sufficient why not get a second job? Did you forget to use the APUA product responsibly so that it does not get beyond your pocket? The problem here is that many will put themselves in certain position then cry for relief or I should say expect relief. Many would act irresponsibly then say please help. Does the government have outstanding bliss/debts? Does APUA have outstanding debts? What will be the effect in a few months? Will Antiguans and Barbudans be called to tightened their belts in a year or two. Will more taxes be put in place to recover the loss. Laugh now, cry later!

  12. Some ppl have it real hard an i see my country is full of ppl tht are asses. Cost of living is high an they may not be able to pay their bills on time things do happen in life he is giving them an opportunity to make it right its up to them to do so i wish them all the best on tht

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