PM Says Complaints About High Cost of Living Are Lies

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne today dismissed as “lies and deceptions,” concerns over the cost of living in Antigua and Barbuda.

Pointing to International Monetary Fund data, the prime minister told his budget speech that, the inflation rate in the ECCU increased only marginally from 1.8 per cent in 2017, to 2 per cent in 2018.

The same IMF report lists Antigua and Barbuda’s inflation rate in 2018 at 1.4 percent, according to Browne.

“In other words, we enjoy one of the lowest rates of inflation in the entire hemisphere,” he said.

Turning his attention to the price for gasoline, Browne quoted Central Bank figures indicating that the average price for a barrel of crude oil in 2015 and 2016 was less than US$50.00; in 2017 it was just under US$51.00.

By 2018, the average price per barrel of crude oil was 28 percent higher, at just over US$65.00. 

“Despite higher international oil prices, the prices of gasoline, diesel and LPG in our country have not increased.

“With regard to gasoline, the average price per gallon in the region is $13.95; the price in our country is $12.50,” Browne added.

The prime minister said gasoline prices is cheaper here than every other country in the ECCU and Barbados, with no exception.

“There can be no doubt that, even though the prices for commodities are set externally, our Government has kept a tight lid on inflation for the benefit of the nation.

Evidence of how our government intervened in the interest of the people, is the fact that revenue to the Treasury from Consumption Tax reduced by 16 per cent from $62.5 million in 2017 to $52.5 million in 2018.

Government absorbed that $10 million loss of revenue, resulting from higher international oil prices in 2018,” he told today’s budget.

He said the higher price was not passed-on to the people; government sacrificed the revenue, leaving it in the people’s pockets.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. I am speechless! Who feels it knows it. Does he remember that minimum wage is $8.25 and the average 1 bedroom apartment is $1000+ in Antigua?! Perhaps that’s another oversight. Baffling. SMH. Somebody please remind him.

  2. I might tend to agree with the above sentiments. But every pan that knock one can see droves of people flocking to these events. New hair style, nails, clothes, new shoes (Jordan etc). The cost of the tickets and drinks etc. 300 vip. The cost of attending one of these function is at least 500 dollars per individual. What’s that about the cost of living again.?

  3. The pm claiming that rising costs are lies because they are lower than other countries is like Calvin Burga saying I’m not a murderer because the vampire kill more people than him

    What kinda BS is that

    Tap befuddle neaga with graphs and big words like inflation cause we don’t know what they mean we just know that a tank of gas was two weeks now it’s only one and 50 dollars can only buy you two days worth of food while it used to last a week

    • You should only hope you had President Trump in charge ,paid 2.05 a gallon for fuel
      Lower Taxes we don’t need handouts, he’s the best thing to happen to the US In
      ten years, What you have is PM Obama wannabe

  4. Lies and deception huh?

    1. QUOTING IMF STATISTICS IS BULLSHIT, CAUSE WE ALL KNOW THEY ARE FLAWED AND ARE ONLY AN ESTIMATION BASED ON INCOMPLETE DATA.
    2. THE AVERAGE MAN DON’T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT IMF STATS. ALL WE KNOW IS $300 5 YEARS AGO BOUGHT WAY MORE GROCERIES THAN $300 BUYS TODAY.
    3. THE AVERAGE MAN DON’T GIVE A CRAP IF THE OPPOSITION SAYS THAT COST OF LIVING IS HIGH. ALL WE KNOW IS THAT OUR SALARIES ARE THE SAME AS THEY WERE 5 YEARS AGO AND PRICES HAVE GONE UP. NO IFS AND BUTS OR MAYBES. ASK ANY PARENT WHEN LAST SCHOOL FEE GO UP.

    GTFOH WITH THAT PUMPOUS ASS BULLSHIT YOU SPEWING

  5. @bread gone up to backside. without quoting imf statics it is facts that we operate on a fixed exchange . Inflation by definition is too much money chasing two few goods. Given that we operate on a fixed exchange rate and the mandate of the central bank is to maintain the current peg, the central bank do not practice monetary expansion . there is no sienorage in our economy . its part of what economist called the impossible trinity . That said in means that inflation rate will normally be low in the ECCU region. MOst of the inflation reported in the region is imported inflation from our major trading partner such as the united states which had a 1.9% inflation year on year for 2018. Also it is a given fact that when ever an economy is growing it would be reflected in a higher rate of inflation ( phillips curve anaysis ) and lower unemployment . . it is agrred that once there is inflation the cost of leaving is rising .however if we look at the cost of living relative to wage rate we would see that at least for the public the increase in norminal wages of 5 percent is higher than the inflation rate which implies that real wages is rising . most statutyiry bodies wages have increased via their collective barganing agreement . i am pretty sure most of their increases is higher than that of the inflation rate .same could be said of the hotel sector and other private sector. so generally persons are better of today than last year.

    • Very Interesting comment. You asked me a few days ago for my take on the 10%? With anything like this consultations are needed with stake holders. Not really concerned about the buy in of the foreign telcoms, because they are truly pirates. My concern lies with Insurance companies. We (the budget)speaks about the need/aim for resilience when it comes to natural disasters. Much of that must include affordable insurance. Does anyone doubt the cost of insurance for natural disaster has reached the point of being un-affordable for too many? We need policies to help change that. I fear the insurance companies upping premiums in reaction to to this tax. There is also the possibility as an expert reminded of them simply moving elsewhere to escape the tax, yet still continue business here (treaty). We need their buy in. Some kind of fund needs to be setup, via possibly a grant which in aimed at lowering insurance premiums by providing a guarantee to home owners. The mechanism would then allow home owners to have a higher deductible hence a lower premium.

      As far as the Banks, I don’t see this as an issue for them. The more important thing for them is that we put pressure on ECCB to get the credit bureau going. With this in place, it would reduce risk and result in bigger profits for banks. The upside for all impacted by the 10% is a more educated populace which then most likely means better incomes for all

  6. A whole lot a dunce in ya man..a r u lub debate because a politics..a ru jus nab lub de man? .because what the man is saying is that’s how you judge economic growth dummy. Commodities price falls on consumers affair who is in charge of the that check that.oil price it what determine inflation.Thats why the great America is in constant fight in the middle East. Lock are you mouth and go PIC UP ONE BOOK.AND LISTEN WHEN PEOPLE WITH SENSE ATALK.

    • You are not getting it. It has nothing to do with liking the man or not. You only need to get out there and see the reality some people have to deal with to understand. Some families truly cannot afford the basics like three healthy meals per day. Politicians are deatached from reality most of the times. They get free or subsidized utilities, duty free access to goods at the port and other perks that most average people do not get. Add an above average salary to that ; it’s easy for them to miss the boat on the reality that is living in Antigua. The PM’s statements are purely political and insensitive in my opinion.

  7. Comment: Who feels it knows it. Cost of living IS high. Denying that would be insulting everyone’s intelligence.

  8. Gaston Clown, ebrything you say is a damn bareface lie. I wish your tonge would hang out to one side of you mouth & never go bk in. I dare you to show A&Bdans all the IMF reports for the time ABLP is in power. I dare you. You lie, you lie, you lie. Only because you lie to yr base & the jackasses in yr party believe you. Cheapest gas & propane, lie again & again. Thought Max “Lie again”Hurst was the biggest lier in yr party, but you put Max Lie Again, to shame. I wish smoke would come out the side of yr mouth & nose when you utter such lie to the people constantly & with such lying vigor. You not afraid yr young son hear you lying lk that?

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