Trinidad budgets for Clico/Baico debt after threats by Antigua

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Prime Minister Keith Rowley and Prime Minister Gaston Browne

TRINIDAD AND TOGAGO GUARDIAN Gail Alexander

Budget 2023 documents which deal with charges on account of the public debt include estimates of funds for the Clico/British American Insurance Company (Trinidad Ltd BAT) debt which T&T owes.

How the recently spotlighted issue is being handled may be among the items to arise in the upcoming Budget debate.

This continues from 10 am tomorrow with the Opposition Leader’s reply.

In July, Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne called on T&T to pay up US$60 million owed on the Clico/BAT liability or risk being sued by Eastern Caribbean countries.

He said the T&T Government had promised to pay a settlement of $100 million but only paid $40 million. Browne said T&T Government was written to on the issue twice–minus response– and a third letter was to be sent. If T&T continued to treat the matter with contempt, there would be no choice but to sue, he’d added

After claims from “sources” in T&T of “no record of any such correspondence sent to them,” Browne, in August, publicly doubled down on his position that T&T is liable to policyholders in Antigua, following the 2009 Clico/BAT collapse and he insisted he’d again written T&T’s Government on the matter.

The Clico/BAT issue is mentioned in the 2023 Draft Estimates of Expenditure and Details of Recurrent Expenditure.

The documents include the lengthy list of entities which Government owes for loans, payments and other items within the scope of the public debt.

Items span a range including funding, bonds and payment for vessels, including ferries equipment, services, facilities (including 990m yuan on the Couva Children’s Hospital) and more.

The Clico/BAT issue is listed under the Finance Ministry. It’s stated as “TT$10.4 billion Clico/BAT 10.7 per cent Zero Coupon Bond (2012-2031).”

The document states an actual figure of $475.408 million listed for 2021, $475,000 million under 2022 estimates, $469,338 million under 2022 revised estimates and $476,000 million under the 2023 estimate. The document also cited an increase of $6.662 million.

UNC finance spokesman Dave Tancoo and other UNC MPs said they’re watching Government’s performance and handling of debts, loans and other issues “which landed T&T in the situation we’re in.”

MP Rushton Paray (trade spokesman), at Tuesday’s Budget discussion moderated by UNC’s Dinesh Rambally, said, ”The Budget was a cut and paste exercise. Nothing the Finance Minister has done in the last seven Budgets has put T&T in forward trajectory.

“We needed a budget that would have spoken to critical issues: massive joblessness; high cost of living; collapse of small and medium enterprises; lack of investment in the non-energy sector; and runaway crime. None were addressed in a philosophical manner which would give hope to the population.”

UNC deputy leader Jearlean John said she was struck by the lack of diversification in the budget.

She said, “Government appears very cynical and arrogant. But we have to be very concerned about job creation. It was hoped the construction sector would be incentivised which would also boost the circular flow of income so money can be spent in the local economy.”

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32 COMMENTS

  1. hmm, recall the naysayers here attacking the Antiguan PM . One calling himself Brixtonian called the A&B PM ghetto (August 23, 2022 At 5:09 pm). Others said Trinidad will ignore because GB is a figurative paper tiger (my term). As usual they are all proven wrong. A pity none of them can rise above self and put A&B first (GB gets things done). Their hatred for GB blinds them to the suffering of their Antiguan brethren whose savings was allegedly stolen by those running BAICO/CLICO

    • Hey boss, if you are going to quote me please get it right.

      I have never called Gaston Browne “Ghetto? My comments about him always relate to his broken promises and his lack of diplomacy when dealing with political opponents.

      Ghetto is not used in my vast vocabulary …

      • @Brixtonian I understand your amnesia or convenient memory loss (I gather you will now argue the hood in the context you used it, differs from the ghetto) Stop play wrong and strong:

        Brixtonian August 23, 2022 At 5:09 pm

        Acting like you are from the hood cuts no ice with our Caribbean brethren and sistas; all it shows is that you only know a certain way to behave towards them. Embarrassing boss!

        • How in the hell does “HOOD” sound like “GHETTO”?

          GO BACK TO SCHOOL NAH MAN!

          You generational ABLP supporters are hilarious so till 🤣🤣🤣 mi rib ah hurt mi 🤣🤣🤣 mercy mi …

          No wonder you guys continue to support the duplicitous Gaston” Self-Enrichment” Browne – you haven’t got a clue 😳

        • Hi Mr. Ms. Mrs. Doubtful, Gender Neutral…🆘the funny thing is, I could give a rats ass about Lovell. They all the same. They fart all of you inhale, then wait for the next election cycle to exhale.
          They shit, and you all open your mouth like Westons Pit Latrine to get a mouthful!

  2. That is the result of our PM’s fight, which Harold Lovell condemns saying he was too confrontational. Well, it has always bore fruits. Just look at his track record.
    Best PM in the Caribbean.

  3. Why you all don’t stop you all Bull shit 🐕 it has nothing to do with GB the matter is set for the Caribbean Court of Appeal on1&2 of November

    • @ U & I
      EXACTLY.

      This fight with BAICO has nothing to do with Gaston. It was started long before he got involved and just jumped on the band wagon to give the impression that he is fighting for the ‘poor man’
      Y’all jumping the gun as if a settlement has been reached and even then, it has nothing to do with him. I KNOW BECAUSE I AM ONE OF THE POLICY HOLDERS.

  4. Big up to GB? What a joke. The folks involved already had this thing in court long before he jumped on the bandwagon. When challenged, he said that the litigants “asked him to join in the cause.” His lies are beyond counting yet he never stops. The renowned playbook is not going to work anymore. This government has collected and borrowed over 10 billion in 8 years, yet Antigua has never been so filthy, poverty stricken and backwards. The handwriting is on the wall.

    • You’re being unfair. When governments sue governments, it looks bad on their financial statements, especially when they are seeking loans from lending agencies. The case that the litigants filed would not have been responded to so quickly, had it not been for the intervention of the head of government. If you recall, the PM of T&T claimed that he was not in receipt of first two letters from the Antiguan PM. When he was called out publicly, he he received the third letter and he acted swiftly. “Force mek wartah goo up hill.”

      • @Dave Ray- These guys need to start separating partisan grievances from what’s best for A&B. Gaston Browne in this was not only speaker for A&B but the ECCU region. He has been given, by his collogues, the position as head of sub-committee on insurance. Clearly his colleagues know he delivers hence his skills would be needed for this longstanding issue

  5. Despite his misgivings, the PM of Antigua and Barbuda is rather audacious in his approach to fighting for our country. He approached Harvard, Scotia Bank, IMF, The Stewart’s entity, Sandals Brand, T&T government re: Clico/Baico debt, The Barbudans detractors, Mary, the Dominican Entrepreneur, UWI Five Islands campus, all in the name of getting things done.
    I even remembered when he offered Prince Harry a chance to honeymoon in Antigua after he proposes to and marries Megan.
    He got called names for all of the above. He came out ahead on all of the aforementioned.
    We lead a strong leader in times like these. I applaud his fearlessness.
    .
    Not always in agreement with his outbursts but he get things done.

    • Dave Ray, this man’s shit must taste like Pepperpot to you!
      Whoa! You should make an effigy of Gaston Browne, parade it around St. John’s like a jesus christ superstar, all day every day.

      I’m quite sure that he’s paid handsomely in more ways than one to be in the position he’s in.

      Society has an affinity with Serial Killers, Gangsters/Mobsters, Pirates and crooks in general. I wonder which category your Jesus Christ superstar falls into. Halloween is close by and Freddy Crugar is on the prowl.

      I can see why many bloggers try to force your shit coming out your colon in the opposite direction.

      Hmmmmnnnn

      • Your casting aspersions on another person’s life simply becaise he sees things from a different viewpoint is saddening. Making hateful statements speaks very poor of your character. But I soldier on…

    • @Dave Ray. You are 100% spot on! harold loveLIE and his earthworms can criticize GASTON BROWNE, but they cant keep him down! He doesn’t bluff and shy away from beng DECISIVE and SERVING THE INTEREST OF HIS COUNTRY! Dave Ray, the blessed PM Browne is clearlly motivated by SERVING OTHERS. It is certainly the driving force for his PERISTENCE in the face of all the empty vessels.

      HIP HIP HIP for GASTON BROWNE!

      • Hmmmmmmm September 30, 2022 At 12:51 pm, we already know that many of those “earthworms” when Harold as is his nature turns on them, will come running to GB (labour) with their sad tale. Like lost sheep they will be welcomed. However, their mistake will always stay with them, and hopefully be a growing experience

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwtQSNEOivk

  6. Big up to the HON. GASTON BROWNE a true FIGHTER for Antigua and Barbuda. He nah play when it comes to his people.

    Stand up to SCOTIABANK
    Stand up to T&T

    🇦🇬 🇦🇬 🇦🇬 🇦🇬 🇦🇬 🇦🇬 🇦🇬 🇦🇬 🇦🇬 🇦🇬 🇦🇬 🇦🇬 🇦🇬

    • @ SHERFIELD…………….BARTHLEY

      YOU ARE CORRECT, HE NAH PLAY WHEN IT COMES TO HIS PEOPLE, SO MUCH SO THAT HE TEAR-GAS(TON) THEM AND DEM CHILDREN….WHAT A WICKED CRUEL AND HEARLESS MAN….POWER RULES THE WORLD TODAY: POWER CORRUPTS THEY SAY, AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS YOU, ABSOLUTELY.
      HE WILL PAY AT THE BALLOT BOX FOR TERRORIZING AND TEAR GASSING CHILDREN, THE ELDERLY AND THE YOUTH.
      GET RID A DEM

  7. King Lyadd Lovell Limpy Joe the whimp would have COWERED to T&T. Just like he did to Butch Stewart. And like how he would have with Scotiabank

  8. “Although the Scotiabank intention is to sell 100 per cent of its assets in nine jurisdictions to a single entity out of Trinidad, Antigua and Barbuda’s Cabinet has INSISTED that it will not sign a required vesting order UNLESS a similar offer is made FIRST TO LOCAL BANKS,” the statement noted.

    Thank God for Hon. Gaston Browne. Left up to harold loveLIE and Everett…. bank workers would have been on the bread line, big chunk of our monies chanelled outside.

    https://antiguanewsroom.com/government-still-maintaining-position-regarding-sale-of-scotiabank/

  9. @ BRIXTONIAN
    BRIXTONIAN is a GASTON BROWNE HATER. BRIXTONIAN is a HYPOCRITE. He is looking for a job but UPP will never win election. He is a ARSE.

    • Hi Pete, hate is a very strong and emotive word to use, i don’t know Gaston Browne personally to hate him at all!

      I supported Gaston Browne and the ABLP when he came into prominence at the 2014 general election.

      However I realised not too long afterwards that he and the party made a lot of promises to the citizens of Antigua & Barbuda and then reneged on them.

      THAT’S NOT HATRED PETE, THAT’S WEIGHING THINGS UP AND WANTING CHANGE FOR THE COUNTRY THAT I LOVE, AND PROUD TO CONTINUE TO INVEST IN.

      You don’t seem to have any respect for anyone with a different point of view than your own.

      What have you done for the betterment of Antigua & Barbuda then Pete?

      Enlighten us with your ABLP wisdom …

      • Come on Pete, try and raise the bar on debates instead of showing the readers on ANR your utter ignorance and living up to the stereotypical behaviour of generational ABLP supporters …

Comments are closed.