UPP Claims Gov’t Has Not Been Truthful About The Country’s Finances As One Of The Reasons For Not Participating In ERC

Opposition Leader Jamal Pringle

For the record, and in the interest of clarity, the Hon. Jamale Pringle, Leader of the Opposition, and the United Progressive Party (UPP) hereby explain to the media and to the public our reasons for not participating in the Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) chaired by Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

On May 1, MP Pringle publicly indicated a willingness to set aside his earlier decision not to serve on the ERC.

He asked for two concessions by the Prime Minister, the first of which was immediately made the object of ridicule, via social media, by PM Browne.

Apart from that obvious demonstration of bad faith, MP Pringle and the Party agree that several other factors militate against our meaningful participation in the ERC:

1. According to Junior Minister of Finance Lennox Weston, the Government has already conceived a three-point plan for economic recovery. In addition, it has at its disposal the sum of $500 million with which to effect its plans.

2. The Government is unwilling to give a truthful account of the country’s finances. The Prime Minister repeatedly quotes figures and statistics that vary depending upon his audience.

 What was the true debt-to-GDP ratio when the ALP Administration assumed office in 2014: Was it 94% or 104%?
 What is it now?
 What is the true quantum of our borrowings? Are these payments up to date?
 The IMF Article IV Report, for the past six years, has remained hidden from the population. This has prevented the Nation from accessing any independent verification of the statistics furnished by this Administration.

It is unhelpful to simply vilify the IMF and World Bank and accuse these institutions of attempting to portray the Administration in a bad light because they are jealous of the country’s success.

3. The public is also unaware of the true state of the country’s income and savings.
 Why is this Administration unwilling to open the books on NAMCO, the National Housing & Urban Development, Caribbean Union Bank (CUB), or West Indies Oil (WIOC), for example?
 In the absence of audited statements being supplied to the public, how will the ERC be guided?

4. The Prime Minister is Chairperson of the ERC and each sub-committee is headed by a member of the Executive (Cabinet).
 Who, or what body, will ensure implementation of any recommendations from the ERC?
 And to whom will the ERC report, ultimately, in the interest of transparency and accountability?
Given these stated realities, we believe our efforts would be better appreciated in another forum in which The People, themselves, can play a meaningful part. Accordingly, we have already begun to share our recommendations with the public.
In the further interest of The People, the UPP will continue to demand from this Administration truth, transparency, fairness, equality and accountability at all times – especially now, when our Nation’s very survival depends on these.

The UPP will fulfill this mandate and resist any efforts to manipulate its leadership whenever the Administration decides to include the Party as a matter of convenience.

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  1. I just have one question regarding being “truthful”

    Were the engines new? (Blood in hotel lobby press conference)

    • Gr8 When the UPP were in Office.The ABLP did say the engines were not new.When the ABLP got into Office.They moved on from that rhetoric.They valued the engines for much more than the UPP bought them for.I think West Indies Oil own those engines now.If my memory serves me correctly.

      • Bugsy both administrations tried to “dumb down” the public where the WPP is concerned. The engines were NOT new. Neither did we get VALUE for money. The APUA electricity manager has publicly stated that those engines were bullshit and a liability rather than an asset to improving the electricity capacity in Antigua and Barbuda.

        Both admins want to continue making love to the Chinese, so they are afraid to ruffle feathers. Baldwin Spencer knows dem engines aint new. So does Gaston. Most importantly, so do the PEOPLE.

      • Research the owners of APC and that will explain why when ablp was in opposition the engines weren’t any good and when the took over governance they were in perfect condition and were said to value more Than what they were purchased for.
        When the ablp took over, suddenly a miracle was performed

        • No Yardee. The engines are shit even up to now. I took my own 2 ears and heard Andre Matthias (APUA Electricity Manager) give a scathing review of the infamous engines. The PEOPLE did NOT get value for money. It started with “Sharpen You Cutliss Back n Belly” not seeking parliamentary approval. Everything went downhill from there. The engines are shit to this day in May 2020

  2. If that’s the way you think it is, Mr. Pringle, that’s the reason for you to be at the table. The UPP was not invited, but you were. No excuses, please.

    • Sounds like you had extremely HIGH HOPES for him. But the sad fact is that he won by accident. He was just a “filler” candidate like that gunman Joanne Massiah put to run against Chester Hughes. UPP didn’t think they would lose the election never mind lose so badly. So now Jamale has to stand alone in Parliament and expose his deficient brainpower to the nation.

  3. My son, why pretend that you have even half the necessary competence to comprehend budgetary matters relevant to the State??? Your lame, after-the-fact attempt to justify your rash decision to absent yourself from at least associating yourself with a sound, timely national initiative is amusing. The Party with which you identify, for the time being has an extremely poor record in the management of the country’s finances. From a PM who couldn’t correctly quote figures relating to the cost of old engines for APUA, to a sinister minister of finance who wrecked the country’s economy during the period 2004 – 14, borrowing recklessly without accountability, appointing estranged bedfellows to positions merely for personal, pecuniary gain -ADOMS, YASCO, CAR PARK, DEAD DOG COLLECTIONS, POO POO POND TOURIST ATTRACTION, PLANNED/ANNOUNCED INTENTION TO SELL OFF KEY, SUCCESSFUL STATE ASSESTS, and so much more too numerous to mention here. Boy, Hon. Boy, the only reaction to this your latest tirade would be a well deserved CHUPTZ! I still believe, though that with intelligent and non-partisan mentorship, you might eventually draw sensible, non-BS observers into your audience. What a waste of potential!

    • Hi there Anon. Can you be an adult for a brief moment and dispense with the juvenile name calling. Afterwards, can you at least formulate a coherent response to the questions that were put forward by the leader of the opposition.

      To put it simply, do you agree that ANY government has the responsibility of allowing public access and consumption of public records (including all financial records).

      I am not going to stoop to your ignorance of calling names but both the UPP and ALP governments are guilty of less than open government. But do not be so partisan and pretend that the learned gentlemen of the ALP are honest people.

      • If the UPP was such a PERFECT Administration why are They out of office and would never return ? Come on Guys examine Yourselves before TALKING.Sounds very STUPID.

        • All Around, there are no perfect government because there are no perfect people. Did you even read and comprehend what I said

        • @all around
          The UPP is out of office because Antiguans are in many cases not a learned people. Who said that? All they care about are free handouts. They don’t sound stupid, they are stupid.

  4. Pringle and his team already met with the government and presented their proposals. Did the government really shed any light on that meeting? If Pringle refuses to participate, just carry on with your plans. Since when does this government need permission or collaboration when making decisions? We are weeks behind in finding solutions to real issues for when we reopen our borders and restart the economy. Let’s get going!

  5. The UPP was in office in in early 2014 yet they are asking the current admin what was the debt to GDP ratio. This is the same entity whose finance minister argued he could not pay the IMF fist installment because his focus was on campaigning. Turns out that debt, the Airport loan, SEMBcorp debt, debt to APC were all in arrears. They played around so much with the HMB issue that the debt (un-booked)moved to 130 million ecd when the properly was worth no more than half that. Now watch Pringle now like satan asking what was the debt

    • Yo Bareface… you do know that this is 2020 right? The debt – GDP ratio is not static. It is not necessarily the same now as it was in 2014. Can you comprehend that? What is wrong with providing the public with public records on a regular basis?

  6. I am tired of hearing the STUPID excuses coming from Jamal Pringle and The UPP. All the excuses are sooooo lame. Jamal does not want to sit around a table to present any ideas . This Guy is just afraid . Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne let Us forget Jamal , Harold and The UPP Gang . UPP Gang are bunch of Time Wasters . They just COMPLAIN , Complain. UPP keep forgetting that They one ONLY won ONE seat by 10 votes.

  7. It seems like everyone here have it all skewed up in one way or another. You keep on frustrating yourselves about these politicians. Man will always be man. Corrupt, liars, dishonest, evil, selfish. They look for their own interest only. It is all about self and not about “WE”.
    No man can solve the problems that exist in the world today. Politicians make promises that they do not intend to keep and far more so, they CANNOT KEEP. They are all FAILURES.
    Why put your energies supporting politicians ? We should support “Good Policies” that will benefit “ALL”.
    A people gets the government it deserves. We cannot get around that. Until the people stand up for righteousness, then the WRONGTEOUSNESS of the politicians will rule. It is a simple fact of life: ” What you sow, that you shall reap”.
    You cannot plant grapefruit seeds and expect to reap sweet oranges.
    Which man ever die and take his riches with him ? Grab all you want….lie all you can, thief all you can, be dishonest as much as you can. But, I am warning you….it will all end. and every secret will come to light.
    Let him/her who has understanding read and take heed now.

  8. I’ve listened to Pringle many times and am happy 😃 he’s not going to make any contribution,thank you father 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  9. Does any one REALLY believe that the above REALLY came from the the LO? So why bother to mention him in this article? That probably is coming from the Party pooper.

    • So true. It has Lovell written all over it. JAmarl can barely string 2 sentences together, much less several paragraphs.

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