Walker says ECCB confirms in phone call that PM Browne lied about GDP growth

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MP for Barbuda Trevor Walker is accusing Prime Minister Gaston Browne and, by extension, his Administration of lying about Antigua and Barbuda’s economic growth for 2021.

In his 2022 Budget Presentation, Browne declared that the country’s economy had grown by 5.3 percent, and he attributed this growth to the rebound in the tourism sector and a booming construction industry.

He boasted that, in spite of the challenges faced in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his Administration had been able to weather the storm and had out-performed a number of larger countries.

Browne said, further, that the assessment of economic growth had been undertaken by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

However, during his contribution to the Budget Debate on Tuesday, February 15, Walker said that information published on the ECCB website differs markedly from the Prime Minister’s claim.

Based on the Central Bank’s data, Walker notes, Antigua and Barbuda’s economy grew by less than 2 percent last year.

In an attempt to verify the statistics posted on the ECCB website, Walker says he went further.  He says he contacted the secretariat to determine whether there was some mis-reporting, since its figures differed so vastly from what the Prime Minister had presented.

The Barbuda MP is curious to know where the Administration got its figures, and he is calling on PM Browne to produce the supporting documents and circulate them to the Parliament.

Walker says that, based on his research, a number of other countries with smaller populations out-performed Antigua and Barbuda economically last year.

Some residents tell REAL News they are embarrassed by Walker’s revelations and ashamed that Browne could have “so grossly inflated the performance” of the country’s economy.

“Everybody knows how 2020 and 2021 went,” an accountant tells our Newsroom.  “You can’t have Social Security confirm the demise of nearly 1,000 small businesses, plus have three hotels out of commission during what you call a ‘tourism boom,’ and then declare that the economy performed fabulously last year.  It does not add up,” she says.

“The Prime Minister should just have levelled with the people, instead of creating this false sense of ‘all is well.’  It would have served him better than being exposed this way,” she concludes.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Not surprised they were caught cooking the figures like chef Boyodee. They know that the majority of Antiguans just swallow what they spew hook line and sinker, without doing any research for themselves.

  2. IYrevor dumb walker the statistics that the ECCB produces before a year closes are estimates done quarterly and then annually. As Real sector, monetary sector, fiscal sector and external sector becomes available the projections are revised. Obviously your goat head self quoted early data to try and make your point.
    The irony in all of this though is that you and the UPP cronies you aligned with wanted the country to remain shut…which would have led to a possible contraction in the economy. My people I hope you continue to notice the deceit by the UPP and its affiliates.

    • @Just Saying, I am just saying it seems like walker tutch a nerve with all your spam posting.
      Did you conveniently miss the part, when he said that he spoke to someone in the statistical department of the ECCB who called him back to confirm what he revealed? Sounds like your singing for your supper, Just saying!

  3. Last week I told my wife I had $125,000 on our Scotia account. I took off $5,000 and gave my keep woman. For all intents and purposes she thinks we still have $125,000. This is akin to the game Trevor Dumbfool Walker is playing. He is using earlier statistics from the ECCB that have been revised.

  4. UPP and BPM have no clue as to what they are about. Supposed the PM was silly enough to keep the economy closed in 2021 what would have been their response on the numbers. The more I think of their folly the more I just have to shake my head.

  5. This man quabbling as to whether GDP growth was 1.7% or 5% when he was prepared to see Antigua remaining closed for the entire of 2021 which would have translated to no economic activity. I really to cringe at the audacity of Walker.

    As a member of the Monetary Council PM Browne should insist the ECCB issue a public statement on this issue and in so doing expose the liar the Barbuda representative is. But of course he will want to stand by his statement that the ECCB told him this and that which will remain uncorroborated. KEEP UPP AT BAY.

    • This article has put salt in your sore. I wonder why? Is it because you know in your heart that Gaston is a liar.

  6. Wait, isn’t Trevor Walker an accountant by training? Therefore, unlike Pringle, he should have a good or reasonable understanding of the economic figures and ratios presented to him. Unless he is deliberately deceiving and misleading people. And since our Parliament is the highest court of the land it would be tantamount to perjury. Well let’s wait till Thursday when the PM will wrap up the debate. I can bet you Trevor will not be there.

    • Accountant??? Are you sure? What is known for a fact is that he is a SELF-PROCLAIMED RACIST (BORN RACIST), lay preacher who used the pulpit to CUSS ARF Barbudans calling them all kinds of DEROGATORY NAMES that I will not repeat. He is also a lover and collector of BROWN PAPERBAGS.

      Jim Jones has nothing on him.

    • @From The Sideline
      Hail to the chief Trevor Walker. Job well done exposing the fraud and lies. Glad to see not all Antiguans and Barbudans are dumb hypocrites. Would you consider Gaston Browne to have committed perjury? Or is he above the law?
      Who is going to hold Gaston accountable for the millions of dollars taken from the treasury without authorization?

  7. wow! constituents of Barbuda I am sooooo sorry for you all if this is the calibre of “representation” you require of your MP.

    Trevor making his dough$ from PLH. While he cussing you all out and say you all are LAZY, RUM DRINKERS, BADMINDED and UNGODLY!!!

    Goodluck Barbuda with being stuck in the dark ages and BACKWARDNISS!!! Trevor will have the last laugh at you all.

  8. I forgive him… he is not an Economist. What disturbs me though, is as a banker, the APPRAISED value of Jolly Harbor has not been forthcoming.

  9. The politicians are not the problem, the people are. The black people in this country will always get what’s left and will always have to beg or sell their dignity just to get by. They are devoid of morals and good principles hence the society we have today. While they play sides no matter what, they are deprived of basic things like reliable water, electricity and decent infrastructure. But they can’t seem to see the forest for the trees. God help us!!

    • we really DUNCE FU TRUE. The higher up our leaders climb, the more their ass is exposed.

      Nigerian saying

  10. Aren’t Antigua’s books AUDITED regularly by a trusted third party?
    If they aren’t…. they should be. Something as important as the country’s finances need to be TRANSPARENT!
    This isn’t something politicians should have to be arguing about. OPEN THE BOOKS TO THE PUBLIC FOR SCRUTINY

  11. Source ABS

    Member of Parliament for Barbuda Hon. Trevor Walker has questioned the 5.3 per cent growth in real Gross Domestic Product for Antigua and Barbuda in 2021, saying the figure provided by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is much lower.
    He challenged the GDP figures during his contribution to the budget debate in Parliament on Tuesday, saying the information he had seen showed the economy grew by less than 2 per cent.
    However, an official of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank confirms Antigua and Barbuda’s economy grew by 5.3 per cent in 2021 and is projected to expand by a further 4.7 per cent in 2022.
    These figures are also contained in the Central Bank’s Estimates and Projections for 2021 – 2023, a copy of which has been obtained by ABS News.
    Meanwhile, an official at the Central Bank says it is in the process of updating its website with the latest projections and says there was a delay because some countries were tardy in providing their feedback on the Bank’s projections.
    Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hon. Gaston Browne told ABS in response to MP Walker’s claim, “The Member for Barbuda has sought to deceive the people once again. The rate of growth of 1.67 per cent was the projected rate as at June 2021. The information he quoted is stale and is designed to deceive, obfuscate and malign.”

    • Trevor Walker should post his information with the source. Then I will believe the government’s news station. We know labour thinks all Antiguans stupid like their supporters.

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