Antigua PM pulls his pocket to assist Barbuda

Prime minister Gaston Browne says he has instructed his bankers to make available the sum of EC$100,000 (Bds$74,000) from his personal savings account to assist with the rehabilitation of storm-battered Barbuda.

And while expressing confidence that at least three million US dollars could be raised from domestic sources, Browne today made an impassioned appeal to every Antiguan from the floor of parliament to also pledge monies, “even if it is a 100 dollars”, to the rebuilding effort.

“I expect every Antiguan and Barbudan to step up to the plate. I also want to say here that all of the individuals who collect government rent I want them to contribute at least one month’s rent to the recovery efforts,” Browne said during a special sitting of parliament.

“As parliamentarians I expect each and every one of us to step up to the plate,” he added, while calling on the commercial banks and other businesses operating in St John’s to contribute as well.

“There are wealthy people in this country who can contribute,” the prime minister said, adding “I know we can’t legislate it, but we are demanding it”.

At the same time, Browne said he was grateful to members of the regional and international community who had already come to Barbuda’s aid in its time of need.

His comments came as the Canadian-based Scotiabank donated BDS$1 million to charities assisting with the rescue and relief efforts in the Caribbean countries impacted by Hurricane Irma.

The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has also announced special concessionary “Immediate Response Loans” of up to US$750,000 to its affected borrowing member countries and that it was in the process of providing emergency relief grants totalling US$200,000 each for the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Antigua and Barbuda.

Just last week the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, a segregated portfolio company and CDB partner, announced that it would make payouts of US$15.6 million on their tropical cyclone policies to the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, and St Kitts & Nevis as a result of the passage of Hurricane Irma.

And with additional payouts expected in relation to water damage from flooding and storm surges, the European Union announced that it had released an initial amount of humanitarian assistance of two million Euros for the most affected islands in the Caribbean.

The Gaston Browne administration last week ordered the evacuation of the estimated 1,800 people on the Antigua sister isle, after it was decimated during the passage between last Tuesday and Wednesday of Hurricane Irma, which also claimed the life of a two-year old child.

Browne told legislators today that since then Barbudans who were never given legal ownership of their lands, have been “relegated to squatters” .

However, he announced that as a means of ameliorating this situation, displaced Barbudans would now be allowed legal ownership of their lands for the price of “one dollar”.

“We are saying here we will give you freehold ownership,” Browne said, adding that “Barbudans I have spoken to they are absolutely elated” over the move which he said would empower them significantly.

“When you give a Barbudan freehold, first of all those who have their properties that are damaged, they can go into the bank, they can borrow money, they can repair their properties, they can get a mortgage they can build.

“They can get a loan for student purposes, to businesses. It is a form of empowerment,” Browne told legislators, adding “it is untenable in the 21st century for Barbuda to be exclusively dependent on Antigua.

“It is totally untenable . . . and the irony about it, each time that salaries and wages are late, they hold the Central government responsible. It was never the intent of the Central government to take full responsibility for the payment of salaries and wages and other expenses in Barbuda.

“The intent was . . . that Barbuda would be able to generate some level of revenue and that Antigua would have provided a subsidy. But clearly it has become a totally dependent relationship,” he said, noting that Barbudans are “proud people and they don’t want to be coming cap in hand to Antigua begging for a salary cheque on a weekly basis or monthly basis when they can generate their own income”.

“This is a time to put aside the politics and look at issues based on merit,” he said, while assuring that the necessary mechanisms would be put in place to ensure that the freehold lands were not easily sold.

He said the government intended to use more than US$312 million in financial support from the United Arab Emirates to the redevelop Barbuda as a medical and greening hub.

Source: (CMC/MM)

64 Responses to Antigua PM pulls his pocket to assist Barbuda

  1. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen September 12, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Would would we prime minister do that for country?

    Reply
    • Adrian Allison
      Adrian Allison September 12, 2017 at 5:23 am

      He and his colleagues have already answered that question.
      They have taken a pay raise whilst this country is at it’s lowest.

      Reply
    • Nico HL Beckles
      Nico HL Beckles September 12, 2017 at 7:55 am

      lollllllllllllllll which prime minister? the one that refused to use any of the disaster fund money to help their citizens?

      Reply
  2. Mervin Stevenson
    Mervin Stevenson September 12, 2017 at 12:08 am

    This is an exampke of leadrship. Compared to what I once heard about another caribbean administration that took back 10% while they increased taxes on the people that voted them in

    Reply
    • Adrian Allison
      Adrian Allison September 12, 2017 at 5:31 am

      That was in 1992, now the same party but different administration has again done the same thing by accepting a pay hike when this country is at it’s lowest.

      Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete September 12, 2017 at 9:19 am

      You mean here?? Yep

      Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete September 12, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Adrian Allison you’re talking about here right?

      Reply
  3. MArk Anthony
    MArk Anthony September 12, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Question is ….When the millions of dollars in aid arrives will he not help himself to some ?!!.

    Reply
    • Cecily Jones
      Cecily Jones September 12, 2017 at 2:40 am

      How about putting your hands in your pocket and supporting the relief effort instead of questioning the intentions of others. If you don’t want to send cash then donate goods.

      Reply
    • Adrian Allison
      Adrian Allison September 12, 2017 at 5:26 am

      It’s sad when a person can think only negative thoughts.
      How much have you donated MArk Anthony ?
      Don’t you think that would have been far more constructive than being critical of those who have ?
      You shouldn’t worry about Prime Minister Browne helping himself to aid money because chances are none would have been donated by you sir ?

      Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete September 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Wow what a nasty comment! MArk Anthony

      Reply
    • Adrian Allison
      Adrian Allison September 12, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Nasty indeed, Gillian Skeete.
      A person’s thoughts are usually an indication of that person’s character.

      Reply
  4. Bonita Weekes
    Bonita Weekes September 12, 2017 at 12:29 am

    The people who see something bad in every thing must be really miserable human beings. I wish that they could have experienced what the people of Barbuda experienced last Tuesday night. If I am not mistaken isn’t that the same person who was sure that Jose was going to hit Barbados?

    Reply
    • Adrian Allison
      Adrian Allison September 12, 2017 at 5:17 am

      (This was initially meant to be a reply to Daniel Zimmerli)
      Then you would have to apply the same to everyone who has contribute to the Barbuda cause.
      The more pressing question to you is this……
      How much have you contributed ?

      Reply
    • Bonita Weekes
      Bonita Weekes September 12, 2017 at 8:03 am

      You are wrong Adrian Allison I did not reply to Daniel Zimmerli, it was another person who is always giving wrong information. It definitely was not that person. So sorry, you cannot read my mind. Having been through a cat 4 hurricane I am week aware of such circumstances. I have contributed the same amount you have contributed.
      Who ever Daniel Zimmerli is, I want you to know that I did not reply to you.

      Reply
    • Bonita Weekes
      Bonita Weekes September 12, 2017 at 8:05 am

      Well aware of

      Reply
  5. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn September 12, 2017 at 1:58 am

    He will get it back.

    Reply
    • Adrian Allison
      Adrian Allison September 12, 2017 at 5:28 am

      Whether or not he gets it back is unimportant.
      What matters is that he contributed.

      Reply
    • Kay Critchlow
      Kay Critchlow September 12, 2017 at 6:26 am

      Adrian Allison he may get it back one way or another but the point is he gave . What would you prefer he did ?

      Reply
    • Adrian Allison
      Adrian Allison September 12, 2017 at 7:00 am

      @ Kay Crichlow
      Did you really read my comment ?
      I suggest that you do so again.
      Or is there a mistake in who you are referencing ?

      Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete September 12, 2017 at 9:37 am

      Adrian Allison yes he took action and is an example to others. Great man

      Reply
  6. Cecily Jones
    Cecily Jones September 12, 2017 at 2:44 am

    I watched and listened to PM Gaston Brown last week in the after math of his visit to Barbuda to assess the devastation caused by Irma. Even in his shock and obvious distress the man spoke with a fluency and eloquence and passion that I have yet to hear from a certain Bajan PM. This is the kind of articulate engaged person we need running our country instead of the silent fumbler.

    Reply
    • Lilian Lloyd
      Lilian Lloyd September 12, 2017 at 3:08 am
      Reply
    • Adrian Allison
      Adrian Allison September 12, 2017 at 4:59 am

      Cicily, I could not have said that better.

      Reply
    • Nico HL Beckles
      Nico HL Beckles September 12, 2017 at 7:57 am

      You’re asking for class from the classless

      Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete September 12, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Adrian Allison only the first time???

      Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete September 12, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Adrian Allison can we ask for him to come be our next pm????

      Reply
    • Adrian Allison
      Adrian Allison September 12, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Actually no Gillian Skeete, this has been a regular occurance since our PM assumed office yet the man hasn’t learn a single thing about governing. .
      Asking him to be a tenth the leader Prime Minister Browne is would be met with some unintelligible group of phrases that he alone understands and quite frankly I prefer his silence, it has been a welcomed blessing in disguise.
      We can ask but the people of Antigua are unlikely to give him up plus it’s not that we don’t have competent administrators but the problem with ours is that they usually lack humility.

      Reply
  7. Daniel Zimmerli
    Daniel Zimmerli September 12, 2017 at 2:49 am

    This is gaining political mileage on the back of peple that need honest help… he could be Trumps brother……

    Reply
    • Ashanda Coward
      Ashanda Coward September 12, 2017 at 7:25 am

      Stpzz silly comment

      Reply
    • Daniel Zimmerli
      Daniel Zimmerli September 12, 2017 at 7:38 am

      Ashanda Coward People that need to tell you how good they are … come on If you help from your hart you dont need to advertise… As I can see what your doing……. same thing no Ham no vote…. strictly ignorant…. Now get on People and help you Sister Islands without long talk they realy do need all the help they can get

      Reply
  8. Ashley Griffith
    Ashley Griffith September 12, 2017 at 4:53 am

    Why is it a bad thing he is taking his personal funds to help??? Was expecting to see more positive comments on this. I actually think this is the kind of prime minister we need here in bim!!!

    Reply
    • Adrian Allison
      Adrian Allison September 12, 2017 at 5:35 am

      This is exactly what we need here in Bim.
      A Prime Minister who leads from the front and has a sense of patriotism for his country.
      A true statesman.

      Reply
    • Ashley Griffith
      Ashley Griffith September 12, 2017 at 6:35 am

      Exactly

      Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete September 12, 2017 at 9:20 am

      I think the negatives are about here not the pm of Antigua and Barbuda lol hope so

      Reply
  9. Marva Lashley-Todd
    Marva Lashley-Todd September 12, 2017 at 5:40 am

    That is what nice and for a PM too. Generally they would tske it from the public’s purse but he is different. I wish ours was like him. This is what you call leadership. Fruendel take note!

    Reply
  10. Marva Lashley-Todd
    Marva Lashley-Todd September 12, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Some people see the glass as half full while others see it as half empty. I think he did a good thing. Some people are so negative smh. At least he saw a need and he is helping. He did not have to do it. Look at the stark difference between him and our own PM( let me rephrase that…the PM of Barbados) who hit us when we were down. He, along with the other Gvernment ministers took back their 10% PLUS interest while we were/are suffering and a good few months before election to get as much as possible. He could take a leaf out of PM Browne’s book.

    Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete September 12, 2017 at 9:27 am

      I haven’t read any negative comments so far on pm browne

      Reply
  11. Cherry Matunda Heri
    Cherry Matunda Heri September 12, 2017 at 5:52 am

    Yup. Leadership.
    Don’t think our prime minister would have done that

    Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete September 12, 2017 at 9:35 am

      He too greedy filling his cupboards!! He won’t do or say swat!

      Reply
  12. Jackie Griffith
    Jackie Griffith September 12, 2017 at 6:00 am

    He’s pulling his pocket to assist while ours stuffing his.

    Reply
  13. Prince Trémaine
    Prince Trémaine September 12, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Leading by example. Well done PM Browne.

    Reply
  14. Avalon Daffodill Lyd
    Avalon Daffodill Lyd September 12, 2017 at 7:29 am

    we need more leaders to be like him

    Reply
  15. Velma Langdon
    Velma Langdon September 12, 2017 at 7:29 am

    If he gets it back and when he does I see no problem with that
    He gave to his people when they need it most, this is what is important.
    Some priminster they give what they have and ours have this.
    Like spreading propaganda about people he thinks Bajans love to hear dirty things about people so that is what he gives.
    What the heck else he got to give he and his people.
    All government departments in trouble.
    Hospital and clinics especially
    We didn’t have a hurricane
    Thank you God ! We just can’t handle it .
    I experienced one a couple of years ago and it was not as bad as my cuz Irma but it was scary.
    Emily was the name.

    Reply
  16. Angela Griffith
    Angela Griffith September 12, 2017 at 7:56 am

    That is leadership

    Reply
  17. Nico HL Beckles
    Nico HL Beckles September 12, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Gotta give this man respect….now for the heifer in two mile hill the people in the north still waiting for you to pull the damn millions in the disaster relief fund and help them after Harvey. We all know no one in this government pulling their own pocket for anything

    Reply
  18. Patrick Bennett
    Patrick Bennett September 12, 2017 at 7:58 am

    did you all know he is a man of many business and investments before becoming PM of Antigua some comments here shows me bajan becoming really silly

    Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete September 12, 2017 at 9:30 am

      He has a good understanding of many things he’s well rounded balanced and generous. He actually cares unlike the iceberg we’ve got

      Reply
  19. Ziggy Blessed
    Ziggy Blessed September 12, 2017 at 8:08 am

    a true leader…….

    Reply
  20. Bonita Weekes
    Bonita Weekes September 12, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Compliments to PM Brown but I also want to compliment another leader, the Primier of Montserrat Donaldson Romeo for how he handled the situation when it looked as though Montserrat was also going to be hit by Irma.

    Reply
  21. Russel Sooknanan
    Russel Sooknanan September 12, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Hope other leaders do the same

    Reply
  22. Greengiant September 12, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Any of our Prime Ministers past or present would do the same. They actually have done, and does more without all the media publicity. Do you think there was a need for the PM to publicize this contribution? It’s called blinded political mileage.

    We as a people need to be sharper than this. Why should we allow this clearly political moves to make us question our leaders? Do we actually believe they don’t donate anything to our charities? If we do believe that, then we are all ‘square pegs’. Stop being influenced by partisan political influences.

    Reply
    • Biscuits September 12, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      Agreed.

      Reply
    • leroy September 12, 2017 at 10:44 pm

      If u hv the facts show us, show us example of leaders donating for a cause or shut up. What we know is what they get in the house and vote for, pain and suffering.

      When the dlp voted for tuition fees to uwi,,the first person in line at campus bursar should hv been fruendel to pay for his education back then, followed by the rest of those misfits.

      Everything a politician does have some measure of politics in it but in this case,,im glad he put his $ up and in the broad light of day. Meanwhile,, our PM has yet to even issue a statement on the hurricanes impact.

      Reply
  23. Chris Kinkaid
    Chris Kinkaid September 12, 2017 at 8:45 am

    So ya’ll don’t think that given the same set of circumstances that Bajan politicians would do the same?

    Reply
    • Cecily Jones
      Cecily Jones September 12, 2017 at 9:16 am
      Reply
    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete September 12, 2017 at 9:37 am

      Nope!!!

      Reply
      • Biscuits September 12, 2017 at 1:36 pm

        Yes …they probably would. In all fairness Barbados has not experienced this type of catastrophe but have faith…our political leaders on both sides would step up to the plate as they have done quietly in the past.

        Reply
        • leroy September 12, 2017 at 10:46 pm

          Show me one example of ‘quietly in the past’, or stop talking nonsense

          Reply
  24. Cecily Jones
    Cecily Jones September 12, 2017 at 9:15 am

    No. Just leadership with integrity. Is that too much to ask for? And what does classism have to do with it?

    Reply
  25. L King September 12, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    @Mark Anthony you think that way perhaps that is what you currently do to your neighbours

    Reply
  26. JM September 12, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    @ Patrick Bennett….you are correct. I recall reading an article where it stated he had millions prior to becoming PM….I believe you were being very generous to use the term ‘silly’….

    Reply
  27. Odeen walker September 12, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Well can’t believe you guys acting like a bunch of kids. .now not the time and the comments are a lowwwww!!!! Down shame, shame.

    Reply

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