WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

From the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

PM vs Opposition LeaderThere is no doubt that the last 9 years of governance under the UPP have not been all "sunshine". However, there is also no doubt that the UPP have made a dramatic shift in the country's economy when taxes were initiated.

Yes, the taxation system has it's teething issues, but Antigua has long been in need of a taxation system. 

Antigua has always relied on foreign investment, on someone else's money, in order to move forward, and most of these investments ended up in the pockets of corrupt politicians.

I have no doubt that long-term, the taxation system will become the foundation atop which Antigua will become truly independent.

In a country like Antigua, time must be given for the taxation system to be built, and time for the results of the taxation to become visible. The investment in infrastructure and education, for instance, requires years before the results are before us.

Also, we must remember that in the "Golden Days" of the ALP, they also wanted to enact a taxation system, unsuccessfully.

It is not the taxation system, but rather the courts and the law enforcement systems of Antigua that are severely lacking. This brings us to question of why the Government has not, to date, brought in those suspected in the IHI investigation to court.

What we learn today is that Asot Michael and Lester Bird have filed over 30 injunctions in order to stop the process, bribed informants, and intervened in the judicial system so as to delay the court proceedings against them. 

If we place Baldwin Spencer against Gaston Browne on the political landscape, we are faced with a difficult political decision. As I said before, the UPP have not shined brightly during their term, but we have yet to see hard evidence of any corruption against Baldwin Spencer personally, as Prime Minister, or other government ministers.

Certainly, the Fences and Power Plant scandals are worthy of suspicion, burn no hard evidence has been brought forward like Lindquist was able to bring forward in the IHI Scandal.

Furthermore, the recordings released by Caribarena harden the case levelled against these Senior ALP Members.

This is the part where Gaston Browne re-enters the picture. As leader of the ABLP, I have no doubt that Gaston would be Antigua's next prime minister if he were to kick Lester Bird, Asot Michael, and Robin Yearwood out of the party pending resolution of the IHI investigation. 

It would mark the first, and boldest, move by any Antiguan political leader against corrupt individuals. It would be a historic moment in the political history of Antigua and Barbuda.

However, Gaston's decision to ignore the situation outright proves that he values his party above his people. He values the power over the responsibility. 

Take the example of Vere Cornwall, AKA Papa, Bird. Consider the type of man, the type of politician, the type of leader he was. The sacrifices he had made, the burdens he shouldered for the people. While Gaston does not (and probably could not) live up this his example, it would be expected that he would share the same morals, the same values and philosophy as perhaps the only great leader that Antigua has ever had.

Instead, Gaston is the leader who protects his cronies in the face of solid evidence of corruption and the calls for justice of the people. 

Moreover, Gaston's election Gimmick of removing the Personal Income Tax is either just a gimmick or the worst economic proposal that Antigua could consider. 

Economically, the Personal Income Tax is of tremendous importance, not only for its role in Government Revenue (which is significant, the income tax is normally the tax that brings in the bulk of government revenue), but also for its role of keeping the salaries of the upper class in check. 

Going into the complexities and the importance of the PIT is beyond the scope of this article, but it's critical for a healthy economy. Removing the PIT will damage the economy severely. Consider the Government's current financial situation, and how it would cope with salaries and the growing burden of debt (not to mention the IMF) having lost it's most effective revenue source.

My message to the people, especially the poor, is that the PIT, or taxes in general, are not what made you poor today. It is the corruption. Consider how many millions have illegally left our treasury. Think about how many services the Government would be able to offer in terms of education, jobs, public services, etc. had this money not gone to private pockets.

Removing the taxes only buries us deeper into the hole we find ourselves in. Instead, we need to establish a stronger police force, a stronger judicial system, a more accountable Government. That is the way forward for Antigua and Barbuda.

Gaston's promises of a better future is nothing more than a gimmick. Buying the poor using these cheap political promises that don't make economic sense is not the way to the Prime Ministership. Time to come forward with real plans and real ideas, or take the backseat to the current Prime Minister.

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24 Comments In This Article   

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Bad decisions vs. CORRUPTION

#24 wada » 2013-11-25 23:41

It is clear we are in SILLY SEASON i.e. elections are around the corner and our RED and BLUE blinders are taped to our eyes. When you look at the WPP, Car Park, fencing etc, I totally agree that these are disasters. However, these are bad decisions. Compare these to IHI, Airport Runaway, post LUIS containers at Dry Hill, Dato Tan and Guiana Is, shipping guns to South Africa, selling guns to Columbia, attempting to misappropriate Barbudan's land, this is CORRUPTION. Lying to the people of Antigua and STEALING, pocketing OUR MONEY for private gain requires jail time. Listen again to the recordings. I agree the UPP may not be shining stars but God help us if people like Asot and Lester were to retake the reigns of this country.
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wada

New Jersy

#23 New Jersy » 2013-11-21 23:11

this writer sounds like a upp supporter ,hes saying there is no hard evidence of curruption under the upp but we have an a old not working power plant which cost $54 million USD, unfinish fencing which cost $50 million EC etc so where all that monies disappear to huh ??and its like he want to give them another 5 years , wat a moron . UPP must go and he also must go for dunce opinion blog.
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Slythatguy

#22 ANTIGUAN WOMAN! » 2013-11-20 22:56

I will not even dignify your comment with an argument/discussion, except to say you stare illiterate in the face on a daily basis.
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ANTIGUAN WOMAN!

@ ANTIGUAN WOMAN

#21 SlyThatGuy » 2013-11-20 15:50

Do you know why corrupted politicians love poor and illiterate people like you, because they get to exploit and misuse you during election time in order to control the m**. You could care less that these people are criminals as long as they grease your palm comes election. Then you can go back to your suffering again until next time. Some folks get use to that kind of living, you know.
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SlyThatGuy

sunburned

#20 Microwave chef » 2013-11-20 15:45

honestly ex voter has been out in the sunshine to long and as such is dehydrated and delusional. years of government in the sunshine have turned Antigua from a nice juicy plump grape the zise of a mellon to a dried out fungus infested raisin...undistingui shable from a dehydrated mouse turd , the size of plm and coolruler's brain combined. yes it is that small.
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Microwave chef

Chupzzz!!!!!

#19 Hawke » 2013-11-20 15:37

Chupzzz...just another cage bird singing..Why does this article remind me of Winston Henry..?
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Hawke

What the heck is this?????

#18 ANTIGUAN WOMAN! » 2013-11-20 14:23

By the time the Taxation system begin to work for our benefit,our bones will all be white and brittled,most dying from Hunger and Starvation... Everything really has its positive/negative,De mocracy to has its own,good that we have freedom of expression etc,but bad that everyone has the right to make public they Obvious Stupidity and Insane mentalities.
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ANTIGUAN WOMAN!

RE: From the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

#17 SlyThatGuy » 2013-11-20 12:30

That is exactly right! I've express this same view in some of my posts here too: There is no clear evidence to prove that prime minister Spencer is involved in any form of corruption. Saying that he is involved is just an opinion formed on the basis that some projects, chiefly the car park, remain unfinished today. On the other hand, however, after listening to the secretly taped conversation between Asot and Lester, it's impossible to deny that they're involved in corruption, but Gaston Browne refuses to part with them, which also brings to mind how he refused to turn in a couple of his comrades he said he knew was involved in the crime of accepting bribes to the authorities. Such behavior from a person in leadership position gives cause for concern. We are looking for honest and upright leader to carry this nation, Antigua and Barbuda, into the future but, unfortunately, Gaston Brown does not possess those qualities.
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bornya

#16 cavella » 2013-11-20 08:53

I read the comments and realise that not everyone is crazy.l think only a lunatic would want to continue with these blind politicians.We have dark streets in our village and people have been attacked often.Homes are broken into day and night.Iam over 60and I know APUA used to replace bulbs now they don't.One has to leave lights n all night then the bills are now tripled.Am I the only one whose bills are tripled?I retired under UPP and I have no salary yet the Social cheque is late.How can we survive with utility bills so high?I always said that I don't want to live any other place but it is hell for pensioners right now.
This government has burdened us with that power plant and those Chinese lights which we have to light up for some people because I don't travel to those rich areas at nights.
The Chinese could have used the solar energy for the street lights like they do in China where it is so cold.Please tell me why they burden us so.APUA can't buy fuel yet these lights are on all night.
Another ridiculous thing is buying that building downtown .It is chaos to pay your bill.That car park that is cutting all the breeze from the city is another bad idea.
I don't like politics but life was better under ALP.If you don't think so you just came back from somewhere.
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cavella

to ExVoter

#15 Voter » 2013-11-20 01:08

Ah wan crazy man you be. So tell you something. You and the UPP bunch can go occupy Rodonda and you all can run down deh as you all like. No one go bother all you. You all can even make Baldwin King or Emperor. Raise all the taxes you want and live happily ever after. Just like in the fairy tales.
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Voter

Exvoter

#14 Onlooker » 2013-11-20 01:03

Are you saying we should endure yet another five years of UPP pain and destruction. And you promise that in the end we will reap the fruits of our labour. Well tell you what. You check us back after five years of ABLP and then we'll talk.
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Onlooker

Writer

#13 From The Sideline » 2013-11-20 00:57

Indeed we would be jumping from the frying pan that the UPP put us in and has been frying us for nine years now. But guess what the master chefs are getting us out the frying pan and putting us on the silver platter. Just you wait and see and than you will learn how a country is run. Not by the IMF and the World Bank. They have their program from their masters. Who have never had our interest at hart. But those who want to believe these old institutions have changed will also believe the devil that he is the Messiah. Only a fool cannot see through their hart and see the wickedness they have planned for us. Never once they advised us how to make money. Only how to pay our debt by cutting everything. Bringing hardship and pain on the poor and needy.
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From The Sideline

@ex voter

#12 Observer... » 2013-11-20 00:21

I thought long and hard whether to respond to your article. Because it is pure garbage. Nothing to really debate on. You have all your facts wrong about the percentage the PIT brings in if the total revenue and you don't seem to have a clue how a tax system works. If the UPP is good introducing PIT how come we are worst off? How come we are poorer after then before we had PIT? Have you studied other Small Islands States that do not have PIT. And some of the USA States that are also without it. You see you're just another blue lemonade drinker that have the brain tumor of the IMF. That has only one remedy and that is PIT. We never said we will not tax. We just will do it differently. Not on income. People need their income to spend on consumer goods and services. And that is where you tax. Got it?
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Observer...

RE: From the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

#11 Brenda Browne » 2013-11-19 23:45

THIS WRITER IS A xxxx TRYING TO CLANDESTINELY BIG UP BALDWIN AND PUT DOWN GASTON. OBVIOUSLY A UPP STRATEGY THAT INSNT AND WILL NOT WORK. TELL BUSMAKER, THE UPP STRATEGIST THAT 98 PERCENT OF ANTIGUANS ARE LITERATE. CANT FOOL US INTO SUPPORTING SPENCER. SPENCER AND THE UPP HAVE FAILED US AND THEY MUST GO. WASTING YOUR TIME WRITING THESE ARTICLES IN DIFFERENT PSEUDO NAMES
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Brenda Browne

we need external revenue

#10 wadad » 2013-11-19 17:55

We need external revenue in order to prosper. Figure out away to increase our stay over tourist arrivals by a 100 folds and trust me that will solve most of our problems.
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wadad

The Real Observer

#9 Osbert R. Frederick » 2013-11-19 16:26

And when they write this kind of garbage, they are either afraid or ashame to put their name to it. Own up to you '**' whoever you are.
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Osbert R. Frederick

Take off the blinders

#8 jeb » 2013-11-19 12:12

The writer obviously believes in the take from the rich theory (many of those believers are do as I say and not as I do) which does not work. The rich do not surrender their monies and will move it to ensure safety of funds. The path to prosperity is to persuade the rich to SPEND/invest their monies in ways that benefit an/our economy. Generally speaking people do not object to paying reasonable taxes but not to the point where it chases away the rich, FDI and local entrepreneurship and systematically eliminates the middle cl**…that, to me, is the nonsensical ideology concocted by Cort and co. that has put Antigua in its’ present impoverishment. Antigua needs to create a corruption free environment that encourages spending not, as is the case now, suppresses same.
‘No hard evidence of corruption’ in the power plant and fencing etc. etc. etc…has to be a tongue in cheek statement. 6 old rusty engines discarded from a ship for US$52million (5 quit working) needs harder evidence? All that is missing is the paper trail! Baldwin Spencer looked at the people with a straight face and told a whopping lie which relayed to this voter that he has the ingrained capacity to lie about anything and everything without conscience. He has displayed his callous nature publically, with the backing of his party, in a multitude of ways. Is that leadership?…NO. Is GB (much more intelligent) any better?…who knows at this point!
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jeb

@ writer/ex-voter

#7 Parishman » 2013-11-19 11:54

You made a couple of points that makes sense to me, however I do not think that GB has the authority/power to have these folk off the ABLP ticket; the executive arm does and as you may be aware the party is in some sort of in-house fights. The difference between the IHI and the WPP, Fence, etc. is that there was an independent inquiry done for IHI so until one is done with WPP, fence etc. I think you are talking apples and oranges. Mr. ex voter why do you think with all these evidence on IHI why are these folk not brought before a court of law? Isn't it the government of the day to take action?
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Parishman

Well Said

#6 sophisticated slaver » 2013-11-19 09:22

Well said! .......#thatisall
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sophisticated slaver

why

#5 ablp insider » 2013-11-19 08:32

so this guy has an opinion that is different to ours an he gets these personal attacks? Why? disagree with him or her but leave the attacks jack!!!!!!
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ablp insider

Idiot!

#4 Bachra Mary » 2013-11-19 07:44

This article must have been written by Baldwin or one of his Cronies - like David Shaolin!

If he really thought he was making sense, he would have printed his name! Poor fellow! Ignorance is truly bliss!

Too late my ** kisser...the people have already made up their minds...the UPP gone agwassa!
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Bachra Mary

Interseting

#3 Patriot Mind » 2013-11-19 06:28

Interesting opinion, but it glosses over the many wrong doings of the UPP administration that is happening today! As a matter of fact this article is a very skillful attempt to shift focus from the present administration's failures and attempt to cover it up with a focus on "still born' subjects of the past, that this administration does not have sufficient evidence to pursue! The reality is that the UPP cabal is ruling our country today, and the people of this nation want deliverance from bad government, political victimization and wide-spread corruption among very high officials. The UPP must be defeated in the next general elections if this country is to be saved!
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Patriot Mind

EX VOTER

#2 GARRAT » 2013-11-19 06:24

Ex Voter, stay ex voter. You do have a lot of time on your hand to write a lot of crap. Which economic philosophy tell you that a country can tax it's way to prosperity? Make up your mind. Do we want Foreign Investment or not and if we do not, why have your UPP choose to sell our passports as an inducement to attract foreign investment! Eh! Why! You obviously don't live in Antigua where we have been catching our ass for the past 9 years 9months. IHI, WPP, FENCING SCANDAL, MULTI MILLION PER MILE POAD are all damn wrong. But UPP must go and maybe you too!
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GARRAT

RE: From the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

#1 Only 9 years of Sun » 2013-11-19 06:22

The writer is clearly right. After all 9 years (yes 9!) is a very short time. Perhaps he would like that whenever UPP wins they get a 20 year term to put all their plans into effect and give ALP 2 years if they win. That sounds about fair. Mind you, the corruption issue is the biggest weight around the ALP's neck but the UPP in 9 years and 5 commissioners has not been able to get a single conviction. 9 years not enough for that too??????
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Only 9 years of Sun

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