WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Other People’s Money

Other People’s MoneyAntigua St John's - Ok! Enough is enough. Can someone please tell Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and Attorney General Justin Simon that the people's money is not theirs to squander.

That the government of Antigua & Barbuda is taking HMB to the Privy Council is almost criminal.

Apart from the fact that this administration has spent the better part of its eight years fighting losing battles in court, this HMB matter could have been avoided.

When the government, moved to "huff" HMB from its rightful owners to give to Ponzi schemer R Allen Stanford, the UPP and Baldwin Spencer vehemently opposed.


Before the UPP settled into office after winning the 2004 general elections, Spencer flip-flopped on the matter and completed the transaction Bird initiated.

Incredibly, Spencer and the UPP, armed with the "legal mind" of Simon, thought he could accomplish this feat without a fight, instead of simply returning HMB to its owners.

If that was done, Antigua & Barbuda would not be in the US$65 M hole it now finds itself in. By the time the Privy Council hearing is over, the people's debt will be much larger.

It would appear that Spencer and Simon could care less, since it’s not their money; for them it must be like playing monopoly. I would even submit that there are individuals who are more prudent with monopoly monies than Spencer and Simon are with that of taxpayers’.

Since returning the property was so much easier, and I dare say the correct thing to have done, perhaps Spencer’s green light to Stanford had a deeper meaning.

Rather than look at its bad fiscal policies, the premier excuse used by this government when it comes to the economy is that the world is in an economic crisis.

While I agree that the world is facing an economic crisis, Antigua & Barbuda’s financial woes are mainly due to poor management - bad decisions made possible by a severe lack of accountability.

This government came into office and started spending monies like it was going out of style, like there was no tomorrow.

Even at a time when the rest of the world is struggling, this administration continues to spend, spend, and spend, with little or no regard to the consequences.

The legal battles, purchase of unnecessary buildings, above-cost fences, poor contracts for the building of roads and sidewalks, and even the construction of the Wadadli Power Plant are just a few of the items on the list of bad spending.

When the UPP was in opposition, Spencer and his colleagues had the remedies to all the ills that plagued the nation.

They have not demonstrated, however, the fiscal prudence they demanded from the then government of the day, the Antigua Labour Party.

Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seemed helpless in sorting out this government’s financial dilemma.


It is going to take a serious overhaul of the UPP’s fiscal policies if the financial bleeding is going to stop.

Sadly, the prime minister and his colleagues in the UPP do not seem to have the answer, as every day, stories like that of HMB raise their ugly heads.

No matter what, make money or lose money, Spencer, Simon and their colleagues take home a pay cheque before anyone in government.

Perhaps if they had to pay from their own salaries, they would consider not spending taxpayers’ monies like it’s grown on trees.

Give the people a break please, we need it now more than ever.

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18 Comments In This Article   

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RE: Other People’s Money

#18 Daughter of the Soil » 2012-03-26 09:00

I think that we need a New Party that truely puts 'People 1st'. ALP seems to have got us into this mess..... UPP haven't really dug us out!!!
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Daughter of the Soil

Sinking ship with a squandering captain pt. 3

#17 Dig It » 2012-03-23 16:39

Lastly, and, forgive me if I am take up too space here, I just want to add my concern for our youths, who are left with a hugh "tab" to pay for all our debts and innuendos. We are ALL "care-takers" of the youths of this country in seeing to it that they are left with "sound" opportunities and resources to carry this nation on the shoulders! What's the purpose of the Chief Servant "boasting" about the amount of scholarships they get from the Chinese, when the environment is not properly set up for the youths to "reap" the benefits? What are they to do once they come back home to a land that they would be NOT be a position in adding value to nation-building? Obviously, we can't "pack" all of them in a "bloated" public sector, and, we just can't have them on the sidelines with their two-long bear hands begging for work! The question is: are we thinking of them in our "negotiations" in getting favors that will "certainly" come back to haunt us?
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Dig It

Other Peoples Money

#16 Antigua Bill » 2012-03-23 16:06

I don't who is going to be first. The Chinese for their soft loans and the power plant or the Americans for HMB and Stanford assets. place your bets.
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Antigua Bill

Sinking ship with a squandering captain! pt.2

#15 Dig It » 2012-03-23 13:38

At this point, I believe the PM has gone to a point of no return with "massive" economic debt, instability, public betrayal, and, possible, "political suicide!" It will take years for this once "Gem of the Caribbean" to get out of the "**-hole!" And, it will take more than a "tug-boat" to pull us out! Yet, in the midst of this fight of survival, the national flag is no where to be seen, as it has now "swallowed" by a monsterous Chinese flag!"

P.S. "The Chinese flag is just the beginning (replaces the beach)."

Read more: http://www.Caribarena.com/antigua/opinions/opinion-pieces/ian-magic-hughes/100076-other-peoples-money.html#ixzz1pxjNzorx
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Dig It

Is this news or an advertisment for HMB?

#14 JP Farnsworth » 2012-03-23 12:35

In 1995 the hurricane came and devistated Half Moon Bay. Everyone else in Antigua fixed up their place. HMB did not. They fought and fought amongst the share holders the the property laid to waste. The people were out of work and no money being generated. Then PM Bird said that's against the law and took action. The UPP as a continous govt followed up under the law. Tried to settle with HMB but HMB is greedy and selfish. Still back wages remain unpaid, the land sits in shambles, and no one is makeing money on the one of the nicest beaches in the country. A clear violation of the laws of this country even if you don't like them.
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JP Farnsworth

Truly sad

#13 young analyst » 2012-03-23 11:58

Antiguans what is truly sad is the fact that they really seem like they dont care, :sad: , after they came into power the agena seemed to be what UPP can accomplish, now every month they are struggling to find the funds to pay salaries. They foolishly were trying to erase everything that was done by the previous govermnent, i am really **ed at the way our country is being run. :-x everyday its something else thats just bringing down our country. :sad:
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young analyst

Right Perspective

#12 Harry » 2012-03-23 11:45

The UPP's Strategy is to postpone debt payments. What is going to happen when all becomes due at the same time?
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Harry

Right Perspective

#11 Harry » 2012-03-23 11:42

Magic, I agree with you that HMB should be adequately communicated for their property and the UPP have no excuse for not doing that in timely manner. However, I believe in eminent domain in that the Govt has the right and authority to compulsory acquire for public good but i repeat. they should compensate adequately. UPP made a boo boo, (as they usually do), when they chose perry over other more apt candidates to develop the project. The UPP bad decisions continue to cost us. Time for them to go.
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Harry

Sinking ship with a squandering captain! pt.1

#10 Dig It » 2012-03-23 11:29

Magic, oh, how the times have changed now the PM is no longer in the opposition, and, is now the captain of this "sinking" ship? He basically "back-peddles" on his promises to be a government of "accoutability" and "transperacy!" Not forgetting the promises to make the "wrongs, "right." After eight years in office, the PM has taken the "ship" deeper in the "abyss" with continuous "wastage" of the taxpayers money with littlenil regards to how they spend it or how much they borrow to pay it back! Frankly, and, I don't give two-tooths at this point (have reached my boiling point), the GOAB should "freeze" all public spending and borrowing, and, "dissolved" Parliament, and have a "court appointed receiver" to take care of all fiscal policies, in recovering billions of dollars "squandered!" We could start the recovery process by "auctioning-off" all the "accumulated" wealth the xxx and his cronies have acquired in wheelsdeals! And, the Professional Auctioneer, MP xxxxxx could start the "bidding" by starting with himself then his cronies!
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Dig It

RE: Other People’s Money

#9 nagga business » 2012-03-23 11:03

Magic for once you talking sense. finally
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nagga business

perhaps nitpicking

#8 tenman » 2012-03-23 10:33

Magic in general your argument makes sense. Was saying to someone just yesterday, that government has no respect for tax payers moneys. MP Condrington yesterday via the Collin Sampson show, stated that before the IMF came to Antigua, there were no controls regarding government expenditure. Like you, I feel its way past time to conclude this HMB mess.

I do need to ask, where is the evidence that the former government planned to after "huffing" (your word) the property, give (i note you did not say sell) it to Stanford? I leave you with a statement from LB, regarding the Sale of HMB to serious investors with a real track record, during the 2003 budget speech (11 april, 2003):
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I am pleased to say that we now have three such potential investors. Saul Kerzner of South Africa's famous Sun City and Atlantis at Paradise Island in The Bahamas, Mr William B Johnson founder of Ritz Carlton Hotels, and Mr R Allen Stanford whose investments here are already well known. We hope that the legal delays will be completed this year and the property sold to the investor who puts up the best and most sustainable plan for the Half Moon Bay property.
..
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tenman

RE: Other People’s Money

#7 my way of helping » 2012-03-23 09:44

Everything mentioned here, actual facts, irrefutable. Informative article and from this, we should be able to make a better decision with the selection of candidates and Government.
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my way of helping

THey don't intend to pay

#6 Judge Dredd » 2012-03-23 08:52

The UPP know that they will lose the next election so they are delaying and will leave all of these massive payments for the next Government and ultimately for the ordinary people to pay. At huge expense, the UPP is going to the Privy Council on HMB and the Stanford ABST cases. They will lose. We know it and they know it. By the time it ends, we will owe HMB over one hundred million. This delaying tactic is CRIMINAL. When the government changes. ALL of them must be prosecuted for crimes against the people of this country.
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Judge Dredd

RE: Other People’s Money

#5 DadliMan » 2012-03-23 08:12

Magic, you should be commended for this article. It is refreshing to see you write an opinion piece where you didn't go off point to dig at your nemisis, Lester Bird.
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DadliMan

Magic!

#4 ACLM » 2012-03-23 07:40

Great Article! However, you fall short of stating the obvious...UPP must resign to stop the bleeding!
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ACLM

MAGIC REALITY CHECK

#3 SOCIAL SCIENTIST » 2012-03-23 06:59

This is a Magic reality check. Given my own comments yesterday, first to say Congrats today. One reader wrote yesterday **pin the tail on the right jackass.** Magic seemingly understood now what readers were trying to communicate to him through their recent comments.

These developments, readers had followed with very keen interest and once you are factual and objective as opposed to being speculative, veering from the subject, you will be critiqued objectively. This is more like Magic- stating the facts as had been widely perceived.
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SOCIAL SCIENTIST

RE: Other People’s Money

#2 Morris » 2012-03-23 06:32

Magic, I completely agree with you. Many have been echoing the very same sentiments on this forum for a while now, but everything seems to befalling on deaf ears. I am sure the cumulative amount spent in legal expenses for all the times the gov't has spent in court could have possibly reduced the debt to a neglible amount had they paid for the property. However, as you said, when it is not your money why worry about the amount.
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Morris

Message finally getting through

#1 STEVE » 2012-03-23 05:14

"While I agree that the world is facing an economic crisis, Antigua & Barbuda’s financial woes are mainly due to poor management - bad decisions made possible by a severe lack of accountability".
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STEVE

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Ian 'Magic' Hughes

Ian 'Magic' Hughes is an Antiguan Journalist.






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