Barbudans demand ‘outstanding money’ from government

Protestors gathered outside the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday (Photos by Observer’s Shamoy Harding)
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By Theresa Goodwin

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Members of the Barbuda Council and other residents of the sister isle have pledged to continue action to demand more than EC $6 million and other amounts that the Ministry of Finance reportedly owes the Council.

Close to 60 people picketed the ministry’s offices yesterday in hopes of getting an audience with Prime Minister Gaston Browne under whose responsibility the ministry falls.

Barbuda Council Secretary Paul Nedd told Observer that some of the outstanding amounts date back to when Sir Lester Bird was Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.

Nedd said the monies are needed in order for the sister island’s local governing body to meet its obligations to workers.

He said they are also willing to hold dialogue on how the amounts could be settled.

“We will be more than happy to meet with the Prime Minister to negotiate how the payments could be made so the Barbudan people can get their monies and that all of us can live in harmony. It’s the Christmas season and people want to be able to treat their families and children,” Nedd said.

He added that the Barbudans resorted to a picket after failed attempts to secure an audience with the Prime Minister. According to Nedd, the Council wrote to Browne requesting a meeting and was told there were no available dates.

A second reply was not forthcoming. Nedd also stated that most of those who participated in the action yesterday will be returning to Barbuda within the next few days, however, they will return at a later date if their demands are not met.

Browne did not respond to requests for comment up to press time.

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