PM says black people must accept blame for their lack of wealth

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Prime Minister & Finance Minister Gaston Browne has challenged black Antiguans and Barbudans to accept some responsibility for their failure in large part to control the commanding heights of the economy.
“The buying power in this country, 90 per cent of it or more comes from black people, but you know the problem that we have in this country. White people and red people, they don’t like to see black people make money, but the crux of the matter is black people do not love to see black people make money; that is the crux ­­of the problem,” Browne said.
Browne, a self-declared multi-millionaire who has encouraged his Cabinet colleagues to use their creativity to legitimately enrich themselves, said recognising the problem is the first step to fixing it.
“We can blame the Arabs all you want but if we don’t take some level of responsibility for our lack of participation or inaction to create wealth, then we will never be able to end this vicious cycle because it goes beyond government creating that enabling environment,” he said.
The prime minister said that while he accepted that many people in the upper class in the Caribbean have found wealth by aligning themselves with politicians, he said that is no longer the case and the ABLP administration has levelled the playing field by providing an enabling environment.
“We announced well in excess of a year ago that we will make land available, as a policy, at a development price of $3 per square foot. It is available to all Antiguan and Barbudan citizens. We have had some uptake but the truth is enough Antiguans have not availed themselves of that,” Browne said.
The prime minister expressed his stark disappointment with the lack of uptake in one project the government sought to incentivise for Antiguan & Barbudan women entrepreneurs.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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