The Government’s glowing picture of a rejuvenated economy, with growth of 5.3 per cent in 2021, is not the reality of the people of Antigua and Barbuda, declares Senator Richard Lewis.
In this year’s Budget Presentation, Prime Minister Gaston Browne claimed the country has made significant economic inroads. But Lewis, debating the Appropriations Bill, 2022, questions this growth and asks who are the people feeling it.
If residents are not feeling it, Senator Lewis says, then the economic growth does not equate to much. Further, he says, the demands on social services have increased in spite of the touted economic growth – and this does not add up.
With the Consumer Price Index Report confirming increases in the cost of goods and services since the start of the pandemic, Lewis is reminding the Government that people are struggling and some are barely able to put food on the table.
Meanwhile, addressing the state of small and micro businesses, he says many have closed their doors and others are experiencing difficult times.
Lewis, the United Progressive Party (UPP) Candidate for Rural West, asserts that the Prime Minister’s “economic powerhouse” collapsed immediately after the start of the pandemic.
If the country was doing as well as claimed, he asks, why did the Government fail to offer any stimulus to the people.