Cabinet announces land-for-debt settlement with Pringle, who says he has had no official word on deal

The Cabinet has announced that it will be settling debts owed to Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle, not with cash, but with Crown lands.

Although this was made public on Thursday morning, Pringle confirmed to REAL News, in the afternoon, that he had had no official advice of this decision from the Executive and no formal response, to date, to his three letters on the matter.

The allotment of land reportedly is in partial satisfaction of the debt owed to Pringle for work undertaken for the National Solid Waste Management Authority.

Before that is done, however, the Cabinet says it will conduct an audit of the invoices for which Pringle, a businessman, is seeking payment.

Pringle is contracted to the Solid Waste Authority for cleaning services that include the removal of dead animals from public spaces

Prime Minister Gaston Browne brought the contract to the public’s attention some years ago in an attempt to ridicule Pringle, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

During debate on the 2022 budget, Pringle referenced the impact the pandemic has had on his and other small businesses, and he revealed that he was owed a large sum of money by the Browne Administration.

Over the years, many business owners have made similar complaints, and claimed that supporters of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) are given preference of payment.

United Progressive Party Senator Damani Tabor says he is appalled at the high level of debt the Government has amassed with private contractors.

However, he adds that making Pringle’s settlement a public announcement is a diversion from the myriad issues plaguing the country.