Former Minister of Finance Harold Lovell is refuting allegations by Prime Minister Gaston Browne that the Baldwin Spencer Administration received from Venezuela fuel that was practically free.
At the time, Browne was claiming that, in spite of this arrangement, the United Progressive Party Administration kept fuel prices relatively high.
Lovell calls Browne’s statements an outright lie, explaining that Venezuela had extended a credit facility to Antigua and Barbuda.
Describing the arrangement with Venezuela as a long-term loan on each shipment of fuel, Lovell says that several of the Government’s social programmes were funded by monies accumulated through the interest.
Meanwhile, Lovell says, the decision to increase fuel prices is evidence of mismanagement, since the Browne Administration has collected more taxes than any other in the country’s history.