The Gaston Browne Administration cannot be trusted and continues to take the citizens and residents of this country for fools, says Damani Tabor, public relations officer for the United Progressive Party (UPP).
Tabor’s comment follows the Cabinet’s decision to change its position – yet again – on the system of bonding scholarship recipients who pursue studies overseas.
On Thursday, February 23, the Executive reported that it is considering a fixed period for bonding, so that students return home to work after they graduate.
However, during a loan-signing ceremony at The University of the West Indies Five Islands on January 17, Prime Minister Browne had told the audience that his administration would be eliminating the need for bonding.
Tabor says this was an idea put forward by the UPP during its election campaign; and while the Antigua Labour Party has appropriated the plan – as is the norm – the Administration does not know how to implement it.
Therefore, he is not surprised that Browne is making an about-face on his promise to remove the requirement for bonding students.
Meanwhile, Tabor says that Browne’s statement – that he would prefer that citizens leave Antigua and Barbuda qualified and able to earn a proper living, rather than remain here, “uneducated and poor” – is an admission of failure.
He says the Government is shortchanging the youth by not ensuring there are sufficient jobs on the market for when they leave school.
The Cabinet’s rationale for continuing to bond students is that it “would be in repayment of the taxpayer funding which was freely given towards their training.”