Business operators are becoming increasingly frustrated by the
inordinate length of time they must wait for the Gaston Browne
Administration to pay them for services and goods it has received.
Reportedly, some businessmen and women are falling sick from the
stress of not being paid and from owing their own creditors and
employees, as well.
Over the past three years, since the advent of the COVID-19
pandemic, hundreds of businesses have gone under. Many of these
were expecting to be paid the Government as they struggled through
what was, and still is, a hard economic time.
Sean Bird – the United Progressive Party (UPP) caretaker for St.
John’s Rural East and a businessman himself – says he has spoken to
several operators who are in dire straits and are fighting to keep
their businesses open, keep their workers employed, and feed their
Speaking specifically about the difficulties of one particular owner –
whose identity he chose to protect – Bird says this man is now facing
health challenges because has been unable to receive the funds
owed to him by the Browne Administration.
There have been ongoing rumours that only two businesses are
being compensated by the Treasury for services rendered.
Consequently, other operators are displeased, since their inability to
get paid is greatly hindering their ability to survive.
Accordingly, Bird says the Administration’s misappropriation of
funds and mismanagement of taxpayers’ money – as was evident in
the St. Mary’s South by-election – are having a negative impact on
the business community.
Meanwhile, Bird says he was not surprised at the hostage situation
that occurred at Ferris Farm on Sunday night, October 29, into
Monday morning, October 30.
In that incident, a man reportedly stabbed his employer and then
held the victim’s wife and daughter hostage, at knifepoint, for hours.
Bird says that residents are facing a level of frustration and anxiety
that has never before been seen in this country. Not only are
employers impacted, he notes, but so are their workers, who want to
be paid after having given of their time and efforts.
But, sometimes, he acknowledges, timely payments to employees
are not possible because of the large sums that might be owed to the