After a huge outcry from residents, public criticism, and a call by the
Opposition for protest action against the cancellation of the yearly
ABST-reduction weekend, Prime Minister Gaston Browne appears to
be backtracking on the decision.
Early Friday morning, November 17, media reports disclosed that
the much-anticipated “social programme” – to which both residents
and businesses look forward – will not be implemented in
This, reportedly, was to enhance the Government’s financial position
and allow it to meet increasing obligations.
However, following the widespread blowback, Browne took to
Facebook, where he alleged that the recommendation for
discontinuing the sales-tax reduction had been made by officials in
the Ministry of Finance to the Executive.
According to Browne, who chairs the Cabinet, the body will make a
final decision on the tax initiative at its next sitting, which should be
next Wednesday, November 22.
Some persons say the prime minister appears to have been testing
the waters with this announcement to see how the public would
If there had been no uproar it would have gone through, sources
suggest; but since there was such a public backlash, Browne quickly
shifted blame to Finance officials.
Residents are complaining that this is no way to run a country and
the Browne Administration should get its act together.