If a deal Prime Minister Gaston Browne is negotiating pulls through, public servants in Antigua and Barbuda could receive back pay very soon.
Although negotiations are not finalized, Browne is optimistic that they may bear fruit.
He’s trying to borrow 10 million dollars from a CIP operator to provide back pay for public servants. That operator will be repaid in CIP files.
“It’s like paying in advance for CIP files. I am about to do a deal. I don’t know if it will happen. I am trying to raise some funds so we can pay public servants some backpay. We are asking a CIP operator to advance $10 million for us and when they send the file, we pay them back,” Browne explained
The United Progressive Party has said that the government collected about 5 billion dollars in CIP proceeds but Browne rubbished that claim, saying that on average, his government only collects about $1 billion to date.
Browne said his government will soon launch; potentially by the first quarter of next year, a citizen’s portal, in which anyone can use a mobile device or computer to view government financial accounts
“So, when we have this new portal in place, within six months or sooner because I have already asked the treasury department to buy this module as part of the free balance system, to give the citizenry greater accountability and to increase transparency,” he said.