Address by Dr. Ellis Lorenzo Webster, Leader of the AUM

By anguillian April 24, 2017 11:42



Fellow Anguillians, Greetings at this Easter season.

As the second anniversary of the election of the Anguilla United Front administration approached, and the first anniversary of the demise of the two indigenous banks, the Anguilla United Movement (AUM) announced our public meeting for April 22nd, 2017. Two months ago, we concluded plans to conduct a public meeting scheduled for this Saturday evening at the parking lot of the Highway Tire Center. We sought and received approval from the Royal Anguilla Police Force.
Since then, the government of Anguilla decided to have, and advertised a public rally for the very same evening. Therefore, as a mark of respect for the ruling administration, we have decided to postpone our public meeting to a later date.

We believe that the government should be given the respect it deserves to articulate to the Anguillian people at home and abroad its accomplishments over the past twenty-four (24) months.

We believe it is important for them to update the people of Anguilla on their promises to repeal the Interim Stabilization Levy.

We believe it is important for them to let the people of Anguilla know that they have delivered on their promise to facilitate the commencement of no fewer than two mega yacht marinas within the first two years of coming to office;
– We believe it is important for our government to inform us the people of Anguilla of their progress on keeping their promise of transparency relative to the banking report, and update us on when they will fulfill their promise to ensure that the shareholders and all depositors, local and offshore, are protected;
– We believe it is important for the government to let us know why they have not delivered on the fifteen-point plan to
1. restore full employment, diversify jobs, promote the payment of living wages in the lowest paying jobs and set up an effective national minimum wage;
2. provide immediate relief from the Interim Stabilization Levy and other taxes, which they claimed were unfair and had been hurting workers and businesses and depressing commerce;
3. promote the use of unused tourism and other assets to grow business and jobs;
4. expand the airport to facilitate direct commercial flights to New York and London , and build a new Cargo Port facility in Corito in keeping with recommendations and plans dating back to 2009;
5. support local investors with programs, especially young entrepreneurs; and
6. increase the role of the Anguilla Development Board, and strengthen Anguilla’s financial system.

We believe that it is important that we postpone our meeting to ensure that the AUF has a full audience when they update us on the fulfillment of their promise to promote foreign investment in specific sectors in partnership with local investors, and explain why those pre-election foreign investors that they had lined up outside of Anguilla waiting for them to be elected have not started investing, and why the immediate economic boom promised has not been delivered.

The people of Anguilla will be listening keenly to hear if the government would admit that foreign investors were not coming to the island because investor confidence has been destroyed by the AUF government’s seizure of the deposits of overseas depositors in its “banking resolution”.
It is very important that we allow the government the chance to explain why they have not repaid the Public Servants as promised, why they have drawn down on the reserve fund that we, the AUM, built up, and why they have not delivered on their promise to strengthen public finances, generate surpluses, build reserves and limit borrowing.

It is only fair that we allow the government to explain why they have not gotten close to their promised goal of 5% to 8% annual economic growth, expand on social benefits for the unemployed through unemployment benefits, and also on social benefits for our children, our elderly citizens, and the disabled, and even to increase employment benefits.
Our government must be allowed to justify why they have raised taxes, including property tax, to unaffordable and unsustainable levels, and enacted laws with obligations which will burden our people for generations, and place their houses and land in jeopardy of being lost.

The government must surely be given a chance to inform the people of this our beloved country why they have not delivered on their promise to secure an upgraded and more advanced constitution with improved transparency and accountability.

People of Anguilla, we hope, that you will understand why we have given way to the AUF administration. Please take the opportunity to listen keenly to the government’s planned rally, and hold them to account as you listen.

We have not abandoned our responsibility to serve you, and we will inform you as soon as we have set a new date for our public meeting.

We thank you for your understanding and patience.

God Bless you, and God bless Anguilla.

(Published without editing by The Anguillian newspaper.)

By anguillian April 24, 2017 11:42


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