June 13, 2016  Antigua OBSERVER media The Big Stories

Activist and academic Dr David Hinds (social media photo)

Activist and academic Dr David Hinds (social media photo)

A political activist has commended Prime Minister Gaston Browne for making public the fact that he declared in excess of $30 million in assets prior to the 2014 general elections, but warned that a backlash could follow.

Dr David Hinds suggested that the declaration brings transparency into focus, while at the same time raises the question of the disparity in wealth between the ordinary people and the elite in society.

“I think there is going to be a mixed response to that. On one hand the prime minister has come clean, but on the other hand when someone has that kind of wealth in a small society like Antigua & Barbuda, one asks the question where his or her ideological position flows from,” Dr Hinds said yesterday.

During Parliament, on Friday, Browne told the nation that his holdings include real estate owned throughout the country— properties in Paynters, Piccadilly, Jennings, Villa, Gray’s Farm, Fitches Creek, cars and heavy duty equipment, amassed over a 30-year period.

The PM’s statement was in response to widespread allegations that his wealth accumulation increased when he took office, and concerns about a controversial deal involving land at Long Bay sold to Browne’s son.

Meanwhile, Dr Hinds also said he disapproves of government’s overall approach to fixing the economy. He questioned how the poor would benefit from the taxation methods adopted by the ABLP government. Dr Hinds said he is not satisfied that the initiatives that are being undertaken by the government are going to benefit the broad masses of working people.