The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has criticised the ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government over the 2.5 percent Health and Citizen Security Levy.
Opposition Senator Herod Stanislas described the measure as ‘cruel and unnecessary’.
And Stanislaus hoped the ‘heartless’ SLP government would reconsider ‘this abomination’.
At a Thursday opposition news conference, he said the UWP learned that the Saint Lucia Manufacturers Association (SMA) had written to Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre to complain about the new levy.
UWP Public Relations Officer Lenard ‘Spider’ Montoute also addressed the news conference.
Montoute expressed concern over the levy’s impact on small, medium, and micro businesses amid high inflation.
He explained that while larger businesses might be able to absorb the 2.5 percent levy, that would make the smaller businesses uncompetitive and possibly result in the demise of start-up enterprises.
The former Minister declared that people would expect that under the circumstances, the government would implement policies to lighten the burden of the high cost of living.
“This is certainly not the approach to be taken if you are to build an economy,” the former Gros Islet MP asserted regarding the 2.5 percent levy.
According to Montoute, merchants would naturally pass on additional costs to the consumer, making life harder, especially for single parents and low-income citizens.