Opposition leader Allen Chastanet has said although the Philip J. Pierre administration did not create inflation, the government can soften it.
“They are certainly responsible for allowing the price of fuel to increase and to stay increased at this elevated level,” the United Workers Party (UWP) leader asserted.
Chastanet explained that the effect was that bus fares and the price of bread and cooking gas had gone up.
“It is having a spiralling effect,” the former Prime Minister told the radio call-in programme Newwspin on Thursday.
Chastanet said the government’s 2.5 percent Health and Security levy had worsened matters.
At the same time, he lamented that the government was making no sacrifices.
“There’s no stopping in travelling. There’s nobody trying to turn off the lights at night. There’s nothing you hear the government saying that we’re going to be tightening our belts. “We’re going to try to become more efficient because we need to save money’. None of that,” the UWP leader declared.
And amid calls for a consumer boycott of Massy Stores over high prices, the former Finance Minister said the prices reflected the government’s policies.
“How do you believe that you are going to increase the levy of 2.5 percent on all items, transportation, lawyers’ fees, all these other costs and not to believe it is going to have an add-on effect to the price of food?” Chastanet noted.
“When you make it more costly to do business in Saint Lucia, you have to pass that on somewhere else,” he asserted.
In addition, the opposition leader explained when it is not possible to pass on the price and sales stop, people go out of business.
He said food is a necessity so people would reduce consumption.
Chastanet said to pass the blame on Massy was unfair.
Nevertheless, he acknowledged that the supermarket chain could do things better and find deals to reduce prices.
However, the opposition leader declared that the prime responsibility lies with the government, which has done nothing to soften imported inflation.