Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has highlighted the government’s achievements since the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) won the July 2021 general elections despite the ‘ financial mess’ the party inherited.
He was addressing the SLP’s annual delegates conference in Babonneau on Sunday.
The SLP leader said his administration inherited a ‘poison chalice’ from the outgoing United Workers Party (UWP) government.
He declared that Saint Lucia had transitioned from a self-serving, corrupt government to one that serves the people.
The Saint Lucia Prime Minister disclosed that the SLP found a financial mess when it came into office.
“Our economy had contracted by 24.5 percent – the largest decline in the OECS and the fifth worst decline in the world. And I want to tell you that COVID also affected the entire world and COVID affected Saint Lucia also,” the Castries East MP noted.
He said Saint Lucia had a debt of over four billion dollars and payables of 174 million owed to local business people.
In addition, the PM cited a list of other financial issues the incoming SLP administration discovered.
Nevertheless, Pierre asserted that investor confidence was rising.
He said his administration started the economic recovery, and within two years, the economy grew by eighteen percent in 2021 and fifteen percent in 2022.
“Tourism, agriculture and manufacturing – all our sectors grew,” Pierre told his audience.
He said the government had reduced unemployment to the lowest since 2010, including a ‘serious dent’ in youth unemployment.
Pierre observed that the government had positively impacted people’s lives across all economic sectors, assisting the vulnerable over the past two years.
He listed several assistance programmes implemented under the ‘Putting the People First’ theme.
He also defended the 2.5 Health and Security Levy and vowed that his administration would finish construction of St. Jude Hospital in the ‘shortest possible time’.
“This is our solemn promise to you,” Pierre stated.