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Mary Francis Calls For Repeal Of 2.5 Percent Health & Citizen Security Levy

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Human Rights Advocate Mary Francis has called on the Philip J. Pierre administration to repeal the 2.5 percent Health & Citizen Security Levy.

The levy will raise additional revenue to finance health and security projects to benefit Saint Lucians and visitors.

However, Mary Francis told St. Lucia Times the measure represents a great human rights breach.

The outspoken Attorney at Law explained that the levy affects the right to an adequate standard of living.

“This is the wrong timing. We are just coming from COVID where there is a depressed economy,” the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights Coordinator observed.

Francis told St. Lucia Times that people are not working and facing many challenges.

She declared it was not the right time to add to those challenges.

“Government should repeal this piece of legislation to ensure that persons are better able to have an adequate standard of living, which is a right under the Covenant for Social and Economic Rights,” Francis noted.

Francis told St. Lucia Times that an inadequate standard of living affects the right to life, in addition to someone’s housing and health.

“The government should be a lot more conscientious in terms of its obligation to ensure that Saint Lucians respect and observe human rights,” she stated.

In addition, Francis called on citizens to stand up for human rights to ensure dignity, justice, and freedom.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with you Mary. They refuse to trim the “fat” but then want to burden tax payers with more taxes to generate revenue to meet expenditures driven by their inefficiencies and largesse. Why does every ministry need its own ex media communications person (Cost to tax payer) one ministry has a whole PR person assigned to it and a PR consultant– Cost to tax payers.. But then you turn around and say more taxes need to be paid for H&S.

    This is what this tone deaf government and it’s supporters do not understand. On its own the premise of a tax to facilitate h&S is good and I support it but the timing and the fact that the government itself continues to spend lavishly is what I am against. Trip to Rwanda for Housing, Trip to Venezuela for Housing., Trip to Dubai for housing and we are yet to see any report or tangible benefits of these trips. Cut the fat and then let’s talk about additional taxes on a struggling population!

  2. Some of us needs to do the right thing when it comes to the development of this,Island and stop playing cheap politics. This call by you isn’t coming from the heart, but rather cheap talk and politics. You don’t have the citizenry at heart. It’s time for people to stop blaming,Covid 19 for everything and move on. Are we going to sit for the rest of our lives, don’t seek a job and blame,Covid. We need to stop that.

  3. Mary whiles I agree with you. If govt repeals this levy now, business will not lower their prices to reflect that, We will still hv the high prices. What’s even more amazing is that on one end those guys talk about COVID negative impact and do things like
    Increase teacher allowance
    Gv pensioners 1 time payment etc.
    All of this, just to play in those ppl minds and get their votes. Who doesn’t see right through this gimmick It’s just ridiculous the way those guys doing things. It’s all about securing votes. Anyways I rsst my case, caus me nah voting again.

  4. When CHASTANET was looking to tax , jewellers , coals makers ,hair dressers , barbers , mechanics , pudding makers u said nothing u hypocrite.

  5. The labour government have outwitted the population. Instead of taking VAT to 15%, they came up with this levy which is effectively 12.5% + 2.5%=16.1% (ask your account friends how it works). The extra funds are for electioneering and creating a dependent population. The one off payments and components of the STEP program are essentially bribes funded by struggling tax payers.

  6. @Osmond A license for operation to regulate industries is not a tax. Stop listening to foolishness from Can I help me which caters to the 43%-ers of the population.

    The license would ensure that these industries are meeting certain standards thereby protecting both environment and consumers. Is this such a bad thing that persons are asked to pay a small annual license fee to ensure that the various industries are regulated. Is it not a less onerous measure than a 2.5% compounding tax?

  7. @senoir Said the pot to the kettle. How do you expect citizens to prosper if you tax them to death and there are no benefits to them? Are you mad?

  8. Some of you all are hilarious. You need to find out the cost of something as small as a packet of sutures (stitches). And i am sure that you can well imagine that it gets a lot more expensive then that. Added Prices of items, duties, delivery, mark up for the seller and the list goes on. Then concession for nurses, fire officers and the police…….not to mention those holding exemption cards like paupers and patients with COPD. Oh, let me not forget the usual depositing of old people and the disabled at the behest of the hospitals, especially during the season. Then there are repairs of health care facilities, equipment and the like……against a backdrop of some patients failing to pay their hospital bills and might I add taxes. last time i checked St. Lucia has neither petroleum, precious metals, bauxite or the like. The health service does not operate to make profit. Think on that.

  9. Awa Mary, can’t agree with you on that one at all. Now is the perfect time, economy is picking up lots of projects already started and more due to start imminently.

    You sound like someone singing for super, I hate to say it but that how it sounds.

    Your arguement is weak on with this one.

    I still love you though.

  10. @osmond i agree with your comments. The lady has been playing politics for a while. Isn’t it the same government under UWP who first proposed this Levy? CHAST

    I rest my case. Dirty Mary..

  11. I do not agree with Attorney Mary Francis. She needs to think of the alternative and the hardship it will inflict on the quality of life of St.Lucians. universal health care is a fundamental human right. The police needs resources, training, equipment and manpower to protect citizenry. These services come with a price. People need to stop expecting government to pay for everything. Sacrifices need to be made.

  12. SMH. For somebody to say that Mary has to be a political hack. All Mary is saying is that a 2.5% levy at this time is not humane. She is a Human Rights Advocate, and she is damn right. I mean all now Lucia has over 6 persons in Dubai. Each getting an average $15,000 in per diem. The PM went with his secretary, the PS of Economic Dev or Finance went with his secretary. Why not STOP THIS LAVISH SPENDING for their family and jabals and use the money to buy meds to put at OKEU.? I support Labour, but when a hospital cannot afford meds and govt ministers taking an entourage of persons to travel so they can get handsome payouts and we get nothing in return from all dem trips u telling me I should support the 2.5% H&S levy when am still not safe even drivng on the roads or better off health wise. FOOLISHNESS. THAT TAX IS INHUMANE sorry

  13. @Wow before you repeat 2.5 % inhumane of Mary’s nonsence i would advise you to do some homework on our surroundings islands and the total VAT% at current.
    Please…….and then lets engage in some meaningful discussion .
    Please.

  14. The issue of a tax being ‘inhumane’ needs to be unpacked, especially when the tax benefits everyone. Making that kind of value judgment would require carefully weighing various ethical considerations.

    Typically, we say a tax is regressive if it takes up a larger percentage of income from low-income groups than from high-income groups. But while some say taxing the poor is unfair, others say taxing the rich more than the poor is also unfair.
    There is no winner here; just a matter of perspective.

    Overall, there are good arguments on multiple sides. There may be reasonable disagreements on whether any specific tax is justifiable or “inhumane.” I prefer the word regressive.

    Is the 2.5% regressive? No, a 2.5% tax specifically used to fund healthcare and security services would likely not be considered a regressive tax. The poorest of the poor, people will never be able to pay any tax, so for them, the government has to increase social services.

    But here is where Mary Francis is playing politics as she usually does: Healthcare and security could be viewed as public services that provide basic human necessities. Access to healthcare and personal safety/security could fall into categories of fundamental human rights or needs.

    There will forever be a debate on optimal tax policy. As long as the services funded are accessible to all income levels fairly based on need/eligibility, the structure seems reasonably equitable. The government must keep telling the people what the tax is being used for.

    You know Mary Francis is playing politics because she has yet to mention what the tax is for and how it is being used.

  15. Well for sure I cannot defend the 2.5% tax because I am not rich. My family and I are trying to make ends meet from a very long time . There are graduates all over the place looking for jobs and cannot find jobs . So if parents are not working and children are not working , why put an axe on us ? My god things a very very hard . Please please please save your children . Who feels it knows it Papa Bondia please help the less fortunate ,those that are unable to read and understand for himself . Have mercy lord . Look now and hey are making it a political talk . A Mary Francis whom don’t give a rat ass about politics.

  16. I stand with Osmond Chas wanted to tax poor people who were trying to make a decent living to help their families, where was Mary Francis.
    Mary Francis you holding grudges from times towards the SLP . You’re plan blank a HYPOCRITE

  17. To all of you all this taxes is A NECESSARY EVIL…..heath and wellness is PARAMOUNT, this is not something the government inflict on the populace without critical thinking of the hardship it will impose on people. Everyone seems to understand government budget and expenditures and why this tax will be too much, so in earnest in your budgetary mindset (trim the fat they say) what are you fools proposing for the government to offset this NECESSARY EVIL. Less overseas trips on government business will not help much you need a sustainable injected income to cover the needs of healthcare

  18. Mary, not for once I have heard you comment on any of the following: the $600 government gave the pensioners, the scholarships, the facility fees etc.
    Where were you when the former government borrowed 863 million , paid for vaccine we never received. How many passports did Chas sell?
    Comment on these as well.

  19. I have one question …do you think countries exist of thin air? Funds are needed so that services can be rendered. Taxes have to be part of the very fabric of society. Rest assured that things are hard every where in the world.

    My friends husband had a healthcare issue sometime ago. Because they owned their home ..his bill was $85,000.00 US after insurance and they did not qualify for any financial assistance just because they owned their home ..stop complaining about everything and be happy you live in St. Lucia.

    Folk pay thousands of dollars in property taxes in other parts of the world and if the taxes are not paid the state or county seizes the home ..stop stop complaining..you guys complain about everything. Some of you would not be able to exist outside of St. Lucia.

  20. Lydia there is a special prosecutor to deal with all that you are asking Mary to answer. Until he is brought before the Special Prosecutor to answer to these allegations, he remains innocent.
    I have no issues with the 2.5% levy but I can tell you that it is not being used for the name it is called. It is there to continue to allow government ministers and their clonies to have a joy ride at our expense.
    Chastenet was called a bird, because of how often he traveled but now we have 15 birds, their families, jabals and close associates milking the treasury, traveling all over the world with nothing to show in return. I work at Hewanorra Airport and I can tell you the PM, Helaire and Alva with entourage of over 5 each time, have traveled no less than 4 times in November alone. That’s where the government can cut wastage. Don’t think between 6 to 10 people are needed for negotiation overseas especially today where Covid showed us that these could be done via zoom and other online outlets.

  21. Why don’t we the people want to contribute towards our own well being or anything for that matter, yet we expect everything from government without making any contributions ? Where will the money come from ? All the millions in loans taken which cannot be accounted for, have to be paid back.

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