The inept way in which the Labour Administration is managing the economic affairs of our country, demonstrates a lack of understanding of the problems inherent in our country, which are not being tackled and solutions presented. Those who speak the truth about this clueless administration are accused instead of preaching doom and gloom, or worse still hating the Prime Minister.
But the same fate that the confidante of our Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bisseassar, suffered in the Trinidad and Tobago elections awaits our Prime Minister in St. Lucia.
For Kamla Bissessar evidently got some lessons from her mentor, our Prime Minister Kenny Anthony, for she must have learned that it was a good election ploy to make false promises to the electorate, in order to win the elections, as our Prime Minister did in 2011.
Have we conveniently forgotten the promise of ‘better days and the injection of $100 million in our economy?’ Kamla Bissessar dutifully followed her mentor’s ruse by making absurd promises on the eve of the general elections in Trinidad and Tobago, such as the promise to pay all the outstanding medical bills of Trinidadian icon the Mighty Sparrow, as a result of his advanced stage of diabetes.
Based on the outcome of the elections in Trinidad and Tobago, we must ask the question, will our deceptive Prime Minister again make false and unrealistic promises to a largely gullible population in St. Lucia?
The latest deceptive promises being made by the Labour Government is the proposed expansion of the Castries Gros Islet Highway.
But based on its historical record of vast cost-overruns, these capital projects are meant to line the pockets of supporters of the government to the exclusion of persons who are perceived to be non supporters of the administration.
The excessive cost of capital works that the government is dangling before the electorate, is just a ploy like the promise of the $100 million in 2011, when it is just a last ditch effort of this corrupt administration to enrich the pockets of its supporters.
Instead we have a situation in St. Lucia today, which is apparent to all, that there is a blatant disregard and exclusion of persons who are perceived to be non-supporters of this administrations.
A politics of spite and vindictiveness is being practiced in St. Lucia today in which the Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport which has changed from the simple designation of Ministry of Communications and Works. This name change would have necessitated legislation, legal work, the printing of new letterheads by friendly printers of government, at enormous expense to taxpayers.
There are public complaints that the present government does not award contracts equitably and is not concerned about social equality. We have a situation in our country today in which a select group of supporters of the SLP benefit substantially, while a large section of the population are unemployed and are financially distressed and insecure.
It is easy for detractors in the government to accuse those who speak the gospel truth of what is going on in the country at the moment, of false allegations and preaching doom and gloom. As a result incompetent party supporters who have had a record of failures, are being recruited into lucrative positions in government, idling and just pushing papers round a desk, with no positive initiatives. This is just one of the many reasons why St. Lucia is suffering economically and socially.
It must be clear to the most partisan supporters of this Labour Government, that our country is at its worst level of economic performance, because instead of paying more attention and hiring competent persons to make a proper analysis of the country’s condition, its agents are busy indulging in dirty propaganda against the leading members of the Opposition United Workers Party.
Can any St. Lucian contemplate that under a U.W.P. administration, that the government would be concentrating all of its energies on the internal affairs of the Labour Party? Did Sir John or even Stephenson King ever comment on the criminal behavior of Labour Party executive members who allegedly expelled Julian Hunte at the barrel of a gun to make way for the entrance of Kenny Anthony as Leader of the party? Will the moral values of the Labour Party ever return under its current leadership?
This moral deficit under the leadership of the current Prime Minister has resulted in the descension into the dirtiest propaganda, tarnishing the image of respectable persons in the society, ridiculing political opponents in the most deviant manner, which reveals the state of these agents minds, in which right-thinking, decent persons in our society are appalled by the damage being done to the social fabric of our once peaceful and tranquil society.
While this administration has tried to hide from the citizens of this country, the true state of St. Lucia’s economy, attempts to hide the truth have been exposed by prestigious international institutions such as ECLAC (The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), which highlighted the deceit of this administration, and exposing St. Lucia as the worst performing economy in our region.
The ECLAC report which cannot be refuted by our Minister of Finance, as he would if it came from local critics, exposes the dramatic drop of St. Lucia’s economic performance which was once the shining light of the O.E.C.S. This is a major humiliation for the Prime Minister, who liked to posture among the leaders of the O.E.C.S., as the most successful and advanced economy of the O.E.C.S.
The report from ECLAC shows that since Labour came into office in 2011, the country has registered negative, growth of minus 1.6 % for three years to 2014. This year 2015, the projected growth for St. Lucia is 0.3 %, while Antigua is showing growth of 5.4% with its billion dollar tourism hotel and airport development, St. Kitts/Nevis 4.6 % Grenada 1.3% and Dominica and St. Vincent registered greater growth than St. Lucia.
The personality of Kenny Anthony is well known by St. Lucians for his vicious attacks against anyone who would dare challenge him as has been demonstrated in his characterization of George Odlum and Dr. Vaughn Lewis. The only person he dared not criticize was the reputation and power of Sir John.
His vindictiveness towards the people of St. Lucia is indicated in his attempts to make St. Lucians pay for their effrontery in demonstrating against high gas prices in St. Lucia. Now that gas prices have gone down to its lowest level in history, gas prices continue to rise here in St. Lucia. Electricity bills have remained high, water rates have continued to rise, while a desperate government imposes new taxes in all areas in order to raise revenue for its capital works.
But dangling capital works as a way of reviving our economy will not work, based on the record of the government in such projects, which will not filter into the wider economy, but into the packets of select individuals. The essence of what I am suggesting is that the announcement of the expansion of the Castries/Gros Islet will reflect the same cost-overruns that have marked such projects undertaken by the Labour Government in the past.
The most recent example is the answer to my question, which is, why 42 low-cost, substandard houses in Monchy for the Conway residents could cost $37 million? Did this project stimulate our economy, taking the multiplier effect into consideration?
Was there any productivity measure taken of the enormous, ridiculous amount spent on those houses? In the absence of a productivity measurement for this scandalous housing scheme in Monchy, will the Castries / Gros Islet highway expansion stimulate our economy, or just fill the pockets of SLP cronies?
Is this the way New Labour squanders the taxes of business enterprises and ordinary tax-payers of this country?
I wager that the economy of St. Lucia will worsen in the foreseeable future under labour, and only the historical record of the U.W.P. will better manage our economic affairs, with big investors waiting for the green light from the U.S.A. to stimulate economic activity in our country.