Former NCA President urges reduced fares

The former National Consumer Association (NCA) President, Kingsley St Hill, has called for the reduction of transport costs to reflect the declining world market prices for fuel.

“Especially in the season of Lent, you would expect compassionate minibus drivers, taxi drivers and those persons who import stuff to sell it cheaper, to be compassionate on consumers and ensure that the true cost of the item is reflected,” St Hill said.

Asserting that he does not really believe in price control, the former NCA President expressed the opinion that the market ought to play its role.

He explained that consumers can act when they come together as a body, the same as workers in a trade union.

“The consumer has choices so what we have to do is vote with our purchasing dollar and not buy from those whose prices are too high, “he said.

The former NCA President appealed to citizens to join the organization in what he described as its “just campaign” to get consumer rights legislated in Saint Lucia.

St Hill disclosed that the government has approved the consumer protection bill, which is waiting for amendments in the senate to be approved in the lower house.

“We are hoping that the department will do all that is possible bring fruition to the Consume Protection Board which we have been waiting for since 2001,” he revealed.

Saint Lucia joined the rest of the world yesterday in observing World Consumer Rights Day under the theme – Antibiotics off the Table.

St Hill said that the NCA, which is affiliated to Consumer International, is not against antibiotics.

He explained that the issue was with the use of antibiotics in meat and poultry which, once consumed by humans, affects their resistance to diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO), in the face of the growing use of antibiotics globally, has warned that  antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world.

WHO asserts that without urgent action, the world is heading for a post-antibiotic era in which important medicines stop working and common infections and minor injuries can once again result in death.

By some estimates, half of all antibiotics produced globally are used in agriculture, mainly to promote faster growth and to prevent, rather than treat disease.