Doctor Ubaldus Raymond has dismissed the fifteen pledges announced last night by Prime Minister, Doctor Kenny Anthony.
Raymond is a former Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs.
He resigned in August, 2012 to take up the post of Chief Economist in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“All I see is the same old story, the same old bluff, the same old promises just wrapped in a different red cloth,” Doctor Ubaldus Raymond said of the ruling party pledges.
He asserted that the pledges will do no good for this country which needs relief, especially from taxation.
“You cannot be taxing a down economy and you cannot be taxing a country with high unemployment,” the former SLP government official declared.
He said that would only worsen the economic situation, which is what has been happening in the last four years.
Raymond recalled that when the SLP inherited the governance of this country in 2011, Saint Lucia was on the incline.
But he observed that the country has recorded a decline for three consecutive years, albeit during a period of economic expansion in the world economy and even in the region.
“We have performed worse in the OECS, so I was hoping to have seen something that would have created some kind of stir in the economy from his fifteen pledges,” Doctor Ubaldus Raymond said of the measures announced by the Prime Minister.
The former SLP government official said taxes have reached the noses of the people.
“We cannot breathe any longer,” he declared.
Raymond was of the opinion that what the government needs to do is restructure the tax regime to create relief not just for individuals, but for small businesses as well.
He disclosed that when he examined the fifteen pledges made by the Prime Minister, it was said said that pensioners making $40,400 or less annually would be exempt from taxes.
“That is bluff! The question is how many pensioners in this country make more than $40 400? It is an empty promise. It has no effect,” Raymond asserted.