Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has dismissed suggestions that his new administration will be unable to fulfill its election promises.
One of the more controversial promises was a pledge to eventually eliminate Value Added Tax (VAT).
Chastanet said that the things promised are critical and at the core of the philosophy and ideology of his party.
He stated that the ruling party feels it has to champion the cause of the most vulnerable.
On VAT, Chastanet told the Times that discussions have already been held in regard to the first part of the promise – reducing the tax.
He explained that there were several options available that are currently being examined.
“We have consulted with the central bank and are following up with the Caribbean Development Bank,” Chastanet disclosed.
He revealed that the talks focused on putting together a task force to come here as quickly as possible.
According to the Prime Minister, the task force will review the current financial situation in Saint Lucia.
He said the structure of the cabinet of ministers suggests that the issue of recurrent expenditure is being taken seriously.
The Prime Minister asserted that by the next budget, even further structural changes will be evident.
He told the Times that this would be in order to address the problems being experienced with recurrent expenditure and in particular, debt.
Chastanet spoke of the need to protect the vulnerable.
He said among those persons are the twenty five percent of the population who are unemployed and the disabled.
The Prime Minister said that the public at large appreciates the need to put a safety net in place to be able to deal with those persons.
Chastanet stated that in relation to the waiver of hospital fees, his government will act very quickly on the matter.
“People who are unemployed and people who earn less than a certain sum of money, as well as those who are on the poverty list ought not to pay hospital bills,” the Prime Minister declared.
“I think we are going to expand that programme to also include people who are unemployed and who were earning below a certain level while they were working, to get assistance to send their children to school,” he revealed.