Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has been outlining to Saint Lucians living in the UK the three main areas of focus for his administration in building a ‘new’ Saint Lucia.
Now back home, Chastanet told reporters today that he took the opportunity during the meeting with Saint Lucian nationals in the UK to update them on local affairs.
He said the primary areas in terms of building a new Saint Lucia include the current financial situation in Saint Lucia where a deficit government is being run.
“We have been borrowing quite substantially to be able to finance that deficit. The fact is that we are raising more tax monies than everybody else, but the areas in which we are investing that money are not generating any rate of return. So it’s how we are going to restructure our balance sheet in order for us to make something that is more sustainable,” Chastanet stated.
The Prime Minister identified public sector ‘re-engineering’ as another area of focus for his government.
“We have a public service which I do not believe is running as efficiently as it possibly can,” Chastanet asserted.
He disclosed that his wife, who is doing more and more to support him, has visited every police station and fire station.
“I think that you would be appalled to see the conditions in which these people are having to work – new buildings, or semi-new buildings in which electrical wires were put in and now they have electrical wires running through the hallways,” the PM said.
He spoke of attempts to put ‘temporary fixes’ on rusted furniture, windows that are not working, washers that are not functioning, inoperative gyms and termite-infested desks – among other issues.
Chastanet revealed that the problems have existed for years.
“You go to the schools – you see the same thing, sewerage systems not working, lights falling down where young people are,” the PM said, recalling that there have been reports of persons being electrocuted in some of those schools.
He declared that no one wants to be held accountable.
The third area of focus which Chastanet said he highlighted to Saint Lucian nationals living in the UK related to investment.
“There is no way that the current size of our economy can yield the revenue that we need to be able to modernise Saint Lucia – to make Saint Lucia a world class destination,” Chastanet observed.
He told reporters that Saint Lucia would not survive by being in the middle of the pack or being worst, but by being the best.