PM defends Monoute’s NICE statement

Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has defended recent comments by Minister for Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment, Lenard Montoute, about employees of the National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE).

Montoute has been under fire from the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) after asserting that some 90 percent of NICE employees are labour supporters.

SLP leader, Philip J. Pierre, told a meeting of NICE workers in Gros Islet on Saturday  that when Montoute declared that there would be no political fallout from terminating NICE employees, he was in effect telling theworkers to ‘go to hell.’

Prime Minister Chastanet was asked by reporters to respond to concerns expressed by former Gros Islet MP, Emma Hippolyte, that he was basically endorsing  rather than correcting Montoute regarding his claim that ninety percent of NICE workers are SLP supporters.

Chastanet began by explaining that even through difficult,  every government has to be transparent.

“I try to be as transparent as we can and we still get criticised so I know how difficult it is – I understand that’s the nature of the beast,” the Prime Minister observed.

He told reporters:

“How do you have a programme that you are going to spend $ 20 million a year on in which the project is managed out of the Prime Minister’s office? Does that make sense to you?”

Chastanet said the person who headed the programme was only  accountable to the Prime Minister, while none of the persons employed could be part of the public service.

The Prime Minister said it was not a case where SLP supporters cannot be hired through the Public Service Commission (PSC).

But he explained that such a route would be more transparent.

Chastanet disclosed that 1100 people were being employed with one person making the decision.

“To make matters worse, the people were given a contract for a year – you can’t go to the bank to borrow any money; you can’t make any long term commitments via that process and the contract is being renewed every single year and then you tell me that the virtues of the project are to create short term employment  to allow people to get their foot wet?” He told reporters.

According to Chastanet, up to ninety percent of the people who got NICE contracts in year one were the same people who had the contracts by year three.

“When you break it down from that perspective,then the minister (Montoute) is right in making his allegations,” the Prime Minister said, asserting that it was not the first time that such allegations regarding NICE have been made.

“That allegation was made from day one. What did they do to try to be able to change that? Did they put a panel in place of objective people and say: ‘Okay, if it is not going to be through the Public Service Commission, here’s a panel that is going to determine who is going to be hired and whether they merit getting the job or not?'” Chastanet told reporters.






  1. Anonymous
    March 15, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Of course he will publicly agree hook, line and sinker with Montoute. That’s why they flock together in that flambeau nest of wickedness, because they’re birds of the same yellow feather.

  2. 666
    March 15, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Should be country first, and politics last…but it’s always the other way around smh…

  3. Luciano
    March 15, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Come on people.

  4. opps
    March 15, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    The PM is so right. 90% of nice employee are SLP supporters, Pierre tell me if that is true or false. Some of theses people will be given jobs still over other party supporters. You all freeze civil servants salary yet borrowed heavily for NICE. Some worked well some got monies without working some are lazy. PM restructure NICE and continue to be transparent. We know you rare transparent because of the noise SLP and Co. are making. One advice though, DO NOT JOIN MARIA ISLET WITH THE MAIN LAND AND LEAVE THE DOLPHINS IN SEA WORLD WHERE ST.LUCIANS PAY TO GO AND SEE THEM ISSTEAD.

    1. Anonymous
      March 15, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      So true

  5. Fiasco
    March 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    PM defending his MO, still they will all stab you in the back when the time is right, which is fast it approaching, and for Guy JOSEPH, that’s your snake right there, if you do but know what that means, find out.

    St Lucians run for cover as Grenada will be visiting your shores, if there are smart people reading this comment, figure it out.

    Enjoy the day. Blessed love.

  6. Anonymous
    March 15, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    It doesn’t matter if its yellow or red. They were worker hard working people that bring food on the table for for their family.

  7. Sweetness
    March 15, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Time will tell. Tan toe tan toe. People remember what Michael Chastnate said to us about his son. The boy can’t manage (Word deleted). In his campaign he said he would not remove the nice project and he did. I would like to ask what promted St. Lucian’s to vote for him . Was it when he said that he was going to reduse Vat.

  8. Anonymous
    March 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    In my opinion st lucia is in a state of shock with Chastanet and his vindictive baboons…as far as i can see i do not think that they will last a full term

  9. Real vibes
    March 16, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Who tell you’ll labour supporters people voted for uwp?people wanted SLP out,cause they wasn’t listening to the majority.doing what they want as usually without trying to win the uwp supporters.wait and see the same is gonna happen to uwp.

  10. Terence Joseph
    March 16, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    All of you are party hacks whatever the pm does will not good. How can he even listen to negative people. God is with this man hundred percent.

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