Prime Minister speaks on budget preparations

Prime Minister speaks on budget preparations

The challenge, he said, is that the government is already financially constrained.

At this week’s pre-Cabinet media briefing, Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastanet, referencing the upcoming budget presentation, said the government has been engaged in ascertaining Saint Lucia’s exact fiscal position.

One of the essential issues was the housing of government offices along with several outstanding concerns of poor working conditions.

“I have been physically going around to the different offices and it is amazing to see the circumstances some of the civil servants work under,” he said.

Among visits was the Inland Revenue Department, the state of which was in stark contrast to the other offices in the same building. The challenge, he said, was that the government was already spending millions on rental payments and constrained in terms of what it could do.

“There is $450 million dollars in payroll. There is very little we can do right now other than try to increase productivity. To do that, physically, the government is going to have to increase the facilities that we have. We are already spending $44 million a year in rental payments. That, added to the cost of salaries and pensions results in $300 million a year in debt financing, and then there’s the added cost of opening up the Owen King Hospital.”

Consequently, the government is formulating a four-year strategic development plan.

“We want to create a fiscal budget for this year and a very clear transition program for the next four years to put the country in a much more fiscally stable position. The amount of money we are going to have to turn over in debt this year alone tells you that things that are going to have to change, but those changes cannot take place all in one year.”

The Prime Minister spoke frankly about diminishing aid for developing countries.

“Can we truly expect those countries to continue giving us money? We must be fiscally responsible, and we need growth. This country cannot continue to survive on the level of growth it has had. We need to find that balance between bringing fiscal responsibility to the state, which may potentially mean increases in taxes, with now attracting new investment, which means lowering your taxes. We are hoping to present a budget that takes that balance into account and outlines what we will do in the next four years to begin this alignment.”

The Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers, and various ministry heads have been engaged for the past several months in budget preparations and developing a four year plan for the country.

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12 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    March 29, 2017 at 6:11 pm Reply

    I hope he can read the budget statement !!!!

  2. Concerned person
    March 29, 2017 at 6:17 pm Reply

    He is doing all of that so he can be blaming kenny for everything goodluck Mr Chastanet really just go what you have to do stop the blaming we not living in Cj8nz or the US

  3. Anonymous
    March 29, 2017 at 7:20 pm Reply

    SEEING THAT WE ARE OUTSOURCING OUR BUDGET PREPARATION TEAM, WOULD’NT IT BE WISE TO OUTSOURCE OUR WHOLE MINISTRY OF FINANCE, INCLUDING THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.

  4. sharon terrell
    March 29, 2017 at 9:10 pm Reply

    You can know thepolitics between UWP and SLP when the hypocrites of St.lucia refuse to listen to the truth its all about party colors and work throwing.I truly believe that St.lucians are the most idiotic ignorant nincompoops in the world.A disease that cannot be curedblame Allan Chastanet but Exempt Kennyochio Leather Face Anthony thats why you’ll will suffer,because you’ll wicked scandalous and kanaiving.Allan Chastanet will do his job from the time he get in power these Labourites barking,like a pack of stray dogs,youll need to be put to sleep.Let the man do his work damn Sodomites.Kenny feeding you’ll bologna you’ll pricks,drinking kenny bath water idiots.Rum and dirty cigarette is you’ll life and crimes.Youll crazies,Facebook and Twitter fanatics,SHOOO CHOOPS Fire burn you’ll.

    1. Lucia Calls
      March 29, 2017 at 9:37 pm Reply

      What is so wrong people can not be YELLOW or RED ? What is so wrong people can not be UWP or SLP ? What is so wrong people can not defend their party ? What is so wrong with people being part of the democratic process ? What is so wrong with people expressing their freedom of speech in relation to their party ? What is so wrong with people freedom of association ? Sharon Terrell if you have a problem with this basic rights them you are the problem and not the people expressing their support of each party. Thank you

  5. Lincoln
    March 29, 2017 at 9:28 pm Reply

    He knew that coming in, so I’m not sure why he is acting surprised. Kenny and co knew the same thing and so did the King guys when they were there. That’s why all those promises were made with the knowledge that it could not be achieved. That’s why we are selling our kids future to try to satisfy a campaign promiss….no matter the consequences. That’s why contracts were signed in haste without informing the affected people beforehand. That’s why we are willing to prostitute some of the places that makes us unique…..I’m all for progress, but not when the risk far outweigh the outcome.

  6. Anonymous
    March 30, 2017 at 3:01 am Reply

    You mean as a politician is now you seen the state of buildings housing government offices? Give me a break Chastanet. You knew that all along so don’t bother acting surprised to me. There are UWP supporters in high government positions all over St. Lucia so behave yourself you idiot. In any case are you telling me UnitedPac and Josie were asleep on this one? You are simply unbelievable.

  7. Unknown
    March 30, 2017 at 3:06 am Reply

    As the prime minister because of this country you just see the government house is in a state?? Hope under your government the st jude hospital will open.

  8. Anonymous
    March 30, 2017 at 9:05 am Reply

    When he was in campaign mode last year, he made it seem like the previous administration were idiots at the wheel of the country. He had all answers to fix this country, now in power , he is already make excuses. Both political parties need to be real with the populace no “better days” no “five to stay alive”. Tell us the REAL!, things are hard everywhere and we need to fasten our spending belts.

  9. Anonymous
    March 30, 2017 at 12:09 pm Reply

    Can anyone confirm Hilaire sued the PM

    1. Anonymous
      March 30, 2017 at 2:20 pm Reply

      Yes, he said it himself last night on News

  10. Anonymous
    March 30, 2017 at 6:46 pm Reply

    Manumos.The only way St.Lucia will rise from its demise is when it’s people be gin to be objective,trust worthy truthful, and develop self esteem. There needs to be a redefing of who we are and where we as a people would like to be as a nation.

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