St Lucia’s economy is not generating enough revenue to adequately support the provision of basic services such as roads, schools and healthcare, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said.
The Prime Minister expressed the concern this week while fielding a question from a journalist on whether he’s stated before that the country ought to be run similar to a business.
Mr. Chastanet said while there are social implication that must be taken into consideration, at the end of the day, government must be run like a business in that its revenue must be greater than its costs.
He said St Lucia has been running a deficit for the past 20 years which has resulted in the diminished quality of roads, schools, healthcare and national security.
“It is very clear for us that the size of our GDP is inadequate. It’s not generating enough cash that’s turning over in order for us to be able to provide the resources,” he said.
He said the next obvious solution would be to increase taxes, which would not be in the best interest of the country because of its size and high dependence on foreign investment.
The answer, he said, is to increase the size of the economy by broadening the nation’s infrastructure.
“There are a couple critical things that we have to do. We have to be able to broaden our infrastructure. So when I use the word capacity what I’m talking about, do we have enough roads? Do we have a big enough airport? are our ports large enough? Do we have enough of a water supply? Are we producing enough electricity that if we double the size of our economy that we can meet those demands,” Chastanet said.
He said St Lucia must also ensure that the skill sets of its human resources can allow it to be competitive.