Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has highlighted what he described as the proud record of the United Workers Party (UWP), in rescuing Saint Lucia in times of crisis.
At the same time he took a swipe at the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party.
“On one side of this Honourable House we have a group calling itself workers– meaning builders, producers, achievers. On the other side we have another group calling itself labour — a word which denotes pain, suffering and hardship,” Chastanet declared.
“ We are two sides as different as day and night,” he asserted while delivering his budget address Tuesday.
He told the house that the UWP rescued this country when it first came into office in 1964.
According to the PM, at that time Saint Lucia has stagnated into “poverty and backwardness”.
“We also had to shoulder the responsibility of rebuilding this country in 1982, after the debacle between 1979 and 1982 when the political party of my colleagues on the other side was in office. When we returned to government in 2006, we effectively managed the affairs of Saint Lucia through a myriad of challenges, including the global financial crisis, when oil prices soared to over US$140 a barrel,” Chastanet recalled.
“This crisis was the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the effects of which were felt throughout the world. Then on October 30th 2010, we faced the ravages of a 100-year storm in hurricane Tomas, the scars of which are still with us today,” he told the House of Assembly
“ We lost our Prime Minister and political leader, yet we were able to manage a transition in leadership and despite the confluence of shocks in that period (2006 to 2011). We were able to grow the economy and make it possible to award public servants a 14.5 percent pay increase over three year,” Chastanet asserted.
“ Mr. Speaker, every time that our party has been in office, in spite of the challenges of the day, we have been able to successfully guide our country into safe harbor,” he stated.
The Prime Minister said he made the remarks, not to brag about achievements, “because ours is not a party given to boasting or beating our chests”.
“We believe Saint Lucians, especially the younger ones, need to know the truth and how we have come to be where we are today,” the PM explained.