Commerce Minister Reassures Public Amid Concerns Over Panic Buying

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Amid panic buying concerns, Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte has reassured the public that the government has received commitments from all parties that they will work with the government to continue supplying goods and services.

Hippolyte, also responsible for Manufacturing, Business Development, Cooperatives, and Consumer Affairs, was addressing parliament on Tuesday.

In this regard, she dismissed false social media voice notes claiming that the rise in fuel prices had grounded ships, which would result in scarcities of goods.

Instead, the Minister explained that fuel hikes increase freight costs, impacting the final cost of consumer goods.

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But she said she was aware of a number of detractors’ spreading false information and causing panic buying.

Observing the need to control the situation, Hippolyte said the government had received commitments  from ‘all parties’ to work with the government to supply goods and services to the people of Saint Lucia.

She disclosed that the commitments came from distributors, manufacturers, service providers, retailers, supermarket operators, bakers, and grocery shop operators.

“Mr. Speaker I wish to place on record that those businesses are themselves providing these services to the public at reduced profits,” she noted.

“In some cases at great cost and inconvenience to themselves and today I want to publicly thank them for their shared sacrifice,” the Soufriere MP stated.

She reiterated the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) pledge during the last election campaign and after coming to power of putting the people first.

Hippolyte said the government continues subsidising cooking gas, bread, and some basic food items.

“Ensuring that the gas that is purchased that there is no profit or no excess taxes are being used by the government,” the Minister explained.

And Hippolyte indicated that the government was providing a cushion to make life easier for people.

At the same time, she called on citizens to adjust their consumption patterns and look to grow what they eat and eat what they produce.

“I am convinced that if we continue along this path of collaboration, partnership, shared sacrifice an national strategic re-focussing, we will emerge from this crisis a stronger and better country,” Hippolyte told parliament.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


  1. King’s revealed base of God’s command of the written words :
    The gate Keepers shouted the news,and it was reported whithin the land.
    They know we are starving ;so they have left to hide in the countryside.
    So let us send them to find out what happend”. So the messangers returned and reported to the king. Then the people went out and plundered in the city. So a seah (équivalent one pound of the last grade flour for a Shekel which is équivalent ten dollars……(AND AS THE LORD SAID,
    The officiels had said to the men of God, “Look,even if the LORD should open the floodgates of heavens, Could this happend ?”
    The men of GOD had replied, “You will see with your own eyes……

  2. And this is all you brought to the discussion? If you were intelligent enough you would have figure out what I was getting at. But you are just a troll.
    The use of washing in the machine every single day brings up the bill and then you and many others will cry out to Lucellec. Then when more fuel is wasted Lucellec will source out more fuel and that is how fuel continue to rise. The more fuel that is use the higher prices of fuel goes up. ( think of rubbing your clothes in your hands especially those who do not have small children) ok moron.

  3. This is one time I must agree with Emma when she say citizens should adjust their consumption patterns. I’m still seeing people want to eat as normal, buy as normal, use their vehicle unnecessarily etc. I have a neighbour who recently got a new washing machine and every single day is laundry. We are the ones causing the inflation. If we cut back on what we use we wouldn’t be abusing the supply chain. Not because you can buy something must you buy especially at these times. Businesses want to see the products in stock for a long time because sourcing these commodities are a challenge that is why they keep raising pricing every time a new shipment comes in. So we must reduce on our spending and consumption but for Emma to say eat more of what we grow will not work because of too many challenges.

    • Good point. Inflation is largely determined by the dynamic between supply and demand. If supplies increase prices go down to meet demand to find equilibrium. If demand goes down prices decreases to consume the available supply. Adjust your consumption patterns. Buy in bulk to benefit from wholesale prices. If you can’t afford bulk, form a buyers club with your family/neighbours to pool funds together to buy in bulk.

      Plan your vehicle trips better. Walk more. Minimise urban style driving as much as possible. Urban style driving mean rougher roads and frequent stopping and starting and consume on average 20% more fuel than cruising at a constant speed. Your car’s engine has to work harder in the city because of city traffic and navigation, and doing so takes extra work and therefore extra gas. Unfortunately, because of the idiotic drivers on our highways most of us are forced to adopt city driving on highways. Also drive more slowly. It takes more fuel to move a vehicle quickly. There’s not an awful lot you can do alone but you can help yourself a bit.

  4. No new ideas Emma. Keep singing the same tune and believe it is the only solution
    but we the citizens always have to pay tax no matter what. You should already pull your canoe, old bag.

  5. emma tell piere the million dollars he wants to waste to use to investigate and bring a special prosecutor spend that money on the people of saint lucia instead especially the needy ones


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