A former Agriculture Minister says Saint Lucia farmers, fishers and other producers need cash support to survive in the current COVID-19 environment.
But Moses Jn Baptiste lamented that the Government continues to show disrespect to them by the manner in which Covid-19 Income Relief is being handled.
Jn Baptiste made the remarks in a post on the official Facebook page of the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP).
The Vieux Fort North MP observed that farmers and fishers along with other producers and entrepreneurs all suffered as a result of the Covid-19 related closures of businesses.
“It is a fact that many of these Saint Lucians have lost income and are having a difficult time paying their bills and struggling to recover,” Jn Baptiste asserted.
As reported by Hot 7 Television News, farmers gathered at the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday to voice concern over what they declared was the withdrawal of their eligibility for financial support under the Income Support Programme.
But the television news channel quoted Director of Implementation, Nancy Charles, as saying that although farmers were promised support, there was no indication that it would be in the form of money.
Moses Jn Baptiste says is unacceptable that the arrangements for these producers are mired in confusion and controversy.
“This is yet another indication of a confused Government whose priorities are not that of our people,” he said.
“The Saint Lucia Labour Party calls on the Government to immediately make arrangements to provide the cash support which is so badly needed to these hard working Saint Lucians. The Government has access over 77 million dollars which intended for income support due to Covid-19, it must be used for just that,” the former Agriculture Minister declared.