Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Government Committed To Providing Safety Nets

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Over the last eight months, Saint Lucians have seen the rollout of socio-economic policies which have ameliorated the lives of thousands of people, especially the poor and the marginalised.

The country has witnessed a reprioritisation of expenditure with a focus on educational assistance, housing repair, diversification of agricultural produce, income support for bus drivers, training and financing for businesses, and the creation of a relatively safe environment for citizens during COVID-19.

Despite these welcomed efforts, the COVID-19 pandemic and now the Ukraine-Russia war have brought into focus the heavy cost we are currently paying for wastage, corruption and misplaced priorities of the previous administration.

The poor decisions of the previous administration have led to a 24% contraction in the economy, placing Saint Lucia in the unenviable position as the sixth (6th) worst performing economy in the world.

This burdensome reality is now being reflected by a 60% increase in public debt between the period 2016-2020 and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 90%.

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Having issued over $185 million in Direct Finance Contracts for roads, payable in five years, and $154 million in payables due to local vendors, the recent recommendations by the Leader of the Opposition Allen Chastanet are disingenuous and fiscally irresponsible.

Chastanet’s poor economic decisions can be seen by his approach to VAT, when he reduced it to benefit big landlords while reducing the government’s coffers and government’s ability to look after the most vulnerable. It would be useful for Hon. Allen Chastanet to seek the counsel of honest economic advisors, who should remind him of his disregard for fiscal discipline and his active part in the decline of the Saint Lucian economy.

No doubt Hon. Chastanet should remember his increase in gas taxes from $1.50 to $4.00, sometimes beyond $4.00 even though it was illegal, and his threat to place a tax on charcoal making during the height of the pandemic.

He is to be reminded that the wind-farm and the LED projects which were to be funded by the CDB (infamously associated with the Pajoah Letter), long-term strategies to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, were frustrated by his administration.

The Opposition UWP must desist with its untruths and behave in a mature and responsible manner if it is to play its part as an effective opposition party, which is respectful of the intelligence of the Saint Lucian public.

It would serve the Opposition Leader and his Party well to stop its divisive and disingenuous behaviour for the country to begin its rebuilding process.

As the Government continues to prudently manage the finances of the country, socio-economic interventions remain one of its priorities designed to assist citizens in their daily challenges.

Let us focus on stabilising and growing the country to a place that is safe and prosperous.

Source: Office Of The Prime Minister

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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.

19 COMMENTS

  1. PJP and the whole SLP administration are their own downfall. They have no idea how to fix the problem, so keep staying in campaign mode and playing the blame game. PJP needs to look around him realise his own party is against him from Frederick to King and Hilaire…. All a big joke. Claiming to rid the gun problem whereas their own administration member walked into a friggin church during service brandishing a gun threatening another minister and no charges laid? Why not? His excuse Oooo I lost a Son my only Son, many of us lucians know and personally have gone through this but do we threaten to kill someone or go insane? Total double standard, because if it were a normal citizen charges would get laid. You want to set an example for lucian people start with your own administration and straighten your members out. You are the leader not the doormat.

  2. Dear Government. We know about the fiscal mismanagement of the last administration. You told us about it when you were in opposition. You told us about during the election campaign. You keep telling us about from the time you got into office. We experienced it. We get it. What I would like to know is, what is the government going to do to get us out of this crisis. What safety nets exactly do you have or will you put in place? I’m tired of this roro back and forth between politicians. This is not high school. In my opinion this administration has not shown it’s any better than the last and the last was bad. Stop with the blame game and the complaining and give and implement specific sensible strategies for crime reduction and economic progress just to name a couple issues. Right now you guys are unimpressive and you can do better. Do better!

  3. What’s wrong with PIP, His Cabinet of Ministers, The S.L.P Spokesperson and His Press Secretary? All they are going to do is BLAME, BLAME, BLAME and CAMPAIGN MUN? What about the governance of the country and coming up with strategic plans to take this country forward? If the previous Government was like this one I would be ok with it but they weren’t Chas never complained about the position Kenny left the country in when he couldn’t borrow and had to get his fiscal house in order, he didn’t complain about covid19 coming and what he had to do, as a matter of fact all he did was hush his mouth and work nothing else. COME ON GUYS YOU ARE MAKING UWP LOOK LIKE GOLD by your utterances, complaining and CAMPAIGNING. Do the work we put you all there to do and stop the BULLSHIT TALK cause it ain’t fooling no one. AND MAKE SURE TO TELL PIP STAY AWAY FROM THE CAMPAIGN RHETORIC even if that’s what he knows best stay away from it cause his popularity is dwindling amongst the people who put him there.

  4. Accusing the former of corruption yet we have not seen the corruption and no one has been arrested. PJP it is time to put this kind of campaign propaganda to rest. All administration accuse each other of corruption yet we have not seen proof. KDA administration you were part of could not borrow because lending institutions were not satisfied in the manner that SLP were handling St Lucia’s financial affairs that is why they ask him to put his house in order.
    Remember it was under the SLP that the pension age was increased, VAT was introduced, license fees was increased by 100%, vehicle license was also increased etc, etc. So your party is not an angel and have made the poor man poorer by continuously increasing taxes to bail y’all arses out. You cannot handle the position of PM so you resort to playing the blame game. With all your talk I hope that you do not increase any taxes on people in your first budget and start reimbursing the people with their income tax refunds that you promised within 100 days in office and remove taxes on those who are earning $4000 and less Asap!

    • Unknown are you the same as fake name Mel? This press release read like something someone advising Chas advice Pierre to write so they can come back and trash it in comments.

      • Kim Caribean you sound like you’re trying to drive home a new conspiracy theory albeit a weak one, but what you’re actually doing is highlighting how weak the government is. This nonsense about people advising the government and then trashing them in the comments is simply juvenile. Seriously, a government advisor on SLTN trashing the government on the advice it gave sounds like a plan to you? Child, these are real people making honest comments about what they and many others see. We all know the truth hurts and you’d be better served asking the government to address the issues that are raised in the comments because these are the voices of real people who seem very disappointed and this government is not even in office a year yet. Popularity has waned in such a short space of time because the arrogance and greed coupled with the cabal mentality that it was voted out for last elections raised its ugly head immediately this government came into power. How can anyone trust a government that keeps harping on about an empty treasury but like the last administration makes sure that their FFF are taken care of. This is exactly what they opposed in their bid to win…..in fact this government coined the phrase FFF and immediately on entering office they did even worse. So this government is the one destroying itself……no conspiracy theory here.

    • Unknown you are on point…they need to get to the business of running the country and start fulfilling their promises to the poor amongst us. Notice how they were quick to reinstate the subvention to the national trust so Janine and by extension her mother who endorsed the micoud candidatec could get their payday? They didn’t wait for budget to do that. They didn’t wait for budget for jobs for the boys and girls but when it’s to do for the small people they need to wait for budget? One set of standards for one and another for those they consider the minions. A campaign promise has to be kept. So, after budget they will come and blame the last administration because they made promises to get into power and now can’t keep. Many have been deceived and fell for the election propaganda, including me but now I’m seeing that they only wanted power to enrich themselves and their friends. I don’t even think they care about winning another election…. this is their turn to get rich and the people who fought believing they were supporting transparency and accountability are now realizing it was only always about a small clique getting rich. No different to what was there before. Disgusted. Give us the universal health care you promised…..give us the tax relief you promised. The promised youth economy should not only be for the children of helies friends and the slp executive.

  5. I’m ashamed I voted for this…like seriously, stop insulting our intelligence. This government’s first order of business was to put their friends in positions to enrich them, including dark money sponsors and mistresses of major executive members. Now, like Chas, as they need to tend to the affairs of the poor and disenfranchised, there is no money? The people who voted them in, who fought for bread, justice and freedom, are now being denied bread, are scoffed at and ignored, whilst leeches enjoy the champagne lifestyles. I, like many others am disgusted by this party that I supported and encouraged people to vote for. And, I like many others won’t ever vote for this cabal ever again.

    • SLP be careful you are not being conned. Lots of fraudsters wiggle their way around power centres. Traitors advice you to say crap that they themselves may even comment on against you.

      • Well when they trust turncoat UWPs ahead of their very own loyalists whatever they sow they should reap. That is why SLP can never do more than one term. THEY FORGET who put them there. Commonsense will tell anyone that you don’t leave your door open for the enemy to enter. Some of the people that they now embrace….and those who have crawled out from under rocks to claim a big pay day are the very ones who were secretly planning to overthrow the very person who appointed them to high profile positions. So not my circus not my monkey. Dark Money and Dirty Politics.

    • I wouldn’t put too much stock in the opinions of ratings agencies. They are merely opinions. And opinions “adjudged in relation to other debt obligations in the Caribbean”. Sure it might seem adequate but it is relative to the other garbage around. It’s a situation of whose sh!t stinks less.

  6. Please stop the blame game!!! Elections are over – and your party was voted in … now, it is much better to highlight the SOLUTIONS, and the positives. St Lucians are not dumb!!

  7. Like really, another useless message making excuses and not getting to work? Talking about when gas price was high but your cabals abusing tax payers moneys and living lavishly all over the world including yourself Pierre? This message shows how lowly SLP thinking of St Lucia and your’ll only wanted positions for the benefits…

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