Montoute Laments Absence Of ‘Significant Gains’ In Poverty Reduction

Minister for Equity, Social Justice, Local Government and Empowerment, Lenard Montoute, has disclosed that no significant gains have been made in Saint Lucia in reducing poverty figures.

However, he explained that the government  of Saint Lucia continues to allocate a substantial  amount of its limited resources, estimated at about $34 million, towards poverty reduction efforts.

Montoute made the remarks in Grenada Tuesday morning.

He is heading a local delegation there to examine that country’s successful  social safety net programme dubbed SEED, the acronym for Support for Education, Empowerment and Development.

He revealed that data ffrom successive country poverty assessments  highlight the ‘persistent stubbornness’ of Saint Lucia’s poverty head count, which has remained ‘protractedly high’ at an average of 25 percent  of the  population over the past two to three decades.

“This inertia in relation to poverty figures is symptomatic of a deeply entrenched systemic and structurally persistent integrational poverty situation among 25 percent of households in Saint Lucia,” the Saint Lucia Minister explained.

He observed that while several reasons can be advanced for what he described as the less that satisfactory ability of social safety net programmes to ‘meaningfully and sustainably’ lift poor households out of poverty, six stand out.

Mountoute mentioned the six, which included inadequate targetting that leads to errors of exclusion and inclusion, exploitation of the system and the poor not being ‘incentivised’ to invest in their assets.

He recalled that Saint Lucia, Grenada and St Kitts & Nevis were beneficiaries of a UNICEF funded social safety net assessment in 2009.

The Minister noted that similar characteristics in the social protection systems were noted in the assessment.

He said they included fragmentation of the social safety net system and a poor targetting mechanism.

Montoute noted that the recommendations coming out of the assessment were similar – the development of a social protection strategy; the consolidation and rationalisation of major social programmes; the development of central beneficiary registries and the development of a proper targetting instrument, among other things.

He observed that the Grenada government has managed, to a large extent, to implement the reforms through the SEED prrogramme.

The Minister said Saint Lucia has adopted some of the recommendations, including the development of a social protection policy, a social protection action plan, a draft social protection bill and a targeting instrument.

But he asserted that the reform process has moved slower than initially anticipated, largely due to ‘competing national priorities.’

Nevertheless, Montoute declared that Grenada’s success has reignited hope that reform is possible.



  1. Your policies are not alligned to make reduction of poverty possible. Most of what is being done is geared towards those that are already on top. The have nots will alway be looking up to see what scrap is left after the haves have taken their share.

  2. One major long term solution to poverty is education. Ensure that all children are exposed to best educational practices and facilities at an early age right up to tertiary level. The economy has to be buoyant also to absorb the many qualified school leavers. Proper technical training schools for those gifted hands should be instituted. Of course, special attention should be paid to those who need social assistance.

  3. This man is the BIGGEST disappointment of the lot. I NEVER thought I would be saying this. I voted for this man. I trusted this man. He is now a snob, too big for Jean go zeelay. Only concerned about ONE thing – himself.

  4. Well Leonard lets get all those children that are running in the streat right now into school?,lets get the mothers,to tell you why they are not in school? most likely they dont have fathers so dont waste time with this? All these single getto girls need to stop making children,that they can not feed clothe and educate properly.Its sad to go to all these comunity meetings and see all this,all our problems start here.We need to create funding for a segment of our society that has no way of surviving,these days,and that is sad,we cant solve the problems of our elderly,that have been abandoned many times by their families.Stop talking start working spider,I know you can ,but do you want to?

  5. That will always be so when coconut vendors are chased. Fustration, you guys care about only the rich, your pockets, and friends.

  6. Mr. Montoute, you have the ability to write nice polish articles, this time you are talking about poverty; not bad! ! Now hear this: Poverty will always be, long as you hungry politicians are there fighting for power! You are talking about 34m, oh that’s a very big figure, i only wish that the poor had seen about 50% of its benefits!

Comments are closed.