Opposition leader Philip J. Pierre says the Saint Lucia economy has been underperforming in terms of both growth and revenue since 2029.
Pierre made the comments during his contribution Friday to the debate on the 2021/2022 appropriations bill.
Citing the Social & Economic review, he asserted that even after rebasing, the economy contracted by 0.1 percent in 2019.
“ We cannot blame a contraction in 2019 on COVID,” the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) leader stated.
As a result, he explained that the blame lies with the Allen Chastanet government’s economic mismanagement.
Nevertheless, Pierre acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world.
But he said this country became impacted in a more severe manner than any economy in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
“We have to ask the question: ‘Why did Saint Lucia borrow the most, but experienced the greatest contraction?’”
And responding to his own question, Pierre said the answer must be mismanagement plus ineffective, misguided policies by Finance Minister, Allen Chastanet.
“GDP in Saint Lucia contracted by 20.4 percent in 2020 after a further contraction of 0.1 percent in 2019,” he explained.
But he recalled that there was no COVID in 2019.
Pierre said the Social & Economic review highlights the dismal performance of the Saint Lucia economy compared to others in the ECCU.
And quoting figures from the review, he observed that Saint Lucia under the UWP did worse than all the Islands in the ECCU individually and collectively.
At the same time, the Castries East MP declared that this country borrowed the most.