Saint Lucia is to remove the service charge on all price-controlled goods as the government seeks to cushion the impact of the cost of living increases on the population.
“This week the Minister of Trade will announce that we have removed the service charge on all price controlled goods in the country. The six percent service charge has been removed from all price controlled goods. So the next shipment of price controlled goods that arrive the price should go down by at least six percent,” Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Philip J. Pierre told reporters on Monday.
Pierre explained that his administration was trying its best under trying circumstances. And he said he wanted people to understand that cost of living increases are a global problem around which no one should play politics.
“It’s a world situation there are issues in the supply chain, issues in with the price of fuel worldwide. Saint Lucia is not unique and anybody who wants to pretend that Saint Lucia is unique is not being truthful,” the Castries East MP asserted.
The Prime Minister noted that there was a shortage of baby formula in the ‘great United States’.
The US President had to activate the defense production act for the first time to import the commodity.
The act allows the US government more control over industrial production during emergencies and will enable it to direct suppliers of formula ingredients and prioritise delivery to manufacturers.
President Joe Biden also announced ‘Operation Fly Formula’, allowing the Defence Department’s Commercial planes to import formula.
But Pierre observed that Saint Lucia’s options are limited, while at the same time, the government has to meet payables, including debts and salaries.
He reiterated the need for people, not only the government, to conserve, save energy and eat what is grown locally.
“These times are crucial,” Pierre asserted.