Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Doctor Ubaldus Raymond, has criticised Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) leader, Philip J. Pierre, asserting that Pierre is taking credit for positive projections regarding the national economy.
“This is just laughable,” Raymond declared Thursday.
He told reporters he does not know who is advising Pierre, who is also leader of the parliamentary opposition.
Raymond observed that it has been two plus years since the United Workers Party (UWP) has been in power, and the opposition is trying to take credit for all the positive things happening in the economy.
“This, when compared to the performance of the last labour party administration, it can be described as very dismal,” the minister stated.
“It was a colossal failure of the last administration as far as governance of this country was concerned,” Raymond asserted, adding that all economic indicators pointed to that conclusion.
He said under the last labour government Saint Lucia had the highest recorded unemployment rate of 25 percent, with about 50 percent of the youth being unemployed.
“We as a country, in terms of our ranking, we moved from the strongest to the weakest within the OECS and that was under the labour party,” Senator Raymond recalled.
He stated that Saint Lucia experienced the lowest level of consumer and investor confidence under labour, as well as the highest number of closures of small businesses.
“So to come now as we are improving the economy to take credit, it is very laughable,” Raymond told reporters.
He noted that before coming into power, the UWP made a manifesto promise to pursue a growth accumulation of 12 percent, adding all the growth rates over a four to five year period.
“So far, in our first full year of operations in our country, we had a three percent and this year we are projecting above three percent, so if the projection is correct, at the end of the year we would have accomplished 6.4, 6.5 percent growth accumulation which is already more than half of what we projected,” Raymond stated.
Opposition leader Philip J. Pierre said the UWP benefited from projects under the labour administration.