The opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has criticised spending by the Allen Chastanet administration, despite Chastanet’s assertion that this country is broke.
The criticism came in a post on the SLP’s official Facebook page.
The post, which is reproduced below, was accompanied by a table citing government expenditure.
“Saint Lucia is Broke!!” The famous four words uttered by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet shortly after he took office in June 2016. Never have four simple and short words come back with such vengeance to haunt the person who uttered them.
In the years and months after the Prime Minister made those fiscal pronouncements, he proceeded to manage the affairs of Saint Lucia in a manner that directly contradicted this statement.
From his management one would have thought that Saint Lucia had a recent discovery of oil, or some rare earth metal such as cerium or lanthanum used in the production of highly demanded cell phones.
In fact, he managed Saint Lucia like a country that is rich in natural resources such as oil, gold, diamonds, etc. with the wealth accruing to a very small subset of the population. We will describe this as a ‘cabal economy’.
In describing a cabal economy, we cannot rely on our own biases, our internal perceptions or our partisan motives, we need to rely on the evidence to support our designation of Saint Lucia as a ‘cabal economy.’
If we examine the list below, we can see that there is no consideration for ordinary Saint Lucians, Small and Micro enterprises, or even export ready firms.
This appears to be strictly an operation transferring wealth from the taxpayers of Saint Lucia to family, friends and foreigners associated with the government. There has even been admission of the practice on the platforms of the UWP. The evidence is clear.
Is the Country Broke?
Clearly a small country that found significantly more than $621 million from its coffers over a three-year period to provide contracts for friends of the Government could not have been broke in 2016 when the UWP assumed office.
The more important question is ‘Is the country now broke because of all of these generous donations?’