Thursday, September 29, 2022

SLP Leader Criticises Government Of ‘Great Pretenders’

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SLP Political Leader Hon. Philip J. Pierre is recommending that Allen Chastanet and his UWP ministers listen to the lines of the 1950s ballad, ‘The Great Pretender’, by the Platters, to recognize that they are not the good economic managers they claim to be.
These lines in the song seemed particularly descriptive of Chastanet’s squandermania:
‘Yes, I’m the great pretender
Just laughin’ and gay like a clown
I seem to be what I’m not, you see
I’m wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you’re still around’


Pierre’s latest pronouncements on the hapless government, came at the SLP Market Steps virtual public meeting August 23, where he demanded the truth about the state of the economy in the face of mounting debt and bad financial choices by the government over the last four years.

“Where are we? I’m saying to you, by the time this government leaves office the national debt of this country may be near $5 billion,” Mr Pierre declared, warning his audience that the burden of repayment would fall on the young people of Saint Lucia.


He recalled that after the nation emerged from the Covid-19 lockdown the Prime Minister said the country had lost so much revenue with no hope of recovering this lost revenue , that it would be necessary to cut the salaries of civil servants by 50%.

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A month later a Cabinet Conclusion effectively said that the Cabinet would be in control of the Public Service Commission.

“They said they could not afford to pay civil servants. What is the proposed state of the 50% pay cut on civil servants? Where are the public servants? What will the government do (for salaries) in September, October, November?” Mr Pierre asked.

Yet the same government has embarked on a mad rush to launch construction projects, including a road to nowhere from Dauphine, and the awarding of ‘design-finance’ contracts for nearly $100 million outside the tendering process.
With 15,000 hotel workers losing their jobs due to Covid-19, Hon. Pierre grieved that the new school year beginning September would be particularly difficult for parents.

“Never before in my life as a Parliamentary Representative have I seen so many people who are afraid because school is opening and they can’t send their children to school,” he said, disclosing that the Government gave each opposition MP $10,000 to help children go to school.


Mr Pierre, who is in his fifth consecutive term as MP for Castries East, estimated that it costs at least $500 to send a child to primary school, which means that $10,000 to one constituency can only help 20 students.

“That is what this government is doing to the legitimate representatives of the people”, he said, stating that a Labour Party government would have used a portion of the US$ 29.2 million emergency assistance from the IMF to enable parents to obtain basic school books free of charge.
He also said an SLP Government would have abandoned school facility fees in this year of Covid-19; and would have upgraded the school feeding programme to create a synergy and merger of agriculture, education and health to ensure that every child gets a proper meal in school.
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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


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