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$75M needed to improve country’s financial standing

Samuel Sukhnandan, SNO Reporter

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Prime Minister Kenny Anthony. *SNO photo.

The prime minister has announced that his administration will address the country’s fiscal deficit by reducing spending, with or without the consensus of stakeholders.

Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony told media operatives on last Friday (May 9) at a discussion on the current economic situation that every measure possible will be used to come to an agreement with stakeholders on a way forward on the matter.

However, Anthony recalled that Dominica tried that route under the leadership of its late prime minister Pierre Charles and had to abandon it and opt for a reduction. He said Barbados had to abandon consensus as well and go by legislation and so has Jamaica and Bermuda.

“Our approach is to go the route of consensus and to arrive at common ground, and if common ground cannot be found, then the government will consider its other options,” Dr Anthony added.

He said government must find $75 million to improve its financial standing that can guarantee prudent management of the island’s economy in the future.

He explained that the state of the financial markets and the increasing distrust of instruments’ by governments have drastically changed. Therefore, the island must look to position itself to withstand these trials.

Meanwhile, the prime minister reminded that the issue at hand involves the entire economy, noting that it requires, “extraordinary patience and understanding.” However, he said that an early decision on this matter is needed.

“I did say to the unions that we cannot engage in discussions impetrating… that discussions have come to come to an end at some point, and if of course, if we don’t find agreement then the government will have to act to protect the country,” he asserted.

Further, Dr. Anthony said as minister of finance he has a legal obligation to ensure that a budget is put in place as early as possible to authorise the disbursement of funds to continue all projects under the administration.

“I have never expected to have one meeting with public sector unions and you would arrive at a position soon enough. We did not provide a proposal to the public sector, but we shared information and welcomed their suggestions on measure they think government could use,” he added.

Asked why his government is now moving to make adjustments to public servants salaries, when in a 2007-2010 labour agreement a 14.5 percent increase was granted, PM Anthony said that move was a commitment that was followed through by the previous administration.

“If the then government committed itself to paying a 14.5 percent increase then morally it was bound to pay that … but when the 14.5 percent was given, that signaled the commencement of the depth of problem in the public service,” he explained.

Statistics from the Ministry of Finance indicate that the current deficit will rise and the gains from last year will be lost, if government does not adjust wages. Government has since presented trade unions with options to reduce public servants salaries by 10 percent, seven percent or five percent.

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36 comments

  1. Bring back Isaac Anthony

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  2. war in st lucia if Kenny takes 5% of our salary in such difficult times..what dem ministers think??

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  3. The PM is bound to fail because neither he nor his PS who actually framed the budget have inspired any confidence that either one is on top of the transmission mechanics of the budget that was just presented. Based on just hope that the tax yields will materialise, but without a rigorous mechanism to continuously monitor the expected figures quarter by quarter, or in real time, they are setting themselves up and the rest of us for failure. The very blind is leading the blind here. Thi has happened for years on end since the collapse of the banana economy.

    It is not as simple as it was previously then, just hoping for a good crop yield and multiplying the tonnage by the protected market price per pound. These days are gone. Relying on the one cylinder engine of tourism, based on a litany of embedded concessions, the net income flow to the coffers are substantially reduced.

    Hotel construction rather than tourist arrivals has the greater multiplier effect, which the data with regression analysis will support. Wringing out painful gains from the labour market will never alter the underlying weakened fundamentals of this economy. Where ignorance is bliss ....

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  4. Kenny is the same man who said in 1997, that no incoming government is bond by any decision taken by a previous government, now he talking crap. Who you think you fooling. You are a deceiving, dishonest,heartless individual Kenny and your SLP pandits. St.Lucians Wake up Let protest our way through this threats by Kennt and Company. We are the one holding the hot end of the stick. If the opposition is sleeping lets wake our selves up. King And Richard are on their side now no longer any pass government minister worried about our well being. We can fight our way through. I think we should all wear an orange colour bands,t-shirt on our selves cars, to show we will not remain under Kenny,s spell. Join me now.

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  5. The problem with Kenny this time around is that he brought in a bunch of Useless ministers with him....I mean thats the first time I see ministers who look good on paper but have yet to translate whats on paper into reality...the have no ideas, they are not proactive I mean just a waste....I guess thats why he had to hire so many consultants

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  6. captain yur ship seem to be sinkining, he will do like dat south korean guy an be the first to jump off board.

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  7. Hail to the almighty Dr. Kenny.D.Anthony. Once again our messiah has delivered to his minions his promised BETTER DAYS, Or should I say BITTER DAYS. 10%,7%,5% your choice. Either way you WILL be getting a salary cut. While his Press officer smart enough to resign and probably leave the island under disguise of study or other government appointment. BITTER DAYS are here..

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  8. That NICE Program they invented, where is the money coming from to pay these ppl. The economy would have been fine without this program. They have to borrow to pay them. What did they expect to happen? They created the mess we are in right now. The prime minister was in the forefront with the civil servants protesting when king was forced to pay the 14%. Now the shoe is on the other foot. we Saint Lucians have a very short memory eh; whenever it suits us.

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    • NICE is just another ... short-sighted programme meant just to win votes. The Ministry of Finance has not the brain power to do much than to seek out programmes to win the next election, and the next election and the next election. No blasted vision. See who reads the budget and who explains it in their own limited way and perspective? Saint Lucia they say is idiot country. I believe.

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  9. It's very easy. Heed what the LPM people have been saying. You have 48 million there to save the country.

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  10. The Prime Minister speaking down to his minions and on their behalf. As usual he says what he means and means what he says. Here's a Government who governs us without consensus. So we are on the way to a full dictatorship in Fair Helen.

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  11. You know what? Put those politicians on minimum wage and watch how fast things change! Came across this quote and it is so true!

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  12. Poor People Who Elect Politicians

    St.Lucia needs a new set of Younger Politicians......so we could free the Ganga and stimulate the Economy....why u think Rasa man so humble.....cause we smoke the weed

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  13. First of all the over 300 pensioners employed getting their pensions and also a fatter salary plus allowances should be given an option to forgo pension once still employed or terminate employment and keep a pension. This will save the Govt about 8 Million right there.
    Entertainment and telephone allowances should ceased immediately as all the officers who received these allowances have cell phones paid by the Govt. Another Million right there.
    Office receiving travelling should NOT be using SLG’s. All Ministers and PS’s are chauffeured around yet they all receive travel allowances some as high as $1400 a month.
    CUT THESE COSTS AND SHOW US U ARE SERIOUS ABOUT CUTTING COST.

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  14. KENNY YOU BRIGHT AND (JUST NOT SHINING)ENOUGH TO KNOW WHERE YOU CAN GET THE $75 MILLION.YOU NEED TO CUT FROM YOU SO CALL USELESS BIG BOYS YOU CUT FROM THE HELM UNNECESSARY JOB APPOINTMENTS.FIRE..... THEM AND WE WILL SEE THE LIGHT..... AGAIN. RIGHT NOW THEY ALONE SEEING THE BETTER DAYS YOU PROMISE AND THAT IS IF THEY VOTED YOU IN.

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  15. Kenny is looking for a war, he can't help it, it's in his blood, he's a lawyer.

    I mean, this fiscal problem has been around for decades (and he's contributed vastly to it), so why is he trying to play saviour now?
    I say, restructure the overseas consulates, like having all OECS reps under one roof in their respective cities, instead of having one for each state. Then every politician should take a pay cut, cuz they are the problem in this country.
    Thing is, there are some civil servants who make very little money, but there are some lazy ones too.

    Kenny, you have failed this country over and over again, and don't think you're any better, UWP...you've done your share too.

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    • The government has declared war on the population. We should bring it down. Time to strike. Get back to the polls if you want this budget accepted. Let us see the back of these jokers! It is time for a prolonged strike. Down the tools! CSA! CSA! CSA!

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  16. Take your pick - 10, 7 or 5% - and shut up! He is showing his true dictator, arrogant self for all to see. It is time we seek to elect patriots and not opportunist. A patriot, even in opposition, would have sided with King and say that the country cannot afford 14.5%; an opportunist would join the protest. Now he is implying that once an agreement is made one must live by it. Yes, I agree with that! Our deal with you was that we put you in office and you invest $100 million into the economy and create jobs, jobs, jobs. Well guess what Mr. PM, we delivered and placed you in office, now please live by our agreement and deliver your part. OR GET OUT OF OFFICE.

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  17. I may be wrong in my following statement...

    but I think we the people the citizens of st lucia should see how much money VAT is contributing to the government and where the government is putting these funds. afterall its our tax dollars. so we should ATLEAST know where it is going.

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  18. so why cant the same 4% that was given last year be the same 4% they take back...why the government wants to take more than what they even gave. that is the main issue I hav.

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    • Government always take back more than what they give. They take 20% of my salary in taxes. What do I get. Poor representation. They charge me $150 for road tax. What do I get? Potholes that cause more damage to my vehicle putting me in a deeper hole. Governments are by their nature useless.

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  19. ALL OF YAL THAT SAYING LIES LIES LIES... I SURE YAL VOTE FOR HIM AND HIS PARTY SO TAKE IT IN YAL FESS NOW AND SHUT THE HELL UP

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  20. I lol'd at the guy.

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  21. En chou yo. I meant En rouge.

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  22. DICTATORSHIP AT ITS BEST!!!!!!!! BETTER DAYS AS PROMISED? LIES, LIES, LIES!!!!!!!!!!!

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  23. KENNY, YOU LIE AND LIE AND LIE.

    "PM Anthony said that move was a commitment that was followed through by the previous administration" - UNTRUE. You stood there with 'de workers' telling them they could have their 15%, even though King said it would ruin the country. Now you changing your tune.

    King was correct in the first instance but you were so hungry for power you said whatever was necessary. Now you doing contortions like a snake.

    Just say you messed up.

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    • Do you believe that the present former administration could have done any better?

      Take a good look around and can you honestly say, that they had the blueprint for economic growth, when we do even have a manufacturing industry to bring in some much needed foreign exchange.

      So outline to me in what way the former could have improved the situation?

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      • I think a lot of the problems are not able to be sorted dispassionately by any of the country bookies who assume the hot seat. This is the point I always make. Too many Lucians think by being critical of one, that you naturally support the other. I call out failure where I see it, regardless of party.

        Given the crux of the argument is about the debt that has been increased, then I would say that King's attempts to not give 15% increase would mean he at least understood the nature of the problem.

        St Lucia will never get any economic growth as long as governments think it happens by them trying to 'pick winners' or give it to party hacks. Government should be there to set the conditions for the private sector (family businesses, individuals) to expand and take risks.

        Governments cannot create prosperity - look at Trini and Venezuela. How much oil do you need to make socialism work?

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        • You hit the nail on the head Truth! That was an issue with the Facebook Page "St Lucians Aiming for Progress" which was predominantly labour supporters, that once you engage in dialogue on that page and you are critical of certain government policies. No matter how valid your reasons were for being critical, the other members of the group took it to mean that you are supporting the Other Party. How can we aim for progress when that is the Mentality of our People

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      • Kenny doh have it either. He is just behaving like a dog in a manger. He is just warming a seat. He has the brains for law. He does not have the brains for the position of Minister of Finance.

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    • LOL! Ironic! To say the least!

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    • OMG Truth, I wish i could shake your hands!! That's all i have to say. This dictator/slave master is so vicious, i am scared to stay in st. lucia. God knows what his next move will be

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    • OMG Truth, I wish i could shake your hands!! That's all i have to say. This dictator/slave master is so vicious, i am scared to stay in st. lucia. God knows what his next move will be

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