Castries, Saint Lucia, Monday, November 22, 2021:– Never mind COVID-19’s effects and global supply chain problems, thanks to both Houses of Parliament, Saint Lucians can still look forward to equal and wider access to Christmas Barrel concessions for 2021.
Government, at last week’s 4th Sitting of Parliament, cleared the way for the $2,500-per-barrel concessions that many families – at two barrels each — look forward to every year to cheer their Christmas and New year holidays season.
The legislation was days later approved by the Senate, bringing nit into effect with the support of both Upper and Lower Houses.
Before COVID-19, the concessions were announced early-enough to allow people to inform overseas relatives of the starting date in advance.
But in 2020, with COVID-19 in full bloom and more families dependent on the barrels as Christmas approached, the UWP administration only announced the concessions nine days before.
Not so this year, as the current administration introduced the enabling legislation the House of Assembly on November 16.
During the Senate debate, Government Senator Lisa Jawahir noted that “Every Member of Parliament – and not only the Government side – will have an opportunity this year to bring-in Christmas Barrels…”
She also noted the legislative path was cleared in mid-November, “instead of waiting just nine days before Christmas.”
Fellow Government Senator Alvina Reynolds likewise noted that “All Saint Lucians will qualify” this year “and not only the 15 parliamentarians on the government side.”
Senator Reynolds also pointed-out that the concessions are “not only for the poor, but for every Saint Lucian citizen.”
The former Babonneau MP and Health Minister showered praise on the Philip J. Pierre administration, saying the barrel concessions are just one of its many achievements during “100 Days of Putting People First.”