The management of St. Lucia News Online sincerely apologises to its readers and advertisers for the reduction in news updates over the past weeks due to issues beyond our control that we can not legally/personally disclose at this time. Thankfully, there was no downtime but we regret the lack of updates due, to as mentioned, issues beyond our control. We thank you for your patience as normalcy is being restored to our daily coverage.

Finance/Business

LUCELEC recognizes Employees of the Quarter

Eighteen years of work experience at the Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) separate LUCELEC’s two Employees of the First Quarter for 2013. Terry Pologne of the Generation Department and Ed James from Transmission and Distribution are also divided by the number of accolades they have received from the company. While Pologne, in his 20th year of employ has won ...

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Inland Revenue reminds promoters of their VAT obligations this Carnival season

As the Carnival season approaches, the Inland Revenue Department has reminded promoters of public entertainment of their obligations according to VAT Act No.7 of 2012:. The registration threshold for promoters of public entertainment is $180,000. Promoters of public entertainment are required to apply for registration at least five working days before the public entertainment starts. Promoters of public entertainment can ...

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NWU to honour Saint Lucian life achievers

The National Workers Union (NWU) will later this month honour some of Saint Lucia’s finest sons and daughters for their significant achievements in areas of nation building, leadership, trade unionism and political education of the Saint Lucian working people. Two former prime ministers, three former government ministers and two former stalwarts in the trade union movement will be handed Life ...

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NWU and Caribbean Elevators complete negotiations

The management of Eastern Caribbean Elevators Ltd and officials from the National Workers Union have satisfactorily completed industrial negotiations. Technical and clerical workers employed with the company will benefit from an additional one dollar per hour on salaries across the Board. The company and the NWU have also agreed on a regime of fringe benefits, a revised policy on training ...

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CPL weekly television show to air around the Caribbean

The inaugural Caribbean Premier League does not start until July, but it will be on air from as early as June via a weekly television programme – CPLT20 TV – that is being filmed in each of the six franchise countries where the T20 cricket tournament will be played. In six half-hour episodes, fans around the region will be taken ...

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British American Tobacco asks: “What would a world with no legal tobacco industry really look like?”

British American Tobacco (BAT), one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, is warning of the existence of a criminal element, waiting to take over the legitimate tobacco industry. In a press release, Rhys Campbell, head of corporate and regulatory affairs for the Caribbean, says the reality is that people will continue to smoke but instead of buying legally-taxed cigarettes, made ...

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St. Lucia National Lottery awards its second Super 6 winner

Paul Elliot of Vieux Fort is the second Super 6 winner from St. Lucia. Gaspard Charlemagne was the first winner with $350, 000. Elliot received his cheque of $215,000 today from St. Lucia National Lottery with a huge smile and words of encouragement for other players. “You can’t win if you don’t play,” Elliot said. The St. Lucia National Lottery ...

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Rick Waugh announces retirement from Scotiabank

Scotiabank Chief Executive Officer Rick Waugh today announced his intention to retire as CEO effective November 1, 2013 after 10 years in the role and 43 years with the bank. He will remain a director of the Board and assume the role of deputy chairman of the bank until January 31, 2014. The Board of Directors has appointed Brian Porter ...

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New executive appointments at CIBC FirstCaribbean

The Board of Directors of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank has decided to make a number of senior executive appointments, subject to regulatory and governmental approvals. Effective June 1, 2013, Daniel Farmer will assume the role of managing director, corporate lending and investment banking, replacing Ian Chinapoo, who has taken up another senior position outside of CIBC FirstCaribbean, in his native ...

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British Airways appoints OECS PR agency to manage reputation in eastern Caribbean

The Orange Media Group has been appointed the lead agency to manage crisis support and crisis communications for British Airways in Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Kitts. The agency will provide full public relations/communications support and counsel to assist British Airways in managing the image and reputation of the airline in the eastern Caribbean. In the event of a ...

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Digicel achieves Cisco Gold Certification in the Caribbean, Panama and El Salvador

Digicel announced today it has achieved Cisco® Gold Certification in the Caribbean, Panama and El Salvador. To earn gold certification, Digicel had to meet rigorous standards set forth by Cisco in networking competency, service, support and customer satisfaction. Digicel Group Director of Business Solutions, Tom Carson, said: “I am delighted with this achievement. Digicel Business is the region’s leading full ...

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EYES WIDE OPEN: Telecommunications merger could spell potential danger for OECS sub-region

For months speculation have been rife that the telecommunications landscape in the region as we know it, could change significantly. And whereas change is the only constant in today’s ever-changing world, not all change brings along the highly touted benefits that are often boasted. This particular imminent change for instance – yes the announcement earlier this month that Columbus Networks ...

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NWU to hold Third Triennial Congress of Delegates in June

The National Workers Union (NWU) will be holding its 3rd Triennial Congress of Delegates on June 28, 2013 at the Conference Room of the Royal St. Lucian Hotel under the theme “Consolidate for Survival.” One hundred and forty delegates from 86 branches of the National Workers Union throughout the island will participate in the day’s proceedings. At the opening ceremony ...

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St. Lucia Manufacturer’s Association signs economic declaration

The St. Lucia Manufacturer’s Association (SMA) attended the 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Dominica Manufacturer’s Association which was held at Fort Young Hotel in Roseau Dominica on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. The Association was represented by Secretary of the SMA Renee De Myers. The feature address at the event was delivered by President of the Jamaica Manufacturer’s Association Brian ...

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Rex Resorts receives Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor again

Congratulations to Royal by Rex Resorts for receiving a Certificate of Excellence award from TripAdvisor® for the second consecutive year. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award. The peaceful ...

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Habitat Terrace receives 2013 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is delighted to recognize Habitat Terrace Hotel with a 2013 Certificate of Excellence and wishes Habitat Terrace Hotel much continued success throughout 2013. This prestigious award places Habitat Terrace Hotel among the top-performing 10 percent of all businesses worldwide on TripAdvisor, and is given to businesses that consistently earn high ratings from TripAdvisor travelers. Owner and Managing Director Cheryl ...

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Cuba salutes Saint Lucia

On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, a recipient of the Jose Marti medal of honour, laid a wreath at the base of the monument of the National Hero at Revolution Square, Havana, before proceeding to hold official talks with President Raoul Castro. During the wreath-laying ceremony, Prime Minister Anthony was greeted by military salute and ...

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Toxik Nation donates to NCF

The TOXIK Nation Carnival Band has created history by becoming the first carnival organisation to support the philanthropic work of the National Community Foundation (NCF) with a donation of EC$1,000 to the organisation. The cheque presentation was made during the NCF’s 10th National Telethon on Sunday, May 26,2013. TOXIK Nation’s Press and Marketing Manager Shannon Lebourne, in presenting the cheque, ...

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Bay Gardens Resorts win four prestigious awards for the third consecutive year

Bay Gardens Resorts today announced that it has, yet again, received four TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence awards. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award, and this is ...

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PM: Saint Lucia’s friendship with Cuba is not for sale

Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony commenced his official visit to Cuba, when along with his delegation, he visited the Institute of Friendship with the Peoples where he held talks with President of the Institute Kenya Serrano and mothers of the five Cubans imprisoned in the United States of America. During the visit, Dr. Anthony reaffirmed his commitment to working ...

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Sentinel Security Services and Goddard Catering Group sign agreements with NWU

Two industrial agreements were signed at the Department of Labour today. The management of Sentinel Security Services Ltd and Goddard Catering Group affixed their signatures to industrial agreements negotiated with the National Workers Union (NWU). Both agreements which will run for a period of three years, make provisions for a new pay structure, a regime of fringe benefits and regulations ...

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Dalson to spill the beans today

Local Government Minister Harold Dalson will hold a press conference today, Friday, May 24, 2013 to make public the findings of the Review of the Financial Operations of Local Government Councils. The Labour administration commissioned the review to determine how monies from the Taiwanese government were used under the former United Workers Party (UWP) government. The report says during the ...

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NWU and SLASPA conclude negotiations

The management of Saint Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) and officials from the National Workers Union (NWU) have satisfactorily concluded negotiations. Monthly and fortnightly paid employees with SLASPA within the NWU Bargaining Unit will benefit from an eight percent general wage increase, back pay from March 31, 2012 and adjustments in a few wage scales. The agreement which ...

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NWU and CIBC FirstCaribbean negotiations concluded

The National Workers Union (NWU) and the Management of CIBC/First Caribbean International Bank have concluded negotiations. The parties agreed to a general wage increase spread over a three year period with 3% in Year 1, 2% in Year 2 and 1% in Year 3. Over seventy (70) employees at the financial institution will receive a back pay effective January 2012. ...

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CIBC FirstCaribbean celebrates its employees

Employees of CIBC FirstCaribbean on Thursday, May 16 were treated to a show of appreciation from employers and fellow employees. The regional-wide Employee Appreciation Day was celebrated among the 17 Caribbean territories where CIBC FirstCaribbean operates with various activities scheduled to demonstrate to employees the extent to which their efforts are valued within the bank. In Saint Lucia, CIBC FirstCaribbean ...

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Digicel delivered a great Jazz and Arts experience

One of the premiere festivals of the world, the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival came to a close last week Sunday as patrons from around the Globe enjoyed what was a unique experience of superb performances, great food, beautiful art pieces, huge giveaways and wonderful music. Apart from the unique entertainers who performed and artisans who got to display ...

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Guardsman to participate in secret ballot excercise

Over two hundred (200) security guards employed with Guardsman St. Lucia Ltd. will participate in a secret ballot exercise on Friday May 24, 2013. This development is as a result of a recognition claim submitted to the Ministry of Labour by the National Workers Union (NWU) on behalf of the security guards employed with the company. The exercise will be ...

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Axcel Finance accelerates a young athlete

For the past seven years at 5 am, you can find a young man running at the Camille Henry Memorial School grounds and making his way to the Vigie beach. The 20-year-old athlete, Nicholas LeBrune, has been facing new challenges: managing his demanding school curriculum while pursuing his athletic aspirations. His single-parent mother was determined to have the best for ...

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ADVERTORIAL: 30-Day Interest-Free Travel Loan

Clients can now get a 30-day interest free loan from AXCEL FINANCE in Blue Coral Mall for AIRLINE TICKETS, CRUISES, HOLIDAY AND HONEYMOON PACKAGES to be purchased from BUDGET TRAVEL AGENCY, located 1st Floor Blue Coral Mall, Bridge Street Castries; tel # 458-2000 or 485-0361. Business hours: 7am- 7pm Monday to Saturday. Clients can take advantage of LOW AIR FARES ...

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LUCELEC co-hosts Wärtsilä regional technical seminar

St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) will co-host Wärtsilä’s Annual Technical Seminar for 2013. The seminar takes place this week, May 15 -16, at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort and will include a technical tour of LUCELEC’s Cul De Sac Power Station. Wärtsilä is a global leader in complete life-cycle power solutions for the energy and marine markets. Several of ...

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10 winners, 10 Blackberries and more fun with Digicel this May

Digicel, always committed to keeping its customers engaged for the month of May, has launched the ‘ODD ONE OUT Text to Win’ promotion. The objective of the game is to guess which one of the four items does not belong. The odd one out will test customers’ wits while simultaneously heightening excitement. Ten lucky customers will each win a Blackberry ...

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Digicel gives away $10,000 to customers

As proud platinum sponsors for Saint Lucia Jazz and Festival, Digicel, the Bigger, Better Network, celebrated this fantastic festival with a grand Jazz ‘Text to Win’ promotion. With all main stage Jazz events delivering the best performances ever, Digicel ensured a fantastic promotion dubbed the “Digicel’s Jazz Trivia.” Marie Gittens and Agartha Herman emerged the winners of $5,000 cash each! ...

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BUDGET ADDRESS 2013/2014 (link to full statement)

Below is a link to the complete budget statement delivered on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at Parliament Chambers, Castries by Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning & Social Security, Dr. Kenny Anthony, to support the Appropriation Bill for the financial year ending March 31, 2014. The theme of the statement was “An Agenda for Economic Growth and ...

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HIGHLIGHTS: 2013/2014 Budget

1.    Official unemployment rate fell to 20.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with 22.3 percent in the same quarter of 2011. 2.    Inflation rate increased to 4.2 percent in 2012 compared to 2.8 percent in 2011 driven in part by introduction of VAT 3.    There has been partial resolution in the CLICO/BAICO saga. Regional governments are still ...

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NWU to host congress in June

The National Workers Union (NWU) will convene its 3rd Triennial Congress of Delegates on June 28th, 2013 at the Conference Room of the Royal Saint Lucian Hotel under the theme “Consolidate for Survival”. About one hundred and forty (140) delegates from eighty-six (86) branches of the NWU throughout the island will participate in the whole day’s proceedings. The Opening Ceremony ...

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St. Lucia Marine Terminals and NWU complete negotiations

The management of St. Lucia Marine Terminals Ltd. and officials from the National Workers Union (NWU) has satisfactorily completed industrial negotiations. Clerical, mechanical and technical workers employed with the company at its port operations in Vieux Fort would benefit from the new industrial accord between the company and the NWU. Workers will receive an eight percent general wage increase that ...

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Government’s fiscal plans to be presented in budget address today

The details of government’s programs and policy direction for the country will be revealed today, Tuesday, May 14, 2013 when Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Kenny Anthony presents the Appropriations Bill in Parliament. The bill, commonly referred to as the budget, is being presented against the backdrop of a tight economic situation. With the contraction of the world ...

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Axel Finance ‘Thanks to the nurses’

Axcel Finance continues to make its solid mark in Saint Lucia with its latest initiative to support the nurses in the community. The company presented one hundred mugs to commemorate the International Nurses Day which is being celebrated this year on May 12th. Accepting the donation on behalf of the Nurses’ Association, Jalanne Francois thanked Axcel Finance for taking the ...

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St. Lucian architects encouraged to prepare for the benefits of the EPA

The European Partnership Agreement (EPA) is due for full implementation and Caribbean countries including St. Lucia are working towards that end. Under the agreement, countries will be able to trade goods and services more freely. The CARICOM secretariat and Caribbean Export Development Agency are spearheading consultations with architect bodies throughout the sub-region to develop minimum requirements under a mutual recognition ...

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LUCELEC continues goodwill towards NCF

St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited’s newly sworn in National Community Foundation (NCF) Executive Director, Madonna Monrose, described corporate sponsors like the Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) as the “lifeblood of the organization”. She was speaking at the launch of the 10th annual NCF Telethon scheduled for May 26, 2013. In its continued show of goodwill, LUCELEC presented NCF Chairman ...

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Did you lose money in OLINT investments?

The following statement is being issued by the United States Department of Justice: Persons who lost money from investments in companies operated by David A. Smith, doing business as Overseas Locket International Corporation (“OLINT”), and related companies may be eligible to receive compensation from the United States Government. Smith claimed that the companies were private investment clubs that purportedly traded ...

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CSA wins approval of Southern Taxi Association

The St. Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) has been recognized as the sole bargaining agent for the non-management staff of the Southern Taxi Association (STA). The results of a secret poll held last month indicated that 78.5 percent of the employees voted in favour of union representation. The CSA is currently in the process of preparing proposals to be submitted ...

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NWU seeks government’s intervention in crisis at Renwick & Company

The National Workers Union (NWU) has written to the labour minister regarding complaints received from Renwick and Company Ltd. employees who recently voted for union representation. In the letter to the minister, the NWU states that company officials are holding individual meetings with staff members and questioning their knowledge of the persons directly responsible for the unionization of the Renwick & ...

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Digicel celebrates mothers with amazing discounts on handsets

Digicel, The Bigger, Better Network, for the month of May is offering to all prepaid and postpaid customers an opportunity to purchase selected handsets at fantastic prices for Mother’s Day. Customers can make Mother’s Day special by getting a new phone for mom at a price almost as amazing as she is by visiting their nearest Digicel store. Digicel customers ...

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St. Lucian coaches engage in training sessions with Chelsea coaches

Digicel affiliates for the Kick Start Clinic, Chelsea Football Club Foundation, completed a three-day stay on island with a coaches cClinic at scenic Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa, Vieux Fort. Over 20 local football coaches benefited from a Coach Education Programme put on by the three top coaches from the Chelsea Football Club Foundation, England, courtesy Digicel. The programme ...

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Gov’t receives $37M boost for agricultural sector

The St. Lucia government today, May 6, 2013 signed an agricultural agreement with the European Union (EU) worth about EC$37 million. The EU funds, which were provided under the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM), are being used to finance the government’s Agricultural Transformation Programme (ATP). Speaking at today’s signing ceremony, Prime Minister and Minister and Finance, Dr. Kenny Anthony, said the ...

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G4S negotiations to commence next week

The management of G4S Secure Solutions (St. Lucia) Limited and representatives from the National Workers Union (NWU) will meet next week Wednesday and Thursday, May 8 and 9, 2013 to commence negotiations. The parties will use a 30-point Memorandum of Proposals submitted by the NWU as a working document. The memorandum includes a new pay structure and a regime of ...

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AF Valmont and Renwick seek trade union representation

Clerical, sales agents and attendants employed with A. F. Valmont & Company Ltd and Renwick & Company Ltd have sought trade union representation through the National Workers Union. As a result, the National Workers Union (NWU) has submitted a recognition claim to the Ministry of Labour on behalf of employees employed with both companies. This initiative on the part of ...

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Digicel welcomes coaches from Chelsea FC Foundation

Thirty young football enthusiasts who recently qualified to take part in the 2013 Digicel Kick Start Clinics will have the benefit of three top coaches from the Chelsea Football Club Foundation, England. The coaches arrived on island on Thursday evening ahead of the event’s official launch ceremony and clinic which took place on Friday. Digicel’s marketing team was on hand ...

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Digicel ignites Jazz on the Grill

For the first time in its five-year history, a popular offshoot of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, ‘Jazz on the Grill’ at the Fire Grill Restaurant and Bar has secured the patronage of platinum sponsor, Digicel. The telecommunications giant, as part of its continuing commitment to bring the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival to every quadrant of ...

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Jade Mountain Resort makes St. Lucia proud once more

St. Lucia’s famed Jade Mountain Resort located in Soufriere has bagged another regional award. Readers of Islands Magazines have selected the resort as the ‘Caribbean’s best luxury resort’. Jade Mountain amassed the majority of the votes, 31 percent, followed by Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands (26 percent), Four Seasons in Nevis (16 percent), Amanyara in Turks and Caicos ...

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SUMMARY OF BUDGET ESTIMATES: Hon. Alva Baptiste, Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation and Member for Laborie/Augier

In every dark hour in Saint Lucia’s national life the STAR of Bread, Justice and Freedom rises to illuminate our path to social and economic recovery. As if and if I may reach out for the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “It is only when its dark enough can you see the stars.” The doctor’s knife had to be ...

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SUMMARY OF BUDGET ESTIMATES: Hon. Alvina Reynolds, Minister for Health, Wellness and Gender Relations and Member for Babonneau

Ministry of Health Vision: To obtain optimal wellness for the entire population by increasing access to affordable health care. Mission: We lead through advocacy, policy development, regulation and the delivery of accessible comprehensive, quality health and social services using the most cost effective mechanisms. Creating and maintaining a healthy environment that promotes gender equity and encourages personal responsibility for well-being ...

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SUMMARY OF BUDGET ESTIMATES: Hon. Moses Jn. Baptiste, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Production and Member for Vieux Fort North

The agricultural sector must play its role in job creation, economic growth, financial stabilization, fiscal rebalancing and social equity at a time of continued global economic uncertainty. REHABILITATION OF FARM DRAINS-$750,000.00 As it relates to ravages caused by Hurricane Tomas and its impact on the agricultural sector, this Ministry continued with its program of desilting of main drains and waterways ...

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T&T accused of barring products from St. Lucia

The president of the St Lucia Manufacturers Association (SMA), Paula Calderon, has accused Trinidad and Tobago of barring products from entering the country. During a question-and-answer segment of the recently held Caribbean Export colloquium at the Hilton Barbados, Calderon pleaded with the chief executive officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA), Ramesh Ramdeen, to help remove the barriers. ...

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Petroleum prices increase

The public is hereby notified that in keeping with the schedule of price changes under the modified market pass-through system, fuel prices will be adjusted today, Monday, April 29, 2013. The amendments reflect price increases for recent imports of refined petroleum products. The changes in the retail price of fuel products will be as follows: Even with the new price ...

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No VAT increase

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Kenny D. Anthony has demolished rumours that the Valued Added Tax (VAT) will be increased. Speaking during the budget debate last Thursday, Dr. Anthony said: “I want to make it clear, contrary to rumours be circulated, that the government of Saint Lucia has no intention to increase VAT beyond the 15 percent.” Rumours ...

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Sunshine Industries and labour officials seem set for a showdown over unfair dismissals

The management of Sunshine Industries Ltd St. Lucia has been advised to reinstate seven dismissed workers in a decision handed down by the acting labour commissioner. The company has been embroiled in a drawn out dispute with workers after it unlawfully made deductions on the workers’ salaries. The ensuing protest action by the workers led to a company-sanctioned lockout that ...

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National budget is less $130M due to spending cuts

For the first time since Independence the national budget is being cut. Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Dr. Kenny Anthony in presenting the budget estimates to Parliament last week, said the national deficit stands at 9 percent of the GDP and to address the economic crunch, the 2013/2014 estimates is being reduced by $130.4 million. Government’s total recurrent expenditure ...

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BUDGET AT A GLANCE: Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning and Social Security and Member for Vieux Fort North

Over the years the budget has been on an increasing trend.  However, in an effort to contain expenditure and improve the government’s fiscal position,  the 2013/2014 draft estimates proposes funding for expenditure amounting $1.327 billion representing $130.4 million down from last year’s approved estimates of $1.457 billion but $42.3 million above the out-turn (1.285 million) for 2012/13. The proposed increase ...

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SUMMARY OF BUDGET ESTIMATES: Hon. Harold Dalson, Minister for Social Transformation, Local Government and Community Empowerment and Member for Soufriere/Fond St. Jacques

EXPANSION OF AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMME This year, the review saw the expansion of the Community After School Programme, one of the Ministry’s primary social intervention Programmes which targets children and youth from poor or low income households in “at risk” communities where it is evident that this support is most needed. During last year, seven new Centres were established thereby ...

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SUMMARY ON BUDGET ESTIMATES: Hon. Dr. Robert Lewis, Minister for Education, Human Resource Development and Labour and Member for Castries South

Recognition is due to the grace of God and the support of the people of Castries South, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Staff of the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Labour. This Budget is testimony of the leadership of the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance. In the face of growing criticism by some in certain quarters, ...

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