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VIDEO: CDB urges Saint Lucia to implement fiscal reform

By Samuel Sukhnandan, Staff Journalist

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Left to right: Communications Officer for the Government of Saint Lucia Nicole McDonald,

Left to right: Communications Officer for the Government of Saint Lucia Nicole McDonald, Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Director Dr Justin Ram and Minister within the Ministry of Finance Senator Dr. Ubaldus Raymond.

Saint Lucia will have to undertake a wide range of ambitious fiscal and public financial management reforms to keep its economy on the right track, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has said.

Speaking at a live press conference on Thursday, Director of Economics at the CDB Dr Justin Ram said this will ensure the country’s debt profile is placed on a sustainable trajectory.

“The government of Saint Lucia needs to look at fiscal consolidation, structural reforms to improve competitiveness and increase growth, focus on transformative infrastructure project…and focus on strategic liability management to maintain debt,” he said.

Dr. Ram was presenting findings from a report conducted jointly by the CDB and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), which looked at Saint Lucia’s overall economic strengths and weaknesses.

The CDB official said the government must also focus on growth enhancing reforms, explaining that with high levels of growth, brings down employment and spurs greater investment.

He said the local private sector needs to be the driving force that will help to bring about that change.

It was noted that Saint Lucia like many Caribbean countries, also exhibit some of the same problems experienced in the rest of the region, which is low growth, reflecting high export concentration and high indebtedness.

The new government had sought the assistance of the CDB, to look at Saint Lucia’s economic structure, to determine how they will improve the country’s finances and promote growth.

The CDB official was joined by Minister within the Ministry of Finance Dr. Ubaldus Raymond.

Below is a video of the full press conference: 

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4 comments

  1. First, the technical skills necessary at the local level, both within and outside of government is to a very large extent, virtually non-existent regarding fiscal policy. Notice the carnival the technical people made of the VAT. The damage has been done. In Keynesian language, there are no "animal spirits" obvious in the local economy.

    Next, it will take a real awakening of the people from their slumber that having placed another set of MPs, is all that it takes to turn around this economy. This is especially so when there is no enthusiasm on the part of the people to painfully and progressively learn about the obvious and the not-so-obvious bt varying and unequal impacts of any government's fiscal measures on the productive sectors of this economy. The Chamber of Commerce has woefully shown even less skill and expertise regarding this in the recent past than ever before.

    Therefore, It is easier to not read for enlightenment and hide behind beer bottles in the obvious escapism of the issues on a bar stool. There some prefer to listen uncritically to those even less informed than the rest of us.

    Eric Williams gave us the University of Woodford Square. Some have an unhealthy fixation with the parroting University of the Castries Market Steps, Faculty of Shoot Shate.

    (4)(1)
  2. It tells me as well that the government will in the near future have to make some tough decision which the people will not like. They are preparing us and they believe that hearing it from the CDB will make a difference. It won't!

    (11)(20)
  3. What a Joke! is'nt that the same situation for all the caricom countries and the same medicine for us all and we have been aware of all that for the last several decades.

    Did some one get paid for reaching that conclusion?

    G.J

    (7)(2)
    • When you preach fiscal reform, debt management and more efficient governance and your goverment ramps up spending while reducing the tax base. What do you do? You preach louder.

      (7)(0)

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