PRESS RELEASE – Political Leader of the United Workers’ Party, Allen Chastanet announced an innovative “Five to Stay Alive” package of tax relief measures last Thursday to a packed political meeting on the Boulevard, which he said would to bring immediate relief to all Saint Lucians.
In announcing the measures, Chastenet said that it was impossible for the United Workers’ Party not to recognize that people needed relief now. Chastenet said that in recognition of the suffering in the country there were five things that the UWP would do immediately on assuming office to help Saint Lucians stay alive.
“Number one. The immediate reduction and ultimate removal of the dreaded Value Added Tax,” he said to loud cheers from the appreciative crowd. “We will find a more creative way and a less onerous way of raising revenues now generated by VAT,” he promised.
“Two. The reduction in vehicle license fees by 50% of the increase. It is unacceptable that men who are struggling, who have saved their money to buy a one ton or two ton or three ton truck in order to supplement their income at home have to park that truck in the back because he cannot afford to pay the $700. That is not acceptable and we will change it,” said Chastenet.
“Three. We will double the school feeding and the school transportation subsidies. We must guarantee all children at least one nutritional meal a day and take the financial strain off parents to ensure children go to school,” he said to even louder applause. “Number four,” which Chastenet said was very dear to his heart. “The United Worker’s Party will have a targeted amnesty on hospital fees owed to Victoria and St. Jude Hospital. It is unacceptable that a person who is unemployed or is a pensioner feels degraded to go to the hospital because they cannot pay their bill. What kind of Government? What kind of man does it take to be able to impose that kind of wickedness on the people of this country?”
“Number five. We will remove personal property tax for a period of three years. It cannot be that the one thing that we have struggled so long to do, to own our house and that after paying a mortgage for so many years, that a government would come and impose a property tax and cause us to lose our home,” Chastenet announced to more enthusiastic cheers. The “Five to Stay Alive” policy is only part of the UWP’s promised turn around of the Saint Lucia economy, which Chastenet said will be laid out in full in the Party’s Manifesto.