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COMMENTARY: How ‘out of turn’ is Kenny Anthony

By Melanius Alphonse

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Dr. Kenny Anthony. Photo Credit*- Caribbean 360.

Dr. Kenny Anthony. Photo Credit*- Caribbean 360.

The veracity of the statement by prime minister and minister for finance Dr Kenny Anthony that “While I do not have updated figures on the rate of unemployment, I expect that unemployment will be contained and will gradually reduce as investment intensifies and the economy expands” has mesmerized many.

But for the finance minister to state that the director of statistics Edwin St Catherine ‘spoke out of turn’ in response to the unemployment figures, at 25%, when questioned by reporters, has the vivacity of contemporary despot, ideological rigidity and the shine of a double-edged sword.

Many continue to be struck by the ineptitude of the finance minister and the sheer wretchedness associated with daily life by the performance of the economy, now have to contend with belittling public servants for providing public information.

While this is really a bleak situation, emotions are an expectation of fear and despair, except for the glowing sense of the finance minister’s proclamation that “for our people to look forward to the future with greater hope and confidence,~ economy on the rebound,” when a reversal of fortune by Saint Lucians are the most common denominator of acute worry and open discussion.

The political and economic happenings in Saint Lucia’s young democracy is the continuation of elected misfits and, subsequently, the inability to deliver on policy, the understanding of concepts and structure, and the applicable legislative framework to achieve results.

This continuous failure is much too entrenched and devoid of reason, except to flourish at the ultimate test of who is the loudest cross talker on hope and false expectation.

Deficiencies

Almost four years upon bluffing voters into office, unemployment has increased to 25%. The cost of water, sewer and electricity has risen sharply. The failure to transform the lives of the poor, by the political party of the poor, the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), has instead legislated 15% VAT in addition to tax increases on basic commodities, transportation services and property owners. Creating a situation that is extracting buoyancy in the middleclass and the poor, and causing contraction in the economy, rather than creating value and equity.

This voluminous contraction in the GDP is getting worse and has contributed to the unraveling of the fabric of society, most notably, the current social disorder (housing, transportation, security concerns, and political corruption) that is not adequate to forge stronger connections and develop contemporary policies.

The untold truth in the finance minister’s ‘economy on the rebound’ is the multiplier effect to a lack of understand history and economic statistics that government revenue is inadequate to support rising expenditure, the quantum leap in interest payments, a combined accumulation of old and substantial new loans, and that despite tourism’s inflows, the economic outlook is not positioned to translate into strong income flows.

The ability to evade blind spots to the unvarnished truth in the fourth year of steep economic decline, running deficits, that will not stimulate the economy any time soon, substantiates the conclusion in my article published December 8, 2014: The St Lucia Labour Party is deluded… brace for drawbacks.

The Gros Islet Choc highway project, billed at $150 million, is another masquerade. This project is expected to expense for the most part the acquisition of small portions of land, already in use along the roadway that will not bear relative improvement in traffic congestion; meanwhile the maximum speed limits 30-40 miles per hour at intervals is not anticipated to graduate to highway conditions by any definition to improve road efficiency or eventually improve productivity from time gain, idling in traffic.

Thus “the largest investment in road infrastructure to date to revving the fortunes of this economy” is another risky gamble of taxpayers’ money. A political ploy designed to entice voter’s participation in a legacy portrait of the finance minister’s non bona fides.

For many, there are no lingering doubts about the finance minister’s non performance on financial management on aspects of sovereign debt, loans, interest payments that is drowning the country into the Caribbean Sea.

By these actions, the government of the poor has no moral legitimacy to cooperate for the common good.

What is clear is that the political elite have sufficiently manipulated the politics enough to be comfortably incentive to the issues previously used to reinforce their political base. And the corruption by way of state patronage that has redefined politics to the point of belief that there is no obvious threat to the people’s rant and rave. The points of purpose are setbacks that have come to define domestic politics and give rise to serious displeasure on the future for democracy, peace and prosperity.

The agenda

While the government has left the door open to deficit spending, and increased taxes, without offering quality representation and services in return, a promising aspect to increase revenue in building new communities through proper housing development and a national transportation system that offer real tangible value, and to create a sense of belonging, is beyond the ability of career politicians to comprehend.

Providing a platform to entrepreneurship is a matter of fact mandate to opportunities that builds trust, collective responsibility and creates social capital. On many levels an engaged people are most productive when connected. A stronger community is built, with eyes wide open to protect their interest from internal and external threats.

But compared with previous performance, Saint Lucia has been short-changed for too long and needs a better deal politically and economically to trust on policy issues with a progressive agenda to improve infrastructure, home ownership and rental housing, and transportation systems.

Common sense suggests that the inability to provide continuous and affordable housing and transportation impacts unemployment, skills development and clouds national development. The failure of which is a continuous drain on approximately two-thirds personal income that is felt by the entire population with adverse effects on the quality of life and the national’s economic performance.

Therefore am referring to large scale engagement with the private sector. Not piecemeal partisan interest associated with sporadic infrastructure, housing and transportation, not linked with a national development plan.

One thing is certain, and that is to continue along the lines of quasi government institutions and partisan interest is a formula for disaster.

Protest

The people of Saint Lucia are not longer blind to the finance minister’s knee-deep economic ignorance, a primary factor at the root of aggression, bitterness and mistrust.

There are protests action in the coming weeks that should give established cronyism in national politics reason to feel insecure in power and authority from the people who have had enough from dangerous enablers who bypass democracy with contempt.

But while the test is getting harder for the finance minister and his failed administration when pressed for accountability, the tendency is an uncomfortable episode to criticism and press scrutiny. Desperation can be profound. However, what the finance minister says for public consumption and the deliverables is of a certain kind of competency that is favourable to confusion but perhaps rightfully dysfunctional.

In this case, vigilance to hinder constitutional reform in preference to fast track electoral and political reform is sufficient to warrant concern.

Against this backdrop is the unfavourable economic factor that is eating the common man/woman’s lunch. This brings to mind the precedence to carve bitter sweet refuge by governments that become unfavourable for a number of reasons, including undelivered promises.

Therefore, intelligence must guard against actions to consolidate power by fixing elections, trampling on civil liberties, further manipulation of the economy, and in the process continue to exclude from representation the majority of the population.

This ideology is not farfetched in the corridors of the political elitists in Saint Lucia with support from their socialist collaborators!

Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant. He is an advocate for community development, social justice, economic freedom and equality; the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) www.lpmstlucia.com critic on youth initiative, infrastructure, economic and business development. He can be reached at [email protected]m

(14)(2)
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17 comments

  1. The majority of Saint Lucians are just too dumb to realize that almost all of the career politicians on both sides are mostly shooing shayte most of the time just to get elected or reelected. Amusingly these politicians too are just as or some even more ignorant about anything that will lift the entire country out of the morass of dumb-ass poverty that they and their predecessors have created. Young people are left bearing the brunt of all this political crap year in and year out. These so-called adults are such peculiar jackasses. All the dumb ass things they are doing now will come back to haunt them in their older years. Some are already paying for their sins with some better days.

    (9)(0)
    • As someone said, 'Saint Lucia is idiot country', and we are a people 'ignorantly stubborn' and 'stubbornly ignorant' or something like that.

      (8)(0)
  2. You can come, posture all you want. You can put your wing over your leg like those big roosters who would like to mount a female, while holding all your PHds under your wing. Fact is we are witnesses to a situation where a man without a single degree was able to manage an economy better than one with three. The facts speak for itself. We were rated #29 in ease of doing business, for the past 3 years we have plummeted to 100 and something. Why? Is it the fault of the former administration? Do we need outsiders to tell us that this economic decline started 3 years ago. Immediately upon coming to office the government embarked on a larvish spending spree which included the employment of consultants and welfare programs. All that on the back of an economy which they said was not performing. At the time All the warnings were issued, with even the government warning itself. They had alleged that the former administration had left the country in tatters with spending Taiwaneese funds among other things. One thing i would like to ask though, did Taiwaneese funds appear in the budget or estimates? Was it used in the measurement of economic growth? If not why then was the county still experiencing economic growth? I mean if you are assuming the mantle of leadership of the country, knowing full well that your predecessor had placed us in a potential economic trap, why then wasn't every precaution taken to reduce spending or create economic wealth? Well you used those same predications to introduce VAT on the people. They went with it and paid increase after increase. What do they have to show for their sacrifice? Dilapidated infrastructure, shoddy services, closure of Judicial institutions, lapses and inadequacies in our security, while one man draws millions from projects and the other, an foreign lawyer draws undisclosed sums and still continues to draw on a case which the DPP said was without merit. Just hoping that it would be left to a favorable judge utter just one phrase of injury to the character of an opposition so that he can be disgrace in any future election. Why should you divide your people so much Mr. Kenny? Or should i ask, are St. Lucians really your people?

    Worst of all we cower to such behavior from the fear of reappraisal when we say that both governments are to be blamed. We should blame governments for what they do while in office because the one in office always has the power to change things, and this is where our focus should always be. Isn't that not what we voted for, for better? If you are arguing that you can do certain things because a former government did it first and you know that the experience was bad for us, what does that make you? If not, let us start blaming people like George Charles and Carl La Corbinere who were the managers of our economy even before Compton because all governments are the same, Right?

    (6)(0)
  3. The last nail has been placed bury that bastard child ! Once and for all ! Voters let's keep Slu I. Opposition!

    (3)(0)
    • Those jackass, old foggy, dim-witted and blurry-eyed cane-dependent moronic voters in ALL the damn SLP constituency branches and in V/Fort especially are the ones responsible for saddling this country with our burdens of "dog in the manger" greedy, selfish, and self-centred clueless leadership.

      We are tired of having mere readings of budget speeches with obviously no understanding even of the fundamentals and far less of the short-, medium-, and long-term implications and ramifications of whatever is being read. Now if one does not and cannot understand what the heck one is reading how on God's earth can one ever manage properly what one does not understand but has decided to grab selfishly like a "dog in the manger"?

      How can a manager ever manage what he or she does not understand? Beats me!

      Do you see why the SLP en rougenista idiots are today just another bunch of idle jokers? Idle workers today? Voters keep voting for robots to read to them like children, when you want to put them to bed. See why Kenny's economics is just bed-time stories? La-la-land fairy tale "hope" economics? Anything that will lull the usual suspect idiots into very deep sleep.

      When they wake up all confused as this nation is today, you find that you have the slowest growing economy in the entire region, and so Haiti here we come, VAT eating and beating our tails for our stupidity, even our local investors and entrepreneurs with money leaving for greener pastures to Barbados, STEP increasing our national debt level, grandiose election projects like the expansion of the Gros morning and afternoon rush-hour Parkway, and more lies like $100 million for imaginary jobs, jobs, and jobs.

      Do you see any of those jobs? Can you see those jobs? Are those jobs real or they just exist in the minds of some people? Or, is it going to be a $200 million figure this election season, since the $100 million figure was not big enough and did not do the job trick?

      (15)(0)
  4. TheSaintLuciaActivist

    SLP or UWP? To be honest I don't really see the difference... It's not just about changing government, it's about changing the way business is done. "I support my set of friends you support your set of friends. I give jobs to my friends and contributors and you do the same."
    Differences in ideology? Take a closer look and you will realise that both are very similar.
    Stop feeding Saint Lucians with the crumbs that fall of you all banquet/lavish table.
    People first! Country first.
    Ask the man on the street what GDP means to his pockets?

    (6)(1)
  5. Your advertise your brilliance in writing but i am still waiting for practical solutions from you since you are an aspiring politician.Are you waiting until you are elected to office?

    (1)(4)
    • Kenney even made it known in plain words in an interview some time ago, that he has never had a concrete plan about what he will do, that is until he gets the government. So each and every time the people are taken for a ride. And the political jokers laugh at us.
      Today, SLP's ignorance of business and management matters and economics engineered the downward spiral of the economy. It is even trying to sell suspicious statistics as gospel. Yet, SLP's leader is more than clueless as to how to turn around the economy. Bankruptcy of ideas for problem solving has never been more starkly displayed any so-called leader of any party in the history of this country.
      So what the heck is the next election about, other than just either to hold on the to the title of PM and minister of finance and continue the same ol' shayte. Do projects to complete in time for the next elections. What is worse, most stupid Saint Lucians buy this crap each five years and suffer for the next five. See? Now we have our tails being well cut with "better days"!.

      (17)(0)
  6. For a very long, long, long, time now I came to understand clearly that our PMs' comprehension of a lot of things economic, did not extend much beyond reading the text of the speeches given to them to read. In fact, our PMs could win many, many times over several Oscar statues and awards just for being good readers of economic 'scripts'. They missed their calling.

    Open your eyes. In recent times, what we have witnessed those who know very well, at least one workable strategy for them, and seemingly for economic development and growth for this country. And it is hope. The next strategy is of course, hope. And the very next one after this one is, hope.

    For years on end, Saint Lucians are being constantly been forced-fed a diet of hope. Starving , this diet has now become hopelessness.

    Over the years, it has been the hope to do projects like road building and the road resurfacing project for Vieux Fort. Just like before the people are fooled into believing that their welfare is being attended to with such projects. Little do they really understand that these are election showpieces. Gimmicks.

    The young adults and their future aspirations mostly fall between the cracks. So, unprepared for a very uncertain future, and just educated to be mainly 'field hands' in the hotel industry's mostly low-paying jobs and temporary political STEP jobs, they resort to crime.

    Saint Lucia is now between a rock and a very hard place with the so called leaders of both political parties knowing precious little about how to turn around the dismal performance of this country. They both have skewed sense of hope that the low-paying jobs of the tourism industry that is being greatly subsidised by those who pay taxes is going to get this country out of the poverty trap that both these mal-educated so-called leaders are only to able to keep us in.

    (17)(0)
  7. I want to know what is the Poverty Rate?

    (7)(0)
  8. The Bible tell you'll, no "Human Government" can SUCCESSFULLY run this system. May zhot cah still vote,and later on,start complaining. Smh

    (1)(3)
  9. Good stuff; good knowledge of the facts, but that wouldn't move a Snail's pace in any action in this government's way of thinking. They do things according to their agenda
    irrespective of logic or the cost to the economy, it's debt and interest payments.
    You have done well in your respective professional studies, but, as you know very well how would you like to stand on a "Soap-box" with a 'Blow-horn' near the 'Square' in Soufriere and speak to the people there concerning your views on these matters. After you have repeatedly done so for a while, then sit back and ponder the reaction if any, you might have received, and let us know if you have struck a right Chord with them. Good luck my friend, I wish you all the best in your emerging Party.

    (5)(0)
  10. I couldn't care less about how people say the United Workers Party is unorganized I just want to see this guy voted out of office and I think 98% o fSt Lucians feel the same way. Kenny is a joke along with all the other clowns in office along side him right now. I voting Allan next coming elections.

    (64)(7)
  11. Something tells me Kenny and Com may not get one seat next coming elections. WOW I heard a Barbadian nation say "St Luica is becoming like Haiti. When I looked at him expecting some sort of sarcastic expression in his demeanor his face was as serious as getting the news that your dog died. St Lucia is really in a mess, more in a mess than it should be.

    (30)(4)
  12. Wow! Great food for thought but if only it could have been digested by those it could help most .

    But I am afraid. I am very afraid that you are like most of those in the LPM are voice in the wilderness of crass ignorance and blithe stupidity. This society stubbornly refuses to learn: We are stubbornly stupid and stupidly stubborn.

    (25)(1)
  13. Surprisingly well written.

    (13)(1)
  14. Ideology aside, this article was well written.

    (19)(1)

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