(PRESS RELEASE) – Consumers in St Kitts and Nevis are complaining bitterly over significant increase in food prices and have accused the Timothy Harris-led coalition not only of complicity, but also responsibilie or the clashes by shoppers outside supermarkets on Friday and Saturday.
“It is clearly obvious that Prime Minister Timothy Harris had no plans in place to ensure the well-being of the people of St Kitts and Nevis at supermarkets, having suspended the daylight curfew over the past few days,” said Anna Powell in an uninvited comment on Saturday.
Powell said the prime minister should have expected a run on the supermarkets and groceries.
“It is evident he cannot be trusted and makes up policies by looking at what is happening in the nearby islans and will-nilly adapting them,” said Powell, who slammed the government for not taking measures to prevent price gouging.
“The government has allowed these supermarkets to do as they like…pushing up prices on almost everything on the shelf on a daily basis. He (Harris) said the country.was prepared for the virus, but there is strong evidencethat he has no plan in place,” Powell lamented.
“Where is the government? In all of his speeches, statements, addresses and town halls on CODVIC-19, I am yet to hear Timothy Harris appeal to or warn shopkeepers and supermarket owners about raising prices especially at this crisis time.
The government is tight-lipped on what is in the best interest for poor people,” said Powell, who added that she was certain the state of emergency regulations are silent on sanctions for price gouging.
Powell also took aim at Minister of International Trade, Hon Lindsay Grant, who is responsible for the Consumer Affairs Department, suggesting “the Team Unity cabinet is a pro Big Business Cabinet.
“Very early both (Harris and Grant) made promises to ensure food prices are monitored but it appears as if Grant and his consumer affairs staff are on the Coral Princess unable to find a port to accept it,” said Powell.
Some shoppers also vented the increase in food prices in postings by BuckieGot it on Saturday.
“A $2 corn curls gone up (to) $.34.
“It’s like the….deciding to have one Carnation Milk from $2.99 to $3.50. That’s why certain Government Depts are in place to keep things used or consumed often by the public controlled.”
“Supermarkets got a lot of expired items and a recognize some a dem take the prices off the items.”
“We need price control intervention in St Kitts. A pack of noodles last week was $24, this week it’s $34. A pack of crackers is normally between $5 and $6 dollars, now (company named) taking the three out the pack and selling a single one for $3.00.”
For the past several weeks, political leader of the SKNLP, The Right Hon Dr Denzil L Douglas, SKNLP Chairman, Dr Terrance Drew and members of the NextGen SKN has been calling for stringent price control on food items to prevent price gouging during the coronavirus crisis.