Former PM expresses concerns over Hewanorra Airport Project

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Former PM expresses concerns over Hewanorra Airport Project
Dr. Kenny Anthony
Dr. Kenny Anthony (file photo)

(SNO) — Former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Vieux Fort South, Dr. Kenny Anthony, is expressing concerns over the Hewanorra Airport Project and its ramification for the economy of Saint Lucia.

In a social media post, he pointed out that there is celebration over the US$100-million project by the ruling United Workers Party (UWP) but no one appears concerned over the immediate consequences of it.

“Not even the diplomatic ramifications of this loan seem to matter,” Anthony wrote.

Recently, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet announced that Taiwan has agreed to lend Saint Lucia US$100-million for the redevelopment of the airport.

He said the loan is being supported by the airport development charge.

The government has been boasting that the project will help transform the south and significantly boost the island’s economy.

But Anthony is not that optimistic.

He made references to Senator Adrian Augier’s contribution in the Senate when he calculated the cost of the loan.

“He pointed out that ‘the interim interest payments for the first five years is $60 million,'” he wrote. “If interest of 3.5 % is calculated ‘for the 15 years of repayment,’ a sum of $520-million additional, or half a billion dollars, has to be found. In effect, the total cost of the project ‘over the life of 20 years’ will be $850 million.”

Anthony described that cost as “staggering”.

“And we have been told that the entire project will cost US$170-million. To date only US$100-million has been identified so a further US $70 million is yet to be sourced,” he stated.

He again pointed out to Augier’s contribution in the Senate, when he said, “That is a huge amount and it is not inconsequential and we really ought to have a much clearer idea as to how the people and the unborn children of Saint Lucia are going to pay this debt.”

Anthony also said the issue is not just the repayment of the debt, “but crucially, the implications for the Debt/GDP ratio of the country and its future capacity to borrow.”

(13)(34)

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25 COMMENTS

  1. I dnt think we need an airport that cost so much money some one is gaining from this we cant be a hub airport Barbados already got a hub airport we dnt have that many flight coming in a day to have a big airport unless it going to be privatised to get enough business to maintain the air port cause it takes a lot of money to maintain it.

    (0)(2)

  2. Take a look at either the patent ignorance if not also the deep hypocrisy by the SLP. The financing of the ALBA Agreements puts the payment of oil consumption, not an investment on the backs of future generations. That is the same generations some people are trying to force their political crocodile tears over.

    Note that reputable economists warn about paying advisedly for consumption, an economic term, by borrowing. An investment, this time, in infrastructure, and for the main driver of the economy, tourism, is of great concern for the SLP.

    Where did we get these experts in economics from? From which schools of economics, and from which departments? Development Economics by any chance?

    (3)(0)

  3. After reading most of the comments here I have to just shake my head but not surprise of how well St Lucians know there math and is of understanding of the country current debt ratio. Kenny you have not said anything different right and wise thinking people have been echoing for months. Let that clown borrow EVEN MORE I wish he would you see it and I see it the IMF is waiting with open arms this is what going to seal their legacy.

    (2)(17)

  4. When SLP was in power, the way in which money was mismanaged was evidentiary of the fact that the economic issues were way over the head of the Cabinets of the day. The situation has not been corrected. That is why we are today, being continuously bombarded by profusely inane comments on economic performance, by those who when in power, did not display a shred of evidence that they knew what they were doing.

    (9)(1)

    • SLP was all about tax and spend. The government wants money? Tax. Tax. Tax.

      Without not even a remote acquaintance with statistics and not even a smattering of knowledge sensitivity analysis, these SLP square pegs in round holes went through sensitive parts of our economy like bulls in a china shop. They did not have a "feel" for what could, what would, when and why some things would go terribly wrong.

      The GDP kept hovering around zero for quite some time. SLP were just novices looking for hand-out from the international community, and astonishingly quite clueless about governance issues.

      (16)(2)

  5. The arguments about the loan and sourcing display deep ignorance of Benefit-cost Analysis, and Time Value of Money. Only economic cretins push the statements above as valid arguments against a developmental project. Where and how did these people learn their economics? Is it by regurgitating and parroting expressions and terms but with fleetingly elusive comprehension?

    (8)(3)

  6. I am neither here nor there..but kenny has a point..Also its very scary the many projects allen is starting at once with the many loans of millions of dollars..is he a one man show in the house? So I am here to believe majority always wins when it comes to these projects?
    Lets complete the st judes hospital..this one blaming that one..but it was uwp in power at the time of the fire,when king gave this man the job...
    I believe in these times parties should come together in the interest of citizens esp in health care.
    Allen tooooo many open projects..wayyy tooo many....Kenny you have a point..

    (12)(15)

    • Stick to facts, no sense calling Allen a "one man show." If you dont want a PM to be a one man show then you protest for a new Constitution. Don't just criticize Allen, what about when Kenny himself made his Cabinet members sign over their authority to him? Better still Kenny did indicate that he gave his elected members the "liberty to speak freely" indicating that they did not have that liberty before. So don't discriminate along party lines, if we want things to be fair say if its wrong don't selectively criticize. Augier said nothing when we were downgraded by Standard & Poor world rating during Kenny's administration. I agree that we have to be careful when borrowing but the picture or the narrative that we want to create is that Allen Chastanet loves to borrow and spend while not looking at the benefits of it. It should be weighed with what others before him has done. Before Sir Johm there was not budget deficit. That was created when Kenny Anthony came into power. A man cannot take advantage of a bad situation by criticizing what he himself created. AS the old legal maxim goes: He who comes to justice must come with clean hands. Kenny Anthony has anything BUT clean hands. So SUSH.

      (1)(0)

  7. Kenny shut your ass and let the man work, something you didn’t do you jealous cause he’s doing it? What ? You want to get credit for it?

    (31)(23)

  8. A $100 million loan? Man, that is small potatoes!

    Do you want to know what is more consequential? What about the $48 million that went to Rochamel, and the $86 million that also evaporated in the Black Bay hotel so-called investment?

    A $100 million? Then what about the $150 million that went to Grynberg and in secret? In secret. What a great idea!

    Then talk about the Grynberg $150 million. Yes, the secret $150 million.

    All of those millions of dollars evaporated into thin air! Still the pea-brained SLP, at the end of the day, can not to this day, show what they or what the country got for all these evaporated dollars.

    Something tangible will be had for this $100 million.

    What a difference! Saint Lucians gave blabbering old grey boys to do men's work. And they got nothing good out of it. Since then SLP has been talking pure drivel to those who would listen. And they publish it. Yes. They continue to publish it.

    (28)(15)

    • Hmmm where did you get your figures from ? Also the 100 million loan is in US currency and the total cost of the project will 850 million EC dollars

      (12)(0)

      • Figures are from old newspapers. Our reporters have no interest in tracing the amount of money spent over time by those in power during their terms in office. The job is too hard. The population is not interested either. For both, ro-ro is the game. Ro-ro is less taxing on the brains loaded up with beer, rum or ganja. All of that is very much more relaxing whilst the country goes by the tail.

        (0)(0)

    • "Something tangible will be had for this 100 million dollars" Of course something "tangible" US 700 million @ 3.5%US 1.5 billion and counting that's what will come out of this an ENOROUS DEBT on the backs of St Lucians but what you do you care soon you will be dead and gone and the rest of us will be economic enslaved for generations too bad you could not be around long enough to pay your fare share.

      (1)(0)

  9. Kenny you still alive? I was born in VF and still live there!!!! Boy, can you imagine I’m in the process of asking you to return your government salary. Yes, the salary you received as district representative for VF South. My man I don’t see you I don’t hear you, what representational are you giving the people of VF? Do something noble and return the salary because we ent getting jack shit from you. Oh!! By the way im not referring to the $20/$40 or cooking gas handouts.

    (29)(15)

  10. I am a UWP voter believe it or not. The arrogance of the SLP and their shenanigans with no one to control their excess means that I will never vote for them. But as a Lucian, I have to agree that Chastanet is careless and hasty in his dealings and does not appear to think thoroughly about the consequences of his deals. It looks like there is no proper advice in the government service. It also appears that fools in charge don't look for advice either that would detail the consequences of such deals for the present and future. Properly functioning countries do that. You ignorant people, black, white, brown or in-between , just make stupid decisions without thinking. The cases in point are as follows; The Theo King Vieux Fort 100 year lease, this thing should have never gotten off the ground in the first place. If they wanted a deal, that clause should have been dropped and that business of giving prime land away for nothing and paying them with passport money is indeed a crazy man's decision. The other case is that of the airport loan. Anthony is right, you are tying present and future generations to debt to Taiwan that is almost 100% over what they loaned you. You guys need to up your game in that place big time.

    (28)(24)

    • Why cut your nose to spite your face ? You will never vote for them even though they apparently are the better of the two parties. How much do you hate your country or better yet yourself. Just for spite you will not do what you know is clearly right. I hope you sleep well at night knowing that the current Prime Minister is creating chaos for you children. I will vote for St. Lucia. If you will never vote for the opposition then you are part of the problem. All you see is color !

      (2)(14)

    • first time I see a uwp say that something is wrong even if its his party am a slp man all the way but the pm has lucia in a dark sport for a long time no matter who gets in there will be payment problems and more tax rises you all see

      (1)(0)

  11. I hope people remember they were warned about this countless times. Because when the country start to feel the effects they will blame whoever is in power at the time and not remember who took the loan.

    (22)(23)

  12. you would always have a problem with it cause if it was you you would put tax in our behinds so much to help pay that loan

    (13)(15)

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