PRESS RELEASE – The Cabinet of Ministers and officials from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Social Security will meet with leaders of all trade union organisations and associations representing public sector workers on Friday, May 2, 2014.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Social Security, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, has invited the leadership of these unions and associations “to discuss government’s proposals to reduce expenditure in the operations of the Government of Saint Lucia.”
In a letter dated April 17, 2014 to all heads of the respective unions, the prime minister wrote, “As you may be aware, the government has to cope with a significant fiscal deficit which has impaired its ability to continue to borrow to finance its operations and to deliver services to the people of Saint Lucia. While the government has been able to reduce the fiscal deficit from 9.6 percent of GDP in 2012 to 6.05 percent in 2013, we still need to reduce the deficit even further to remain competitive and to restore our financial credibility. These financial challenges are not unique to Saint Lucia as other countries in our region have had to engage in wide ranging adjustments to deal with their peculiar challenges.”
Officials from the Department of Finance will give an update on the performance of the economy in the past year and its future prospects. Thereafter, the Cabinet will engage representatives in a discussion over the options available to the government. The objective, says the prime minister, is to begin the process to secure consensus on the adjustments that are required to restore the economy on a sustainable path.
Earlier this year, the government met with civil society organisations to discuss the future prospects of the economy. This was followed by a meeting with the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and regional public sector unions and associations.
The invitation for this latest round of meetings was extended to the president of each union and an additional executive member of the president’s choosing.