Dear Editor: I could not help but respond to Samuel Sukhnandan’s article published on St. Lucia News Online on July 31st 2014 regarding Dr. Gale Rigobert and the United Worker’s Party’s (UWP) political selfishness, of awaiting until the people of St. Lucia vote for them to implement what they believe will be a suitable tax system that will address the flaws of VAT in St. Lucia.
Hello, I have news for you Gale. If you want to get my vote and those of my family and relatives in your constituency, you need to be more sensitive to the immediate resolve of the citizen’s economic demise because, while you wait to be re-elected, our people may well be impoverished before the 2016 elections. You made it abundantly clear, although with skewed exaggeration, that our disposable incomes have not only shrunk but disappeared. Yet, you believe that in the interest of an immediate turnaround of such economic despair you will wait until possibly 2016 general elections. Where is the urgent sense of remarkable governance on your part as it relates to the principles of democracy?
I can recall reading a few articles written by some candidates within the Lucian People’s Movement and I was very impressed that, although they have not been fully recognized, they are making significant strides by immediately recommending multi-sector problem solving strategies to the current administration. Although history has shown that Kenny Anthony will not observe I strongly believe that their ideas are fundamentally doable in many cases. I am disheartened that while the global economy is taking a turn for the worse we are still not rewarding political candidates for their ideas and contribution to the local economy regardless of whether they are in government or not. This must change and I hope and pray that things do not get even worse before they can get better.
I can recall the efforts of the Leader of the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM), Mr. Therold Prudent of Gros Islet commencing a Home and Garden Initiative to the people of his constituency. He purchased garden supplies and went around his constituency to deliver those packages to neighbours. This example in my view is a remarkable start to injecting greater subsistence living awareness, emanating from someone who did not win many votes at the last election. Doubling the tax on cigarettes and alcohol is another initiative I can recall was recommended by the LPM. Clearly these efforts are the principles of democracy and good governance at work. So Gale, if your interest to the Micoud North constituents has to wait until you get elected then take your personal ambitions elsewhere.
When the St. Lucia Labor Party lost the elections in 2006, our country’s debt to GDP ratio was already at disturbing levels (63.8 – 65 percent). When the United Workers Party returned to office in 2007 the debt levels escalated further. If our public debt to GDP ratio in 2011 was 68.5% and was financed solely by borrowing from internal and external sources what does that say about the management of our country’s debt while in the hands of the two main political parties in St.Lucia?
Your party and the current administration faltered tremendously and that is in my opinion the main reason why St.Lucia’s current impoverish situation exist. The implementation of the VAT at such an alarming rate may have been untimely, but its absence could have had far worse implications than we have to date.
Can we still do better as a government and people to curb or prioritize our spending habits? Yes we can but it must incorporate the policy vision that addresses our financial, economic and social dejections of today.