Budget includes more assistance for the poor and vulnerable

Budget includes more assistance for the poor and vulnerable
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony
Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny D. Anthony

Poor and vulnerable citizens have been given special attention in the 2013/2014 Budget despite challenges currently being faced by the government of Saint Lucia to curtail expenditure and address the widening deficit.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Kenny D. Anthony has announced, that for the first time in Saint Lucia, parents of differently-abled children will, as a special category, receive government assistance to help care for their loved ones.

During his 2013/2014 Budget Address, delivered on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, the prime minister said: “There are many parents and families who seek to take care of our differently-abled children in our midst. It is not easy for these parents, financially or emotionally.

“After confirming the number of children involved, the government will give a grant of $200 per month per child to assist these parents to meet the cost of maintaining their differently-abled sons and daughters among us. This is a modest amount but it is a start to ease the distress of these families.”

Meanwhile, the amount given to citizens who are currently on the government’s public assistance programe will increase by approximately 25 percent to help these citizens mitigate the impact of a 50 percent decrease in subsidies on bulk flour, rice and brown sugar.

Dr. Anthony, who explained the need to revise these subsidies given sharp increases on the international market and an unchanged domestic price over the last 30 years, said that due consideration was given to the poor so as not to adversely increase their financial burden.

As such, the prime minister announced increases to the tune of $1.4 million under the Public Assistance Programme, effective June 1, 2013.

The revised rates are as follows:

Current Rate          Revised Rate          % Increase
$170                          $215                        26.4 percent
$225                          $280                       24.4 percent
$275                          $340                       23.6 percent
$315                          $400                       27.0 percent
$375                         $465                        24.0 percent

During the Budget Address, Dr. Anthony renewed his government’s commitment to providing jobs through the NICE programme, while continuing programmes such as STEP and HOPE which target unemployed and vulnerable citizens.

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  1. oh lawd kenny and tony u too damm worthless after st lucia has that high percentage of unenployment and still raising on these e/day items like flour rice and sugar how will the poor survive omg more crime for st locia lord put in a helping hand kenny u just tooo bad/


  2. Ok so no more subsidizing sugar and flour which are apparently very important, lets see how this affects carnival, I wonder how many people will not jump carnival because rice, flour and sugar went up...............


  3. its all good in helping the poor and disabled but when u raise the price on basic commodities there almost no difference. ok yes they may be getting more money but now they HAV to pay MORE money to get the stuff so there is no added benefit


  4. this labour government continues to make the poor people poorer. ruce, flour and sugar going up. shame on you Kenny Anthony.


  5. Increases for public assistance amount to a ZERO sum – when you take into account Increase in FUEL, LPG, WATER, SEWER,TRANSPORTATION and 15% VAT, and now increases in the price of RICE, FLOUR and SUGAR.
    This will certainly increase the cost of living and the rate of inflation which increased from 2.8% in 2011 to 4.2% in 2012, partly due to the introduction of VAT.


    • I must be first to admit that I am directly affected (adversely) by any increase in consumer goods and services. But lets assume that there is no:
      No subsidy removal(s)on fuel, lpg, etc
      No increase in water, sewage, etc
      and some others

      Tell me, how would the government venture to quench our thirst for development? Where will the financing come from? How would we manage our HIGH wage bill? How would we create employment while halting/minimizing unemployment? How would we satisfy our international obligations to our trading partners (trade agreements)?

      Somebody please, let me know


      • what about the government doing things to promote production and promote rural development so that you stop seeing all that rural urban drift. i agree that the government has to raise money but higher taxes ususally means ppl spend less, case in point just ten years travel in the caribbean was almost 50% cheaper, but as you have tax after tax added to airline ticket prices ppl travel less. our region will continue to suffer once we keep electing the same old dudes who have no new ideas and detest those who think outside the box. you hear statements which seek to belittle those who talk fresh ideas and new approaches, and while i know that government can only do so much, it is important that government be more flexible and forward thinking instead of thinking that more taxes will somehow make us richer or improve our standard of living


        • I do believe in the promotion of rural development and I think this should happen but where will the funds come from? I am in agreement with you in the argument that the cost of travel in the region is just ridiculous! But, what choices do the various governments have?

          If we get rid of the current slates (SLP & UWP) and replace with a new and dynamic group but what choices (Outside the Box) do these new breed have? How do you think they would get us (St. Lucia) and the other islands of the region out of the situation that we are currently in. In my opinion, it is time for full OECS integration.




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