Pierre says the economy is in a “comatose state”

By SLP

 Share This On:

Opposition Leader Philip J Pierre

STATEMENT BY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION AND POLITICAL LEADER OF THE SAINT LUCIA LABOUR PARTY HON PHILIP J PIERRE AT SLP PARTY PRESS CONFERENCE ON AUGUST 3RD, 2017

With just over a year in office, the Prime Minister has been conspicuous by his absence which was made worse when he left the country for a 21 day vacation. This was not a good time for a holiday. It was a time of unprecedented crime levels with homicides to date at 33 exceeding that of 2016.

The level of crime in the country is very worrying and requires urgent action by the government. The Saint Lucia Labour Party unlike the UWP in no way wishes to politicize the issue of crime, however the government has to re-examine its policies and its impact on the sudden increase in the incidence of deviant behavior and crime in our society.

Earlier this year hundreds of Saint Lucians lost their jobs due to the termination of the NICE programme. The government’s response was callous and indifferent. The ranks of the unemployed were recently increased by the closure of Radio Saint Lucia and a deep sense of despair created by the proposed closure of several other statutory boards.

Hence, the government is viewed as unfair and uncaring when they decided to fund a foreign private entity OJO Labs to the tune of millions of dollars in addition to payment of salaries to the workers.

As a government, the Saint Lucia Labour Party would be of a different orientation-protecting existing jobs and assisting St. Lucian entrepreneurs in starting their own businesses.

The economy of Saint Lucia is in a comatose state. People are clearly feeling the pinch of an economy hurting from ill-conceived policies of this UWP administration.

The government’s recent policy decision to increase the excise tax on fuel from $2.50 to $4.00, a 60% increase is already causing hardship for consumers. After criticism from the St Lucia Labour Party about the harmful impact of the policy, the government in a knee jerk response capped fuel prices at $12.75 per gallon. With the imported cost of fuel on the rise and fuel capped at $12.75 the government’s projected revenue is already not being realized. Incidentally had the government not increased the excise duty diesel would be $10.19 instead of $11.69 and gasoline $11.29 instead of $12.75 – $1.46 cheaper to the consumers and fishermen of Saint Lucia.

It is no wonder the economy is in a comatose state given that every job-creating economic initiative of the last Labour administration has been stopped by this government. The Choc to Gros-Islet highway and repairs to secondary roads which should have started employing hundreds of construction workers have been abandoned.

The construction of the Administration Complex in Vieux Fort and Soufriere Square both abandoned dashing the hopes of scores of construction workers. They have frustrated the Wind Farm renewable energy project in Dennery. A project that offered an opportunity to reduce our fuel imports and lower electricity bills to households, not to mention the effect of reducing the country’s carbon foot print. The UWP government has heartlessly sacrificed the livelihood of many St Lucians in pursuit of a vindictive and myopic political agenda.

A Saint Lucia Labour Party when in office will never engage in selfishness, childishness and vindictiveness at the expense of the welfare of the people.

As if the economic challenges of ordinary St Lucians was not enough the country was faced with the embarrassing allegation about a Minister of Government who was subject to a search by law enforcement officers at a local airport. Although, the Commissioner of Police and Minister of National Security denied publicly that the Minister was under investigation he tendered his resignation almost immediately after. The Saint Lucia Labour Party calls on the Prime Minister to provide some clarity regarding the circumstances surrounding the minister’s resignation.

It is abundantly clear that there is no coordinated and purposeful approach by the UWP to the management of the country. On one hand they promote investment but that investment is funded by the sale of Saint Lucian passports at a cheap price.

Our country is at a standstill, the government is preoccupied with promoting the selfish interest of its inner ring of friends and supporters at the expense of the majority. We call on the government to take positive steps to halt the decay, disillusionment and violence that is gripping the country. The people are indeed crying but the government is not listening.

The Saint Lucia Labour Party calls on the Prime Minister to do something now or face the consequences of a desperate and suffering people.

(9)(23)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

31 comments

  1. All of yall talking shate under a well written post. Yall so biased and blinded by Chastanet and his lies. Can't yall see the mess the country in? Can't yall hear the cries of the poor? Phuckery alone yall talking. I'm pissed. The country in Siht!!, in one year. Doe worry, yall have 4 more years to go. When they finish with yall, yall will wonder what happened. I never see a bunch of ppl like that on this planet. Lucians are so dumb. Smh

    (2)(0)
    • include yourself in the dumb category. what did your slp do for you the last five years? your head is up the slp's a** so far you can't see anything. enjoy the next four years

      (0)(0)
  2. I knew it. I knew it. Mate does not understand economics. It is small wonder, that not being good at economics, he turned to accounting. He not being good at this either he turned to fooling the less educated. Fooling the less educated in Saint Lucia is called politics. He has found his calling.
    Therefore, anything that this man says about economics is to be taken with a whole bag of salt. How can you, unless you tinker with it like a monkey and get right by accident, how can you fix what you cannot understand? You want to raise revenue? Pip says raise the taxes. You want to give incentives by reducing taxes, Pip says that will be a disaster. We see investments and new business activity. Pip is clearly out of his league in economics. He does not know what he is talking about.
    They were rounding off decimals calling anything above 0.5% as 1.00 % GDP spectacular growth. Imagine that. That was comatose. But that was way above his schooling on the matter. Only the ignorant were the ones taken for fools. Fifteen years of SLP stupidness. Wow!

    (3)(0)
  3. Commentary: The economic injustice of Allen Chastanet towards the poor of Saint Lucia - Part 2

    Published on August 4, 2017 Email To Friend Print Version

    By Harvey Cenac

    Last week’s publication of, “The economic injustice of Allen Chastanet towards the poor of Saint Lucia – Part I,” in my opinion, could not have been done more timely. There are a few historical moments in our recent history when the politics of poverty, democracy, economics, and leadership have been forcefully pushed to the front and center of Saint Lucian conversations.

    There is something fundamentally ‘reassuring’ about the politics of poverty, at a time when we have just witnessed the victory of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet. It is ‘reassuring’ because it tells us that Prime Minister Chastanet is not going to do anything anytime soon to help with the plight of poverty in Saint Lucia in a holistic manner. As a result poverty remains. At the heart and center of all political contests, resistance and acts of solidarity is necessary by the people of Saint Lucia.

    harvey_cenac.jpg

    Harvey Cenac, chief visionary office(CVO) for Seed Foundation Inc., has over 15 years experience as an entrepreneur, coach, and strategic communicator. His background includes experience in the United States and the Caribbean. He is also the co-author of the book "Walking with Giants

    In an era of populist anger, there is need for an authentic and boisterous democracy in Saint Lucia. In the absence of democratic norm, and based on Chastanet’s twisted ideology, our Saint Lucians’ civilization will become wretched, our future bleak, and our human capital wasted. Poverty, in like manner, has a detrimental impact on any society.

    There are still some bourgeois and crony propagandists who are of the opinion that Prime Minister Allen Chastanet should be “given a chance.” Indeed, colonialism gave capitalism an added lease on life in the West and slavery gave colonialists a chance, and today we are still being told to give Prime Minister Allen Chastanet a chance. How long shall the poor keep giving? It is easier to trace the impact of colonial exploitation than any of the promises offered to the poor.

    I have no confidence in Prime Minister Allen Chastanet. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening every day, and I hope Mr Chastanet’s bewildered cabinet colleagues rise to a better level of competence. This is a genuine risk, but not one on which reasonable people cannot differ, and unlike what logic suggests, the debt-burdened economy is on the cliff edge of the precipice.

    To expound on this, permit me to demonstrate what continues to threaten and weaken Saint Lucia’s economy as we speak, by using our famous twin peaks, Petit Piton and Gross Piton.

    In the first peak there exists a mountain of debt, “EC$220.9 million,” a widening of the previous “EC$158 million.” It is casting a long shadow over our country and the finances of future generations. This is a mountain of debt few Saint Lucians can identify with. However, Chastanet’s approach is to build the mountain of debt higher.

    In the FY 2017/18, excessive borrowing by Prime Minister Chastanet and his so-called investments is a financial metaphor for fortifying a mountain of cash, accessible to a few rich people, investors, and multimillion dollar corporations.

    The second peak represents a mountain of “corrupt cash,” and these mountains are failing to cancel each other out through the normal operations of financial markets.

    Most striking of all, the majority of Saint Lucians are trying to survive in a hopeless economic drama, are destined to lose out from Chastanet’s financial investment ineptitude, and in his own admission of the same, it is no wonder he said in his Budget speech: “The dashboard of economic and social indicators for Saint Lucia shows that we are trapped in a vicious cycle characterized by low growth, high unemployment, and high debt.”

    In essence, these are inappropriate strategies in an environment of such large and unsubstantial borrowing, low productivity, non-competitiveness, and the offering of lucrative concessions. In particular, this is nonspecific to expedite economic growth, the uplifting of the poor, to stabilize the economy, and to bring on new viable ventures.

    However, unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Chastanet’s true self-interest lends itself to common contradictions and irrational decision-making.

    The fall-out is very likely to exploit a more unsustainable Saint Lucia, the benefactors of which are the elite business class that continually tramples on “the poorly educated” to affirm colonial reclamation of the political and financial depravation of the widening underclass society.

    What should we do with Prime Minster Chastanet’s government that is plagued by corruption and an economy in which many people are convinced will bankrupt the country?

    In the context of a discussion on poverty in Saint Lucia, the central moral challenge is the poor. In the 19th century the challenge was slavery, and in the 20th century it was totalitarianism. Today, it is poverty; this is threatening in many dimensions.

    Currently, we have lost tremendous ground in job creation, sustainability, economic viability, and prosperity in our country. These conditions have a secondary possibility, if impractical programs by the IMF’s (International Monetary Fund) “structural adjustment” to our civilization is considered a viable option, which includes, more opening of our markets to foreign businesses and privatizing state enterprises (water, fisheries, food).

    However beautiful the strategy to embrace both modernization and westernization, we will lose purchasing power almost instantly to inflation and stagnation.

    The economic variability of our country is firmly linked to its citizens’ level of participation in its economic activities. The manufacturing, industrial, commercial, and service sectors of Saint Lucia must be of Saint Lucian control.

    During the banana industry’s glory days, business was open to all Saint Lucians, and we had the opportunity to participate, and we did.

    The government must immediately develop a major incentive program to attract Saint Lucian entrepreneurs in the Diaspora to return home and showcase their business skills. The following are some of the areas that need to be addressed:

    • Repatriation assistance
    • Tax incentives
    • A period of tax holiday on business profit
    • Business products import duty waivers
    • Utility tax assistance
    • Simplification of business processes

    Viable industrial, manufacturing, and service sectors are critical to job creation, economic stability, and prosperity in our country.

    Homegrown businesses are critical to job creation and sustainability in any country. The world most recognized and dominant economy, i.e. “the United States” prides itself in the role small businesses play in the stability and resiliency of its economy.

    The business obligation of multi-million dollar corporations is the return on their shareholders’ investments. However, this return seems more likely to be deposited in a foreign bank account. This does not contribute to the long term economic stability of our country.

    On the brighter side, I think of myself as an optimist, though the problems remain staggering. By any stretch of the imagination, knowing the risks is the first step toward repairing the damage. Direct the ‘Business Red Carpet’ to Saint Lucian entrepreneurs in the Diaspora who are ready to engage and contribute. The reward will be for the homeland, which will better the poor, strengthen our democracy, and build a better Saint Lucia for ourselves and our children.

    (0)(2)
  4. its unthinkable that while we bicker the economy goes down instead of looking for sustainable solutions that wont selllout our country to the chinese or every foreigner thats looks like they have money but dont

    (0)(1)
  5. The problem with our political structure, good or bad the opposition will always oppose. We the people must be able to discern the economic, social and spiritual climate in our country on our own.

    Old men tell old tales.

    (1)(0)
  6. If the economy is in a comatose state, what state was it in before where we recorded negative growth? By the way you were in power at the time Pierre!!

    (1)(0)
  7. Come to VFort on any given business day to see the vast increase in traffic, like never before. This is a sign of good things happening to the economy in Vfort. Something you and Kenny could not do.

    (16)(5)
  8. SAINT LUCIA LABOUR PARTY HON PHILIP J PIERRE is recovering from his hang over. SLP is number #1 for screwing up the St. Lucia economy, and his is responsible for increase in crime rate in St. Lucia. HON PHILIP J PIERRE thank you for the puff of hot air, this man is all words and zero action. May I say, you should take of your RED EYE first before you check the other guys.

    (12)(5)
  9. We need an 11 million dollar bridge to jumpstart the economy! We need a private construction firm to takeover the ministry of infrastructure while you were minister to the point where that self same construction company was actually attaining huge contracts and subcontracting to other contractors. We need more construction firms to close down like what happen when you were in power. We need more business closures. We need a vieux fort which turned into a ghost town like under your watch. Oh shut up! You people spent 5 years running moduro style economic policy, til you jackasses invited the jackass moduro to St. Lucia, like the US embassy would would not notice. Socialist policies like the one espoused your party do not work. Yes we need a bit of social policy, in health, education, security and infrastructure. But there is no greater crime committed by a political party than nice. Imagine a party coming into power, seeing the economic status of the country and then committing to increase government spending not in a large infrastructural project, or in tax rebates for an investor, or in a 50/50 partnership with a private but to employ en masse its entire voting base. This move left little room for investment in any projects. All the SLP had left at he last election was its propaganda arm. No wait! There is no SLP, all the party has become is a proganda machine, dedicated to propaganda to the point where it forgets that it is a political party geared towards governing a modern country. You Mr. Pierre needs to resign and hand over to Hillaire, so that the UWP can win for another 50 years!

    (2)(0)
  10. it is truly incredible in an economic depression such as what is occuring now that we still have time to bicker amongst our selves over what i see as petty an contribute in no meaningful way to our country. Mr Piere is doing his jod as opposition leader in criticizing the policies of the government because the majority of us "educated st lucians" have no forsight to see the reprocussions of UWP policies , nevertheless SLP has no plan for the future and really need to put their thinking caps on to give St lucia an alternative option before the next general elections or i can only forsee a downward spiraling economic situation for this country, i am truly disappointed in both sides and people on vote where they get the most drinks or favours without thinking about the country as a whole

    (1)(0)
  11. i wish your mouth would be in a comatose state cause you talk to much shate. no one WANT YOU FOR PM SO MOVE THERE

    (14)(3)
  12. sometimes i wish ur old mouth would be in a comatose state. nobody want you for pm move there

    (9)(3)
  13. comatose state is an exact description of the slp and their same ole empty rhetoric

    (11)(4)
  14. You just woke up from the comatose state you went into on June 6 2017 and so you don't realise you left it so. Breaking news: this is the work of SLP

    (11)(4)
  15. He lair put out a release and Pierre put out one to show he is the leader of de party.

    But seriously are you guys happy of your accomplishments when you were in power.

    (6)(0)
  16. In all that SLP has been saying, they are yet to paint a vision of what they would do differently. The criticism is easy but we are yet to hear what you would do because lets be honest the economy has been dead for the last 6 years or more.

    (33)(9)
  17. Not a word during Chastanet absence. A war against Chastanet.

    (9)(2)
  18. Lord put a hand in this land.

    And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

    – Hebrews 11: 6

    (5)(5)
  19. Joe Blow:
    I dare say you are nothing but an annoyance at this point. You spent nearly five years in office in your last term and ten in you previous terms and under your watch the economy was dismal. Your Government was bankrupt of ideas to jumpstart the economy except to over tax St. Lucians, why don't you take rest and shut up. Please I beg you give us a holiday from the everyday politicing. We have had enough politic for now. Go to the house - speak from there and shut up. The country is already on edge. Let us try to calm it by you and your cronies putting the interest of the country before your myopic partisan vision. Please Pip take a break.

    (29)(12)
  20. As an independent who voted UWP, Hon Phillip J Pierre is starting to irritate me. All you are accusing this 1 year old government of is exactly what happened during your last 5 years. You did not have the solution for the 5 years. ORC is the only reason homicide was down during your last 5 years. One of my observation is that the guys who are involved in criminal activity, was raised during 15 years of your governance. The crucial years of these guys were under your governance. The 25-30 year old.

    (28)(15)
    • Remember the Prime Minister who said: Criminals please give the people a break to enjoy their Christmas down V-Fort and when it was mentioned in the house he denied ever saying so. Only to have the video thrown in his face when they lost the elections in 06. Also remember the fail gun amnesty they had whereby they paid criminals $2500.00 for old guns that won't working for them to only go and purchase new ones for that same money.

      (0)(0)
  21. Allen chasnet full of tricks he running away from the tuf part of his job that's y he go vac so quick

    (12)(29)
    • I know that vacation is a time when you reflect and get fresh perspectives. Could that be a reason? Maybe he is travelling to get new investments on his own time. I guess if he was acting as a private citizen as before, wouldn't he be at such times looking for ways to enhance his business? Besides many critics have said that he was travelling too much and using state funds to do it.

      I could be wrong but we can't just look at a PM taking vacation as negative. In addition critics must also give reasons for their arguments, which the SLP and Pierre seem to be lacking. If you want people to believe what you are saying then offer some cold hard facts as supporting your assertions, not just promoting propaganda on a daily basis. You say that the economy is not doing well, give us some data etc.

      (7)(4)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.