GIS – A sitting of the House of Assembly was held on Nov. 8.
Prime Minister Hon. Allen M. Chastanet began by addressing the nation’s current crime situation.
“This is not a situation that we can allow to continue. We need to get back to a Saint Lucia where people feel safe and can live without the fear of being robbed, attacked, or even killed,” he said.
“Our government is especially concerned about the state of rapes, whether it is aggravated rape, statutory or incest. It needs to stop. Our women and children are not objects to be abused. They are our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, and daughters, and we must do everything that we can to protect them.
“My government abhors crime of any kind, and the recent robberies targeting our learning institutions is unacceptable. The guns on our streets, and the young people who keep losing their lives, also needs to stop. By my statement today, I want to make it clear to Saint Lucians that we have a plan to work with the police force and the various arms of the justice system to help ensure that they have the tools that they need to do their jobs.”
Mr. Chastanet also discussed the reasons behind the government’s decision to reduce the value added tax rate.
“Our government believes that the level of taxation in this country is too high, and that what was happening was the amount of monies available was causing a further contraction of the economy. The idea of increasing VAT to 15 percent at a time of recession further exasperated the situation, and we saw many small business going out of business.”
Other addresses made include an address on Tropical Storm Matthew recovery efforts by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Cooperatives, Hon. Ezechiel Joseph; and an address pertaining to child abuse made by Minister for Equity, Social Justice, and Empowerment, Hon. Lenard Montoute.