(St Lucia News Online) – Saint Lucians will get a reprieve on their principal and interest payments for at least six months as the government seeks to respond to the coronavirus crisis on the island.
In an address to the nation earlier this week, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said three months could be added if the need arises.
He stated that discussions were held on the matter.
“The most important thing to get off the table very quickly, and it was the discussions with the Bankers’ Association, as well as the governor of the Central Bank, that allows the banks to make the announcement on Friday, that all individuals and corporations and government that they are going to give a moratorium on your principal and interest payments for six months,” Chastanet explained. “And with the possibility that if this thing extends for another three months.”
He said there is a message in all this.
“The message is you are not going to lose your home, you are not going to lose your car,” Chastanet said. “And that whatever loans you have are literally going to stay intact because we recognize that many people are going not to have an income coming in. It could a proprietor or it could be somebody who is employed in a well-paid job.”
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee said Chastanet, in his capacity of minister of finance, is designing a stimulus package for the entire economy, “not just hotel workers, not just vendors or taxi drivers or tour guides, but for everyone, so that we can have a comprehensive look at our relief effort”.
“It is a difficult time for everyone. We very much empathize with all those workers who lost their jobs,” he stated.