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(PRESS STATEMENT) — The Saint Lucia Labour Party is outraged by the consistent oppressive behaviour of the UWP government towards persons who are seeking to make an honest living in Saint Lucia. Equally disturbing is that the SLP has been informed of a decision by the Prime Minister of the country to forcibly remove the vendors who sell coconuts in the Rodney Bay area.
Whilst the Saint Lucia Labour Party agrees that such economic activity along a busy highway can pose challenges, the Government can organise and guide the coconut vendors to ensure that they carry out their trade in a clean, convenient and safe environment.
It can never be right to deprive them of selling coconuts, which in this location, adds charm to the hustle and bustle of the Rodney Bay area evidenced by the many visitors and locals who support the sale.
In government, the Saint Lucia Labour Party actively encouraged the expansion of coconut cultivation for the expanding coconut water market. In this regard, thousands of coconut seedlings tissue culture plants were brought in from Mexico. It is therefore crucial for government to urgently address what is a rapidly expanding opportunity for vendors and farmers alike.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party believes that there are several young men and women employed in the Trade in the said area, and that shifting them to another location with less foot traffic is going to place them at a distinct disadvantage; and could force them into the already high unemployment statistics.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party maintains that the benefits of economic growth and development must be for all and not for a select few. Accordingly, the Saint Lucia Labour Party sustains it’s position of the need for Government to create the space and opportunities for all, including small and enterprising Saint Lucians, to engage in legitimate business.