SLP tells Chastanet to put his words into action

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SLP tells Chastanet to put his words into action
Allen Chastanet

The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has sided with United Workers Party (UWP) Leader Allen Chastanet in his appeal for a new approach to St. Lucian politics.

In that regard, the SLP has called on the UWP leader to put his words into action by joining in its quest to devise ways of bringing relief to poor and vulnerable St. Lucians.

In a recent address to the nation recently, Chastanet had made plea for an end to partisan politics which he said has been causing disunity among citizens for years. He also proposed the removal of the Value Added Tax (VAT) on medication and reading glasses for the elderly.

In addition, Chastanet had requested a complete review of the VAT scheme, with a view to reducing it.

In response, the SLP suggested what it referred to as “bi-partisan steps” which it believes will help address the plight of poor and susceptible citizens.

In its release the SLP said it was pleased that Chastanet had “finally recognised what has long been the position of our party that all Saint Lucians ought to work together in the best interests of country.”

The party therefore extended an invitation to Chastanet, the UWP and civil society, to hold open and transparent discussions with the pharmaceutical sector to “review of the cost of medicine before and after VAT in order to determine the true effect of VAT on these items.”

The SLP went on to give a commitment that it will join in making appeals to the government to remove VAT if it can be proven the tax, which replaced the 15% duty that was already in place, “has the drastic negative effect on retail prices as has been suggested by Mr. Chastanet.”

According to the SLP, it has no problems in making such commitments since cabinet has “no intention of causing hardship on the people of St. Lucia, “as its tradition can prove.”

The party also said that its commitment to the poor has been amply demonstrated in previous SLP administrations. The release drew attention to a number of measures in this year’s budget which are said to be geared at assisting citizens.

“…for example, it ensured that medicine for hypertensive and diabetic patients was provided free of charge. The Saint Lucia Labour Party is also the Party responsible for raising public assistance to the indigent by over 25% and introducing assistance to differently -abled children,” the release said.

“This is also the party which has in every term whilst in office, raised the tax free threshold of lower income workers thereby exempting them from the payment of income tax,” the party said.

Moreover, the party sent out a challenge to Chastanet to join in its call for a general relief in the cost of health care services.

“We also call on him to join with us in asking medical practitioners to follow the example of their legal counterparts in reducing the cost of services to patients,” the SLP said.

“In keeping with Chastanet’s newly discovered concern about the plight of poor people, the Labour Party also expresses its willingness to join with him to engage in a review of the cost structure of supermarkets commodities to determine the impact of VAT on products retailed there. We are confident that Allen Chastanet should have little difficulty in accessing such information and that after joint review he would be willing to have the public examine the information to judge for themselves whether VAT or other cost elements are responsible for high supermarket prices,” the release said.

“In order to move this process forward expeditiously, the Saint Lucia Labour Party suggests that a committee to act on these matters be formed immediately. In that regard we suggest that representation should come from the UWP, the Private Sector, The National Consumer Association, the Ministry of Commerce, the Institute of Chartered Accounts of the Eastern Caribbean St. Lucia Branch and the Saint Lucia Labour Party. That Committee should be put in place by 31 August 2013 with a mandate to report publicly on its findings by 31 October 2013.

The SLP also said it will “immediately submit correspondence to the aforementioned organizations seeking their nominees and calls upon Mr. Allen Chastanet to also submit his party’s representative. We look forward to hearing from him on this urgent exercise.”

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16 COMMENTS

  1. MJ if yall can't muster 200 votes in a three corner fight what make you think you can beat Chastanet? Tell Kenny deal with the issue but in the mean time we are sharpening our fingers to shove up his ass in the next elections.(with gloves on)

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  2. What I would like to see is figures (not doctored ones) on the countries position after VAT. All over the world has VAT is not a justification.

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  3. Zandolee,you labelled the contributers'comments as bs,and stupid and yet you gave no intelligent rebuttals.
    Now,tell me,Isn't the LABOUR PARTY in a more influential position to force the LABOUR PARTY GOVERNMENT (Bearing in mind that the two organizations operate as one)to act on the suggestions they have put forward?
    If the labour party was interested in doing anything to relieve the plight of St.Lucians,then the caring and honest thing they would have done would be to submit their proposals with solutions aimed at providing relief to St.lucians to their government and ask all the groups and the rest of st.lucia to support them.
    The approach they chose is designed to achieve one objective which is to buy time(delay tactics)throw a spanner into the works,drag the process and hope that the people will eventually lose interest.
    However,let me assure you that the people will not lose interest because this is about survival.So the SLP should re-think this strategy.
    Anyway,what is difficult about re moving hadship you imposed on people you so boldly claim you love?IF you really cared about them you would not have subjected them to this poison in the first place.
    So,given what i have said with regards to the press release ,it really is nonsence designed to deceive,and delay the people's demands for relief.

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  4. Tell Chastanet come Micoud we waiting for him, if think we always vote UWP tell him think again.......we voting people not party so sorry not this time Chastanet.

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  5. why even bother, you have presendential visit soon. you also have situation where national security may have been compromise and this only thing you seek to release a press statement on. really. ... I know WHO CARES!!!

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  6. Another serious Problem in st lucia are our weird journalist that write because they get fed and bypass the true meaning of journalism, Which is to dig for the truth of their past and present dealings, also accountability of their Involvement. What do they do is give and write juicy news with no foundation, no depth no real meaning in their messages, so therefore the nation remain in darkness, Especially those who just follow party just for party sake.
    Another Problem is the media, Who just talk nonsense such as Juke bois and others. John Compton Kept the people backward, Thank god for Thecnology today and st lucians who travel and see other countries, plus those who went out to educate themselves That they can talk, Write, and think differently.
    I hope our people wake and don't be be influence by these two evils in our society

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  7. Watch out he is desperate for a seat, no wonder that Arsene James have been paid to vacate his seat Gros islet didn't want him Soufriere no So he believe Micoud south are a bunch of fools Micoud north and south has been supporting uwp from Umpting years What has they done for the people, Most likely the last five years under their ruled. When all of them get taiwanees funds for their constituency, They took it for themselves. And now they are sending a looser who almost bankrupt air Jamaica, who as minister of tourism no sense of direction, spend money as though there was no end in sight. He mamaguy his boss which was king. He took all the Taiwanese funds from Soufriere, Paid Third world a lump sum to play just three songs and believe the people was stupid.
    We have People who will jump and shout before even thinking, who also belive he is some kind of savior . He will say and do anything to see if he will get elected, But as time goes by st lucians and the poor will understand that this man is not for them, and it will be more Exploitation, I Reserve the rest for later

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    • What does that have to do with VAT or high prices on medication? Why do we have to be so political in this nation? We lukin for relief for us average and poor persons and u talkin bout SEAT. Do u believe Chastanent has any problem buyin medication or anyone in his family. Wait till u sick or yur kids or mother or granma if u are responsible for them. Shame on us looshans.

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  8. I think it's a trap! I mean, where has the SLP been all this time? Allen, please keep the heat on.

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  9. All those years of exploiting lucians with the imported goods while local farmers suffer. Let me see the ratio of imported foods decrease and local food exports increase. How come he ain't talking bout that. Talk about thé strangle plans for the beaches talk about the all inclusive hotels and how locals are being treated there. Talk about thé diversification of the economy with the local business people and hustlers getting a fair share of the market.So much been said and so little been done. Both parties.

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    • How is the company exploiting looshans with imported goods. A number of farmers between 2006 and now have left farming and become contractors. All the agricultural land has been vacated. Who initiated that? We have consultant in ALL ministries except for agriculture. WOW. The man is a business man who has invested and given hundreds of looshans jobs. Name another politician who has done such. All of them sitting on millions. A bunch of lawyers who open bars to drink rum and accept moneys under the table for wanted criminals to change their names n fly outta loosha.

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