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(SNO) — It appears that Saint Lucia Labour Party parliamentarians are not 100 percent happy with a customary $10,000 ‘Christmas stimulus’ and the time it was sent to their constituency by the government.
Castries East Member of Parliament (MP) and Opposition Leade rPhilip J Pierre believes the amount is too small and Castries East is the most populated constituency in Saint Lucia.
Pierre reluctantly thanked the government for the funds.
“On the behalf of the citizens of the constituency, I will accept it just on their behalf, because I know that they are in need, I know that my Christmas hampers etc. will not be able to suffice, so on their behalf I humbly accept it,” he said. “But I say to the government, this is wrong.”
Pierre pointed out that there is Christmas stimulus happening in his constituency but he knows nothing about it.
“And I am not going to deal with argument used by the government that ‘Oh, you all did the same thing too’,” he said. “No, that is a bizarre argument. First of all it is not true, and secondly, the public of Saint Lucia voted the Labour Party government out of power and I don’t think the United Workers Party understands that. We may not agree with it but the public was dissatisfied with us and they voted us out.”
Castries South MP Ernest Hilaire received the same amount, and he expressed his displeasure on social media.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Hilaire said he received a call last night, around 6:30, to inform him that he was going to get the amount to spend in his constituency before Christmas, just two working days before the holiday itself.
“No promised letter but a call with two working days left before Christmas. I can’t fault the official of SSDF, guess he was just doing his job,” he wrote. “For the last two weeks, the Constituency has been abuzz with workers chosen by the UWP Government ensuring that their supporters have some financial support for the Christmas.”
He stated that he has accepted that there will be no equity or fairness of the awarding of work under the stimulus.
“The victors enjoy the spoils of conquest! But surely this treatment of SLP supporters is plain wicked and malicious. How else can it be explained?” Hilaire said. And to add insult to injury, a week before Christmas, a crew of unknown workers appear to resume work on the unfinished Barre St. Joseph Community Center. A project which was stopped in June 2016! No consultation with the community, no notification to me as Parliamentary Representative, not even community workers chosen! Funny though, the sand and cement are being transported in dog food bags!”
Vieux Fort North MP Moses Jn Baptiste also disclosed on Facebook, under Hilaire’s post, that he received a similar call.
The annual Christmas stimulus provides short-term employment, normally in beautification projects.
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