STATEMENT – In a press release dated June 26, 2014, the United Workers Party admitted that Saint Lucia’s wage bill has been an area of concern for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 2003.
In its haste to criticise a recommendation from the IMF to reduce the wage bill, the United Workers Party (UWP) said “such recommendations from the IMF are not new and have been repeatedly made almost in the same language to regional government over the years”.
Indeed, this is an admission that despite reports from the IMF and the performance of Saint Lucia’s economy at the time, the UWP government did not take heed. Instead, they increased the public service by almost 1,000 and granted an increase of 14.5% during an economic downturn. As a result, the wage bill increased by $86.66 million and had to be met by borrowing. This is a bold acceptance by the UWP that they chose politics over fiscal prudence.
It is hypocritical and shameless of the UWP to expose its knowledge of and contribution to the problem while it continues a campaign of deceit to mislead the nation; the government expected nothing less.
The government remains committed to explaining the economic situation and proposals to recover the economy to members of the public. All documents on the economic performance and projections have been made public. Saint Lucians can see and read for themselves and question the actions and decisions of government.
While it is easier and more popular to do nothing, the situation demands that action be taken to avoid further deterioration of Saint Lucia’s fiscal performance.
Despite the contamination of the process by the UWP and its agents, the government has faith that Saint Lucians will understand what is at stake and support what is right and not simply what is popular for our country’s future.