UWP demands government to provide report on state of the economy

By Samuel Sukhnandan, Staff Reporter

Chastanet.

The main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) is calling on the Kenny Anthony administration to provide a report on the state of the local economy.

The party is also calling on the government to come up with possible solutions to the many issues confronting the island, especially as it relates to the current economic crisis.

UWP leader Allen Chastanet made this call at a press conference held earlier today. Chastanet said the time has come for government to stop hiding the truth.

He urged that Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony and his government come clean on what is really causing the economy to continue to move in a downward spiral.

The political leader said the government seems intent on talking about everything else, but not dealing with the state of the economy, which in his opinion should be a key priority.

“None of us are seeing any turnaround. There are no signs of new investments, no signs of any expansion of any major company in this country,” he added.

Chastanet said his party is concerned that a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report indicates that the local economy has contracted by 1.1 per cent this year.

The IMF had said St. Lucia had already contracted by 2.4 per cent last year. Chastanet said this trend is troubling particularly when it comes to creating new opportunities for locals.

“We’ve heard no statement by the government regarding this report and everybody is at a complete lost as to what is taking place in this country,” he added.

According to him, the silence by the current administration is very troubling and all St. Lucians should therefore demand that the government provide a report, so as to understand the situation.

“In essence we have had three consecutive years of contraction. I would strongly suggest to you that three years of contraction is a deep depression,” Chastanet asserted.

The UWP leader questioned the state of negotiations with the civil service. “Are we expecting that whatever decision they will make, will be made retroactively?” he again questioned.

Chastanet believes that there should be a special parliamentary session, similar to the Ebola session, to update the country on the state of the economy.

“The government needs to face up to the fact now that we are in crisis and this hiding cannot go on for longer. We need to know how we are going to solve this problem,” he stressed.

Chastanet said in meetings with Customs and other officials from various government departments, the UWP have recognised there has been a further contraction in tax revenues. This, he said, is also another issue to be worried about, because more spending is being done and less revenue being collected.

The political leader also shed some light on the cost of fuel. He said the world prices for fuel has dropped from US$105 to US$77 per barrel, but this drop has not reflected anywhere in St. Lucia.

Chastanet also referred to the “Ease of Doing Business Report” where in 2011 St. Lucia was at number 53 and the second highest in the Caribbean. However, in the 2015 report St. Lucia ranking dropped 47 places and the island is now ranked eighth in the Caribbean.

The UWP leader said this is symbolic of the government’s failed policies that continue to worsen the current economic situation that the island is faced with.

In providing some recommendation in helping to solve the current financial crisis, Chastanet said freezing government expenditure and improving the efficiency of current spending are necessary.

He said government must also freeze public debt and work on strategies to stimulate real investment.

Chastanet advised that government start renegotiating some of the debts, because too many of them are short term.

Chastanet claims that government is using EC$150 million annually on interest payments and rakes in $850 million alone in revenue annually. St. Lucia currently faces an approximately EC$3 billion debt.

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17 comments

  1. ME PERSONALLY, I HAVE A BIG PROBLEM VOTING FOR ANY ONE WHO WAS NOT BORN IN MY COUNTRY.

    SORRY THAT SHOULD BE LAW !!

    CHASTANET WAS NOT BORN ON ST.LUCIAN SOIL, I CAN'T VOTE FOR YOU AS PRIME MINISTER SORRY !!

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  2. Chastanet appears to be more intelligent with his mouth closed 🙂

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  3. Good observation "impartial" not one single barrel from AlBA yet however an ambassador get paid tens of thousands every month. I think that this is just another ploy to funnel to fund a ALBA backed government election campaign. Was't it this administration who was talking about enacting campaign financing laws years ago? They always tend to forget conviently while in office.

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  4. If we are asking Chas for a solution then why did we elect Kenny. Is it to accept suggesstions from the opposition and if it doesn't work blame them? You people who are trying to say Chas should give some suggestions sound like the lazy boy who used to sit next to me in primary school who always copied my work. Anyway Chas did offer some suggestions in the statement.

    I remember clearly when King sort advice from Kenny in Caricom and other matters, what did he say? The letters are there to prove it. Is is that only Kenny is absolved from the duty of being a statesman? Recently, he revealed in parliament that he had sat quietly while the former government passed a Finance Act with so many loopholes. Does this person hold the interest of St. Lucians at heart. Do those who support that type of behaviour really care?

    Wam you all afraid to say de man right. But you all keen to jump on the fox and the grapes story. When the fox couldn't reach the grapes he said that they were sour. Such is the SLP argument that 'all government is the same" just because they can't do the job. So the situation would seem that Lucians hands are tied and it would just be a case of "ou jah la ou pay waytey." But the real story is that there is always a way out.

    Let us stop being functionally illiterate and use our education to think logically and apply that knowledge wisely.

    Wha you say "A B"? Not hearing from you on this post.

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    • We already know what the problem is with the country. All we are asking is how does those in opposition hope to fix it.

      Stop telling us how bad it is. Most of us are already living that experience Give us your solutions on how you hope to fix it.

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    • I really have no time for Chastanet.
      He is a proven Joke.

      Perhaps he needs to find a stage and perform for laughs.

      Chastanet needs to behave like "A" Human and make more rational comments than just talking like his ass is jealous of his mouth.

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  5. Good jabs but no solutions.If you love Lucia provide practical ideas so i can be convinced
    to vote you.Are you selfishly holding them to your chest hoping to get in office while the boat sink?? Lucians are smarter than that now and both parties must now be aware of that fact.

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    • We were not showing those smarts in the last election, especially in Soufriere. The same tactics you are accusing the UWP of, is the same the SLP used in the last election. SLP vowed that they can and would do better. The state has turned "Red", that was our cry. I thought the SLP has all the ideas, ask them to put those in action.

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  6. Mr.Chastanet i did not understand you my audio is set in patois.Can you say that in patois please? lol

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  7. Chastanet hitting some points boy.

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  8. I agree with Chas,but what is his party's response to changing the very things he claims is not good about the country?
    By now people like me are tired of the bashing I want to hear what the UWP's response is to that. LPM you included.

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    • And yes if i can say, the party that can impress me more have my vote.

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      • Impress you in what way.By now you should know who have screwed the country more.

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        • You mean they both enjoy screwing the country? And the only difference is that one likes to use a tree trunk and the other one banfair?
          Shame on both of them!!

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          • Jadia Fool You
            In case you believe that new voters like myself at not enlightening. Think again. I am not casting my vote for the same nonsense. I rather vote for the least evil than to vote for parties with a history of screwing then people like Upin pointed out.

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  9. I'm glad someone is finally talking about this sore point: "The political leader also shed some light on the cost of fuel. He said the world prices for fuel has dropped to from US$105 to US$77, but this drop has not reflected anywhere in St. Lucia."
    What about the whole Petro Caribe deal? Are we gonna reap any of the much-touted benefits from that at all? This issue is getting ridiculous and it feels like it's being swept under the rug while we pay an arm and a leg at the pump.

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