The United Workers Party (UWP) is appalled at the level of insensitivity which the St Lucia Labour Party Government arrogantly displays by the continuous implementation of economic policies which impact negatively on the people of Saint Lucia.
These policies have been demonstrated through the reduction/withdrawal of Government subsidies resulting in increased prices and the implementation of new and increased taxation measures.
What is very apparent is that in its desperate determination to generate increased revenue to sustain its program of political patronage the Government has shown complete insensitivity to the prevailing economic climate and the hardships being experienced by many due to the current economic downturn. To date we have witnessed the implementation of a number of measures that may have the collective impact of slowing down economic activity as both consumers and the private sector adopt a conservative stance in response to a sluggish economy.
The latest target of the Government in its selfish and insensitive economic policies is the Pensioners of this great nation of ours. Our mothers and fathers who all contributed to strengthening the pillars of growth and stability of which we are all beneficiaries. This in our view amounts to an onslaught on the poor and hard working people of our nation.
Due to demands from the Inland Revenue Department the local banking and financial sector are now forced to apply deductions on payments to pensioners effective November 1st, 2012. In addition the Government through the Inland Revenue Departments has also requested information on pension payments for the period 2005 to 2010. Why is the Government requesting this information? Is it that the Government may be giving consideration to back dating taxation on these payments? We need answers.
The United Workers Party considers it an act of economic criminality and gross insensitivity for the Government to be imposing such a measure when persons are reeling under the impact of VAT, the resultant increases in the prices of products and services particularly medication and in addition spiralling fuel and food prices.
We therefore call on Dr Kenny Anthony to revisit this measure which will result in further hardships to the pensioners who helped to create and maintain the economic infrastructure which provides sustenance for all of us. Finally the United Workers Party calls on all Pensioners to raise their voices in opposition to this latest display of economic aggression by Dr Kenny Anthony and his Government.