Political Leader of the United Workers Party (UWP), Allen Chastanet, had his supporters in loud cheers on Thursday evening at the William Peter Boulevard, when he dished out some election promises.
Chastanet who dubbed the plan “Five to stay Alive,” said they are aimed at bringing relief to every Saint Lucian and will form part of the UWP’s election manifesto.
One of the first things Chastanet said the UWP will do to if elected to office, is to immediately deduct the “dreaded Value Added tax (VAT),”which will eventually lead to its ultimate removal.
“We will find a more creative way, and a less onerous way of raising revenues generated by VAT,” he said.
Chastanet believes it is not acceptable that men who are struggling and have trucks to supplement their income, are forced to park it because of the high license fee.
As such, the party is proposing to reduce vehicle fees by 50 percent, if elected to office.
The UWP political leader said his party also plan to double the school feeding and school transportation subsidy, and guarantee all children at least one nutritional meal per day.
But Chastanet said of the five plans, the dearest to his heart, is to have a targeted amnesty on hospital fees at both the Victoria Hospital and St. Jude Hospital.
“It is unacceptable that a person who is unemployed, or a person who is a pensioner, feels degraded to go to the hospital because they can’t pay their bills. What kind of government, what kind of man, does it take to be able to impose that kind of wickedness on the people of this country?”
In revealing the last of five major promises, Chastanet said a UWP government will remove personal property tax for a period of three years, within the first year in office.
The UWP leader said some people have struggled to own their own house by paying a mortgage for many years, but then property tax is imposed on them, and in some cases, this causes them to lose their homes.
The removal of this tax for three years, he noted, will help to bring some relief to families across the island.
“The details of these policies and programmes will be further rolled out and explained during public meetings over the coming weeks and it will be part of a 72-page manuscript, which has already been completed and will become the manifesto of the UWP for the upcoming election,” he declared.
A fiery Chastanet told his supporters that while the ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) is procrastinating, the UWP has been busy preparing itself to introduce policies and plans in due course, to address the challenges of the country, and has managed to put together a competent team of candidates.
“I heard people say that Allen Chastanet can’t relate to the average person in Saint Lucia, but I can relate to the suffering that the people are experiencing in their lives. Not only will Allen Chastanet relate to it, but Allen Chastanet has the solutions to these problems.”