With the unprecedented rise in the price of goods and services and the spike in the cost of petroleum, the Opposition United Workers Party is calling on the Government to implement measures to cushion the blow on Saint Lucians.
“The higher global commodity prices and increasing cost of food and even utilities is a major strain on households and with world events unfolding such as the Ukraine crisis we anticipate the cost of goods continuing to rise and supply chains being further disrupted. However, there are measures which should be put in place to assist Saint Lucians at this time,” noted Opposition Leader Hon. Allen Chastanet.
“Since the SLP administration came into office we have seen a slowdown in local economic activity which is putting a further strain on Saint Lucians. Promises of income support have already been broken, no tax relief measures. Inflation will affect all facets of Saint Lucian life and before we get to a point of no return we must
stimulate our local economy and assist the most vulnerable in our society.”
In 2020, the UWP administration launched an economic recovery and resilience plan with six key pillars, namely stimulating the economy; fast tracking of shovel ready capital investment projects; strengthening social protection systems; resilience building of productive sectors; building resilience in the health sector and climate change and disaster risk mitigation.
“The sheer scale of the protection measures we put in place and the injection into the local economy is the reason why Saint Lucia is still afloat throughout this pandemic,” noted Chastanet. “Now with the looming further crises, we need to know what the Government’s plans are. The Government seems to be operating blindly and life for regular Saint Lucians is getting more difficult. So far we have seen nothing except the halting of projects and programmes.”
The Leader of the Opposition noted the increase in the price of fuel locally and the domino effect of this.
“In the last 7 months, we have not heard any plans from the Government and this silence is creating unnecessary anxiety. Until the proper measures are put in place, the Government should continue to absorb the increase in the price of fuel in order to assist the population,” noted Chastanet. “In the interim the Government needs to lay out a
sound fiscal policy and strategy for the long and short term.”