St Lucia parliament convenes Tuesday amid extensive security measures

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By Caribbean News Global fav

CASTRIES, St Lucia – The parliament of Saint Lucia will convene Tuesday, June 02, 2020, 10:00 am, while the Senate is scheduled for Thursday, June 04, 2020, during the State of Emergency – (general elections expected) – extended to September 30, 2020; meantime security forces are on edge, anticipating a breakdown of law and order.

At the sitting of parliament May 27, security forces sealed the parliament building – separating the people from there representatives, all be it for a moment until common sense prevailed, and police barriers were re-adjusted – restoring the government campaign slogan (Yo-Pere) meaning – They are afraid. The question is why? 

COVID-19 measures and irrational policy decisions have also evoked debate and high tension over prime minister Allen Chastanet’s idiosyncratic scheming theory” that “economics has no conscience …  colonialism had a conscience.”

The demolition of the historic Royal Gaol buildings under cover of ‘State of Emergency’ bolsters government mistrust, bad-faith, and dictatorship intents, inclusive of the prime minister’s ill-advised open letter to the Trade Union Federation (TUF) president Julian Monrose.

The letter outlined governments proposal that reference: “Short-term salary adjustments” stipulates, “Should our offer not be accepted, we will have to examine our legal options in order to ensure that we as a government can function, can meet our obligations and can continue providing essential services to our citizens.”

The open response to the government of Saint Lucia in a two-part letter pretty much sums it up – “game on”.

With the government and civil society at the crossroads, security forces are intensifying measures not seen dating back to 1979, anticipating the worse. 

Meanwhile, the island is scheduled to open for business June 4, regardless of the ramifications of going back to business as usual with a twisted “onclave tourism” meanwhile, the international marketplace “St. Lucia’s announcement of a June 4th welcome date is great news for those hoping to visit, but the draconian measures sound somewhat like a very expensive trip to prison, albeit a beautiful palm tree-filled one,” adding, “if you’ve got more questions than answers, the country did do a wonderful job creating a FAQ, writes godsavethepoints.

The sitting of parliament on Tuesday is expected to:

  • “Authorizes the minister of finance to borrow an amount not exceeding the equivalent of US$7,945,000.00 from the Caribbean Development Bank’s Ordinary Capital Resources (OCR) to finance the Millennium Highway and West Cost Reconstruction Project; 
  • “Parliament by affirmative resolution approves the draft Value Added Tax (Rate of Tax — Goods and services provided by hotels and other providers in the tourism sector) Order to vary the rate of tax for goods and services provided by hotels and other providers in the tourism sector and the draft Value Added Tax (Amendment of Schedule 2) Order to amend Schedule 2 of the Act; 
  • “Parliament authorizes the Minister of Finance to guarantee a loan in the amount of US$4,100,000.00 from the International Development Association for the purpose of financing the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program; 
  • “Parliament authorizes the Minister for Finance to guarantee a loan in the amount of US$20,000,000.00 from the International Development Association for the purpose of financing the Human Capital Resilience Project; 
  • “Parliament by affirmative resolution approves the draft Value Added Tax (Amendment of Schedule 3) Order which amends Schedule 3 of the Act to exempt imports of personal items, food, clothing, toys and other household consumables, contained in barrels.” ~ Parliament of Saint Lucia.

The Bills for consideration are: 1) Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (Amendment); 2)          Tourism Levy; 3) Labour (Amendment).

The minister for finance tabled Saint Lucia’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2020/2021 in the sum of EC$ 1,697,312,800 – is void of any economic underpinning and is essentially masked.

Financing the estimates that habitual requires extensive borrowing continues to placed Saint Lucia in an unsustainable position, now requires corrective policy and internal austerity. Without the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and solidarity support from international institutionsthe mismanagement of Saint Lucias’ public finance makes filing for Chapter 11 –  a wordy article of trade to a Fresh Start.

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