St Lucia’s PM ‘the great pretender’, says opposition leader Pierre: Part 1

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Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Allen Chastanet

By Caribbean News Global fav

At the virtual meeting on the Castries Central Market steps last Sunday, August 23, 2020, leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) Philip J. Pierre, exposed the pretending prime minister and government of Saint Lucia; and presented insights on policy and leadership.

TORONTO, Canada – There’s a song that says “The Great Pretender”, pretending that things are not what they are, and in Saint Lucia today, we have a pretending government and the biggest pretender of them all is the prime minister, Allen Chastanet.”

Leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) Philip J. Pierre, said: “The prime minister pretends that he wants forgiveness, and in the next breath, he is ordering people to seize people vehicles. He pretends that he wants forgiveness and in the next breath he is sanctioning the most bizarre and nasty attack on people,” Pierre said, stressing that, “on one breath, he says that things are bad in the country, but on the other hand, he’s out on a yacht frolicking.”

However, to be convinced if “The Great Pretender” lives in the real Saint Lucia and not the annex parts of the occupied “enclaves” on the island, Pierre queried, “Can you trust this government when they tell you something?

Violation of the law 

The government of Saint Lucia signed and sealed an agreement with the Saint Lucia National Trust and in the same way, the parliament of Saint Lucia, June 2, legislated in the dead of night —  the approve draft Value Added Tax (Rate of Tax — Goods and services provided by hotels and other providers in the tourism sector) Order and Value Added Tax (Amendment of Schedule 2) Order — The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (Amendment) Act and The Tourism Levy Act. 

The government was forced to rescind flawed legislation and kickstart election campaign. Consequently, Pierre questioned, “Can you go to bed, get up in the morning and listen to pronouncements by the government? Can you believe them?

State of the economy

What is the state of the economy of Saint Lucia? “Remember, after COVID-19, the prime minister said that things were so bad. He put forward a cash flow statement. He said, things are bad, things are so bad that he has to cut the salaries of civil servants by 50 percent. He said the country lost so much revenue. And there is no hope that that revenue is going to be collected. This was reinforced by Cabinet conclusion No 855 of 2020, dated July 6, 2020, “that the restructuring of all government agencies be placed on hold.” The unlawful Cabinet conclusion was withdrawn.

Pierre continued: “This government does not respect any institution. They do not respect the public service commission. They do not respect the Catholic church. He asked the Bishop to apologize to him. He does not respect the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF). He respects absolutely no institution. So, what is the state of the 50 percent cut for the civil servants, and what will the government do in September, October, November, because by their own admission, they could not pay teachers, policemen, etc.”

What is the truth of the economy today, Pierre quivered, knowing that these are extraordinary times?

Recently, Ezechiel Joseph, minister for agriculture, fisheries, natural resources and co-operatives attempting to explain to government sympathizers and media-friendly networks why his ministry decided against making available $1,500 to farmers in cash and instead to give them agricultural products in kind, was because ‘as you know, they have a problem handling money.’

Nevertheless, the government is building a road to know where, somewhere between Babonneau and Dennery, through design, finance contracts, and “based on what I heard, its approximately 100 million with absolutely no tendering” Pierre cautioned; “ You know, who has to pay that debt? The young people of Saint Lucia,” stating that, “the government has its priorities wrong, very wrong. You still cannot trust them” Pierre told his virtual audience “because they told you in five to stay alive, they are going to eliminate VAT. And up to this day, they have not eliminated VAT; however, they plan to expand VAT.”

“I’m saying to you, by the time this government leaves office, the national debt of this country, maybe near $5 billion. And you know who has to pay it? Pierre retort, “the young people that the government is trying to bribe with $1,000 contracts to cut grass. That is what the government has, in place for young people all over the country, giving them $1,000 to cut grass,” he said.

Safe return to School

“If they give you $1,000 to cut grass take it, because the government is not seeing about your children who have to go to school [next week]. They are not seeing about your children who need schoolbooks. They are not seeing about your children who have to pay facilities fees.”

Leader of the opposition Pierre, offered insights on policy and leadership stating what an SLP administration would do:

  • We would abandon all facilities fees this year, in the year of COVID, and used the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fund insights on policy and leadership to give all students in this country the basic schoolbooks – free of charge.
  • We would have ensured that we upgrade the school feeding programme to cause the synergy and merger with agriculture, education, and health.
  • And when we say we want to have one university graduate in every home, the critics shamelessly argue: where are you getting the money from?

To be continued … where are you getting the money from?

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