By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – Approaching the inaugural presentation of prime minister and minister for finance, economic development, and the youth economy, Philip Pierre, Tuesday, March 29, 04:00 pm, estimates of revenue and expenditure 2022/23 to the House of Assembly; here-in lies the red-print (in the manifesto of 2021) to a possible new batch of budget proposals.
Policy and adherence
While many await the estimates of revenue and expenditure 2022/23 and the wish lists, there are warning signs at home and globally to government (s) stimulus spending to offset the pain of COVID-19 and the odds of a recession.
Limits to recession risk and preparing to handle aggressive rate hikes are determining factors. However, external factors, alongside Russia – Ukraine war compound global finance and heightens Saint Lucias’ search for investors and investor risk.
Domestic and external mixed signals have changed the calculation and calculus. Saint Lucia’s public finances and management are now expected to undershoot. The public finances are in no better shape than made to believe.
Facts have changed, minds have evolved, domestic and global markets trying to stay rational can no longer stay solvent. Moreover, calibrating all of the socio-economic issues – are coming together at once.
So, what do you do to resolve measures?
The governance of Saint Lucia appears to be faced with three crises – healthcare, national security (food/crime) and fiscal deficits.
With much anguish about the rising cost of living and interest rates, servicing the national debt and inflation is eroding expectations rapidly.
The current government debt is likely to emerge higher than pre-COVID and the real burden of debt extended to years-on-end.
Numbers to look for includes debt to GDP, the annual rate of inflation, cost of servicing the national debt, the current debt load and deficit, priority to expenditure, revenue forecast, grants, external contributions and new tax receipts, if any, to offset spending restraint.
Unsurprisingly, an explanation to the real burden of debt is justified, however, micro, macro, SMEs, etc., strategic plans are critical to navigating the headwinds.
Stabilizing and growing the economy
(As outlined in the SLP manifesto of 2021)
“Our people have largely been turned into second-class citizens, while preferential economic support and favours continue to be given by this United Workers Party (UWP) government to friends and a selected few.
As a party, we support foreign investment as a path to economic development, however, we believe, as we have emphasized over the years, that it is vital that Saint Lucians be part of the wealth creation of their country, by putting them first.
A new labour party government will take the necessary remedial steps to stabilize and strengthen the economy to meet the challenges of creating jobs and wealth for all. In this process we shall be “Putting people first”, the labour party way.
“To achieve this, the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) will pursue [for] the following strategies: [Reference SLP Manifesto – pages 8 -10.]”