THE announcement of a hike in vehicle licences fees has started on exchange of words between the government and the main opposition party, the United Workers Party.
One day after the new fee structure came into effect the UWP called for its suspension. However the Ministry has ignored that claiming that the fees are still the lowest in the sub region.
The new fees went into effect Tuesday. The next day came the UWP challenge to the government to put the new fees on hold or face stiff protest that will take the form of a campaign of public and town hall meetings to include civil society, denouncing the policies of the government on education, transportation and the economic transformation of the country.
The Ministry hit back Thursday claiming that the fees are the lowest in the OECS and some regional countries.
“For clarity, the highest, that a private car pays in Saint Lucia is $350.00, while Vincentians pay $575.00, Grenadians pay $290.00, Dominicans pay $590.00 while Barbadians pay $1,600.00. For goods vehicles, the highest that a Saint Lucian pays is $700.00, while a Vincentian pays $1,380.00, a Grenadian pays $3,500.00, a Dominican $6,010.00 and a Barbadian $7,500.00. Where heavy equipment is concerned, the highest a Saint Lucian will pay is $750.00, while a Vincentian pays $1,380.00, a Grenadian pays $3,500.00 a Dominican pays $2,950.00 and a Barbadian $7,500.00,” the Ministry noted.
The Ministry’s statement of the fee structure seems to be a response to the UWP’s call for the Ministry to suspend the fee increases.
To substantiate its decision to raise the fees, in some instances by 100 percent and more, the Ministry released a table of the fee structure as it pertains to Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Grenada, Dominica and Barbados.
In the Private Cars /Class A category the fee structure for the above mentioned countries are as follows: Saint Lucia $250 – $350, Saint Vincent $365 – $575, Grenada $180 – $290, Dominica $380 – $590 and Barbados $400 – $1,600.
In the Goods Vehicles category Saint Lucia’s fee structure ranged from $450 – $700; Saint Vincent $805 – $1,380; Grenada $150 – $3,500; Dominica $510 – $6,010 and Barbados $375 – $7,500.
In the Heavy Equipment category Saint Lucia’s fee structure is from $500 – $750; Saint Vincent $805 – $1380; Grenada $1,500 – $3,500; Dominica $710 – $2,950 and Barbados $375 – $7,500.