Top Story

100 Days A Challenge

Prime Minister Assesses First UWP Government Milestone

PRIME Minister Allen Chastanet has described his administration’s first 100 days in office as “a challenging period”, adding that “for the most part, we’re up for the challenge”.

Chastanet spent nearly ninety minutes during Monday evening’s press conference at GIS studios outlining government’s plans to deal with some of the pressing matters, including providing sustainable health care, creating a long-term economic plan, revamping the judiciary and resolving contentious ambassadorial appointments. The press also posed question to the Prime Minister during a questions and answer segment.

The Prime Minister said government had made inroads in delivering on its ‘Five to stay alive’ campaign pledge, with reducing the Valued Added Tax (VAT) remaining a work in progress. He said government had commissioned Ernst & Young to conduct a tax audit to review existing tax structures to create a new VAT rate “that everybody’s going to be comfortable with”.

That Ernst & Young report, he said, should be completed within the next three weeks. However, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) submitted its report last Friday which contains its assessment of the Saint Lucian economy. The new VAT rate is expected to be disclosed by the end of October.

Chastanet said the CDB report listed Saint Lucia as having the highest percentage of taxes to GDP, 26%, an indication that government had done “a really good job at raising money from taxes”. However, he added that Saint Lucia also had the lowest rate of return on government capital investment.

img: The media quizzing Prime Minister Allen Chastanet following Monday evening’s press conference. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]
The media quizzing Prime Minister Allen Chastanet following Monday evening’s press conference. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]
“So the things on which government has spent its money have not produced the same level of returns as some of the other countries,” Chastanet said. “Clearly since (the UWP administration) left office in 2011, the economic macro numbers for Saint Lucia have gotten substantially worse than they were before.”

Chastanet said government will endeavour to reverse that “unsustainable” trend by shifting focus, including developing a macro policy which will include the new VAT rate “and a lot of new forms of taxation”. However, he said any new tax regime will redound to the benefit of Saint Lucians.

“The new taxes that we’re looking to (implement) would be less burdensome on the public,” Chastanet said. “So we’re finding alternative ways of taxing different sectors (in such a way) that it doesn’t put as much pressure on the average person, particularly the more vulnerable people in our country.”

Chastanet said the 2016/17 budget formulated by the previous administration was ‘not well put together” and in many instances “the budget appears to have been grossly underestimated”. Government, he said, will nevertheless develop a broad plan to realize long-term growth.

“We’re using the time right now to develop our overall plan,” Chastanet said. “So it’s the intention of our government that when we announce the budget in April that we announce not only a one-year budget but also a four-year development plan for this country.”

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition, Phillip J. Pierre, has described the government’s first 100 days in office as “bitterly disappointing”.

“It lacked any substance, any commitment to keep promises made, offered no way forward to meet global challenges and continued the personal attacks on professionals,” Pierre said in a press release on Tuesday.

Pierre said that while the previous government had put Saint Lucians on alert that difficult decisions were made in order to counter difficult times that forced government to work within a limited fiscal space, the economy had shown signs of improving. The promises made by the United Workers Party (UWP) during the election campaign, he said, need to be delivered.

“The Prime Minister cannot continue to lament that these are difficult times,” Pierre said. “The people of Saint Lucia know that. It is time to deal with the business of government and stop stating the obvious.”

Pierre also criticized Chastanet’s overseas trips, describing them as “disturbing”, adding that many of these trips could have been avoided by using technological means such as Skype. He also accused the government of wanting to sack professionals based on their political orientations and launching attacks on Attorney General, Kim St. Rose and Saint Lucia’s Ambassador to the United States and OAS, Elizabeth Darius-Clarke.

Stan Bishop began his career in journalism in March 2008 writing freelance for The VOICE newspaper for six weeks before being hired as a part-time journalist there when one of the company’s journalists was overseas on assignment.

Although he was initially told that the job would last only two weeks, he was able to demonstrate such high quality work that the company offered him a permanent job before that fortnight was over. Read full bio...

10 Comments

  1. I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But those who thought VAT reduction would as simple as the idiots mentioned before the election better brace themselves for a big disappointment. The warning signs are already looking at in the eye and some are coming from the PM himself. Phrases such as “alternative ways of taxing” and “new forms of taxation” leaves me in no doubt the brighter dawn promised by Chastanet may never become a reality. I say this when I consider the words of Dr. Ram (reduce the list of goods and services with no VAT added to them) when he cited options open to the government for raising revenue. What options are now open to Chastanet? He may well indeed reduce the % rate of VAT but spread VAT collection over a wider cross section of goods and services. This could also extend to include new areas of taxation like congestion charge or parking charge. Ultimately what I am trying to say the load may look less burdensome but in reality it is not. In the end more money will be left in your pocket. In fact there may be even less. The way I see it is that it will be just another con just as he did with the tax on vehicles. When everybody thought it would be scrapped he only reduced it by 50% of the last increase. He is insulting our intelligence just as he did with the fuel price mechanism. After all the protests he organised all he did is shortened the time before the price was altered to take into market fluctuations. Its no easier for us than it was before. His promise of there being no increases in the have never and will never materialised. In this instance I expect no difference: there will be a reorganisation of taxes but the same amount that left your pocket 6 months ago it will be the same amount that leaves your pocket today. Once again our intelligence will be insulted.

  2. /

    This OLD Thug The Chastanet Crime Family, has reinstated the Value Added Taxes on medicines that this Old thug railed about to make the Labour Government of Kenny Anthony look bad, and the brain damaged Lucians fell for the Chastanet Crime Family’s Mobster Thuggish trickery.

    How can anyone with a scintilla of self-respect believe any of the vomit from the Colon of the Chastanet Crime Family.

    Are you Lucians so sedated, drunk, and comatose that you allow yourselves to be disrespected by this White Supremacist Settler Chastanet Crime Family?? Need you be reminded ??

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_Qql7UBl7Y

    .

    .

  3. Who do you think you are to refer to all the Saint Lucians who voted for change as brain damaged. It is time for you to realize that nothing you say will have any effect on the newly elected Prime Minister. Go back under the rock from where you came from.

    1. /

      You know STEPHEN IAN SMITH:

      One of the telling marks of mentally ill Negroes, is usually his Slave Name. In your case however, this slave identity is buttressed by the self-hatred of other Africans in your classical pronouncement, “KI MOUNE OU QWER OU YEH” / “Who mate tink he is”

      I am sure you think that any African who stood up to question your Master the Chastanet Crime Family, would encounter the put down, “Misey pas eh-yen”, “Mate en Nothing” like Rickets John Wayne would say. You Negroes are just sick and Mentally comatose.

      You House Niggers are making me believe in REINCARNATION, because I just found you in 1692 on this Plantation. Take a look at yourself.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNrG5lD2zmQ

      .

      .

    2. Gene-alola-brigitta2
      You do sound like the famous iconic actress in one of her rare kittenesque vexations
      And I applaud your practice at cross dressing to imitate her
      I guess Ru Paul videos have helped your aspirations?

    1. Sam

      SAMJacksoff2
      Using hub likkle head a g ain to put down a black man
      Really you need t l ease back on the masturbating turbulence of your joystick ejaculatory take offs
      Your palm way flight paths are getting congested witk odiferous gunk
      Is that a yeast infection on your cranium?

  4. /

    The Chastanet Crime Family has promised you delusional Negroes all kinds of La-jah-bles sex. You know there was a La-jah -bles who resided around the Clafyeh Coco up Water Works Road, and one day we were hunting Pee-pee-reets, and the Lajahbles tried to make me have sex en-bar-caco, but I knew with all there charms having sex with a Lajahbles my penis would end up in a nest of WADA ANTS.

    This what has happened to you Negroes having sex with the Lajahbles Allen Chastanet. You now find your penis/cock in an Ant Nest, and are stuck with an impostor as your head-of-state who keeps removing his skin to fly all over the world. I heard he keeps his skin behind Ferrands Dairy, and I have prepared a solution of Majack Peppers and Zorfee to De Garjey Allen when he flies to N.Y.

    I just found his skin under a rock in the Castries River in front Ferrands, so you can expect the demise of the Chastanet Crime Family very soon. Here are some Lajahbles sexual promises made by this Papa Jab Allen

    https://www.facebook.com/284538805083530/videos/539359762934765/

    .

    .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *