News, News-buzz

P.M. Rebukes SLP Over Airport Tax

Says Party Cost The Country $200m.

By Ernie Seon

Allen Chastanet [Photo: Stan Bishop]
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet [Photo: Stan Bishop]
PRIME Minister Allen Chastanet says the former St. Lucia government should be “embarrassed and ashamed” at its decision to rescind an airport development tax, which has cost the island in excess of EC$200 million in revenue.

Chastanet told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that his administration would be re-implementing the airport tax effective April 1, next year, despite calls from the main opposition St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) for him not to do so.

Opposition Leader, Phillip J. Pierre, who was a senior member of the former Kenny Anthony administration, said he was outraged over news that the Chastanet government, which came to office following the last general elections in June, has agreed to an increase in the departure tax as well as the reinstatement of the airport development tax.

“The Labour Party sees these increases in taxation as a betrayal by the UWP (United Workers Party) government which had severely criticised the previous SLP administration claiming that the people of St. Lucia were too heavily taxed.

“Further, the UWP had promised that existing taxes would be reduced to make life more bearable for Saint Lucians,” he said.

Pierre said the increase meant that the departure tax for persons travelling to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries and the French Caribbean Islands will be increased from US$25 to US$35 whilst the tax for passengers travelling outside of CARICOM countries and the French Caribbean Islands will be increased from US$25 to US$65;

The airport development tax will be reinstated at a rate of US$35 for persons travelling outside of CARICOM countries and the French Caribbean Islands. The tax had been suspended by the Anthony administration in 2012.

Image of Opposition Leader, Phillip J. Pierre
Opposition Leader, Phillip J. Pierre

Pierre said that the new taxes would result in St. Lucians having to pay an increase of EC$27 when purchasing any ticket to travel to any CARICOM island or any French island.

“St Lucians travelling to other places, for example, New York, Miami, Toronto or London, will pay an additional EC$215. All visitors to our island will also have to bear the additional cost of EC$215 per person,” he added.

The SLP said that at a time when tourism is facing increased competition the new taxes will make St. Lucia more uncompetitive.

“It is also strange that this comes after St. Lucia joined the rest of CARICOM in rebuking the UK government for having the Airline Passenger Duty (APD) arguing that the tax was hurting tourism,” the SLP added.

But Prime Minister Chastanet told CMC that the SLP administration should be embarrassed over its initial decision to remove the tax as its represents a loss of over EC$200 million needed to service the local economy.

He said that the plan to reintroduce the tax was no secret and was announced as a campaign promise during the last general elections.

“We considered it a huge mistake by the government to take the tax down to zero. If they had left the US$35 which was assigned to the development of the airport, there would have been over $200 million in the account.

“In fact the opposition should be embarrassed and ashamed at what they have done to the people of Saint Lucia. We now have to continue to borrow money which could have been collected since the day. So clearly we are going to be looking to increase the tax in line with what the rest of the countries are doing.”

Chastanet asked what is “the point of St. Lucia charging a tax that is substantially less than anyone else in the Caribbean.

“These are funds that should have been collected the opportunity for which is going out of the window every single day, and because it’s not in place today or yesterday that’s money we can never recover,” he argued.

He promised to disclose more on the airport tax in his October 31 address to the nation where he also plans to announce the new rate of the value added tax (VAT).

6 Comments

  1. I budgeted for
    Authentic. Music.food beaches rum fun in paradise
    But my last expense
    Getting there and back? I really do not want that to cut into my FUN a l locations
    Hmmm
    Perhaps the Ferry from Miami to CUBA is a SWEET alternative.

  2. I would like you to take a pause from your “always in transit” Mr PM sit down and listen! Remember you were the one who promised lower taxes on the citizenry. Remember you the one who went to hell back shouting from all the corners of the Island and sometimes in distant lands about how the level of VAT is too high and about how it needs reducing. I think like many self thinking St lucians you should be embarrassed and ashamed of yourself. You are already an embarrassment and that’s for sure!

  3. ????

    The true picture of this deceitful and bogus con man Allan Chastanet is on full blast. I see the World as but a Stage, and every man his part must play __ CON MAN INTERNATIONAL.

    ????

  4. “Further, the UWP had promised that existing taxes would be reduced to make life more bearable for Saint Lucians,”
    —————————————————————————————————————————-
    Having tourists finance – through an airport departure tax – the redevelopment of the HIA and keeping it as ours is a much more sensible alternative than handing it over to a bunch of Middle East investors in the form of a PPP like Pierre had proposed.

    The tax, as Pierre well know, will only affect St.Lucians if they travel; otherwise, tourists will be the ones affected.

  5. /

    This Boorish ignorant thug Allen Chastanet continues unabated to express his contempt and disdain for the Black African People of St. Lucia. How many times do we have to listen to this functional illiterate tell Black Lucian men and women how much he is ASHAMED OF US FOR BEING BLACK AFRICANS? Going as far as to calling us NIGGERS in the streets of Castries and then have a pale settler Betty Sue as some decadent role model for our beautiful Black African children ?

    “I AM ASHAMED FOR YOU (asking me questions about Coco Palm Brothel)”

    “I AM EMBARRASSED FOR YOU (speaking to me like you don’t understand, I am a “white man and you’re a NIGGER”

    And so, this ignorant functional illiterate abomination known as the Chastanet Crime Family continues to insult, disparage, and degrade our African people as our children are made to witness the public floggings and humiliations of Africans on the Chastanet Sugarcane Plantation, with Overseers like Rick John Wayne and Black Face Josie being given access to use the same toilets as these filthy Caucasian Settlers, and granted the disgraceful titles of HONORARY WHITE MEN and MEMBERS OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE; an Empire known for enslaving, raping, and murdering our black African parents – in fact Michael has been rewarded twice for keeping you Africans Enslaved, and now Boy Tarzan will have you pay an even bigger ransom if you desire to leave the Chastanet Sugarcane Plantation to seek economic freedom.

    Now these white supremacist Racists with their vampire women, go around telling their other Caucasian racists, how you Lucians should be EMBARRASSED AND ASHAMED of the Black African Government-in-Opposition led by our African Leaders Phillip J Pierre and Kenny Anthony for abolishing the the Ransom that must be paid to leave the Plantation at the Airports.

    Now this worthless pathological liar, the Chastanet Crime Family, after lying about reducing Taxes and eliminating VAT, is going to pull a Chicken Hawk/Mal Finee from his dirty behind and impose a New avalanche of TAXES in the hundreds of millions of dollars while spitting in our faces calling us Liars, Malicious, ugly and how shameful we are as “NIGGERS”.

    Such a broadside perpetration of Domestic Violence and abusive language against our African people by this boorish and ignorant thug Allen Chastanet must be ended immediately, before this white supremacist does further Psychological damage to our little Black African Children, and they become casualties with Multiple Personality Disorders like the now Mentally Insane Honorary White men like Rick John Wayne, Derek Walcott, and blackface Josie. Here you will see the Chastanet Crime Family with the Bible and their White Son-of-God.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uoITu3Apbk

    .

    .

Leave a Reply

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