Over the past few weeks, the people of Saint Lucia have been made aware that an accounting firm, Ernst &Young, is heavily involved in shaping economic policy for the Government of Saint Lucia.
First, Ernst & Young was engaged in doing a tax audit for the Government. Reports indicate that Ernst & Young were paid EC$620,000 for an exercise of questionable value. Now, the same firm has been granted a consultancy to help the Government prepare the 2017/2018 Budget.
Representatives of the firm attend and participate in budget meetings. To date, the people of Saint Lucia have not been told the cost for the services of Ernst & Young.
It is unprecedented for an accounting firm to be so heavily involved in the domestic affairs of a country and a Government. Moreover, the engagement of Ernst & Young says that the UWP regime has no confidence in the public officers in the Ministry of Finance.
Never before has a Government abdicated its responsibility to craft a budget as this Government has done. If the Government wanted help to craft its budget, it could easily have secured the services of the regional agency, CARTAC, at no cost to the people of Saint Lucia.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party calls on the Prime Minister to indicate the cost of the services of retaining Ernst &Young and clarify his relationship with the local representative of Ernst & Young in Saint Lucia.