THE SLP carried out their last meeting for 2020 on Sunday December 6th and it was rather disconcerting to listen to the same paraphernalia presented to the nation for the last two years. We shall once more attempt to clarify the areas which make no sense.
1. Regarding the Castries / Gros – Islet highway, there were tentative arrangements in place for an ECD 250 million dollar loan to execute the project, but before any financial arrangements were completed, government had to agree and make good the costs for land appropriation along the highway. That process was never started so God alone knew when the project would commence. Now that Government has addressed the Halcyon and Rodney Bay bottle necks without borrowing 250 million ECD, the SLP questions why the project is done in phases, while on the other hand they question the Prime Minister for borrowing too much. Kindly recall the many tentative dates during which the OKEU, St. Jude, the Millennium Highway and the HIA Terminal to name but a few and never commenced.
2. The SLP administration intended handing over the HIA Terminal to an international investor for thirty years when that terminal remains the most profitable asset of SLASPA. Additionally, the SLP keeps pushing their nonsensical agenda that St. Lucia was getting a terminal for free. Who in this day and age will construct a terminal for free? Does the SLP feel that they are talking to children or morons? The current administration and the lenders were satisfied that the revenue stream set out by the current administration can pay off the loan in 15 years which means that the organization which the SLP planned to hand over the asset to would have enjoyed 15 years of the nation’s asset for free. To date, this administration has instituted the increased head tax that has already brought in some 100 million dollars to the lock box, so five years from today when payments are scheduled to commence some 500 million dollars will be in the lock box. Please remember the SLP administration in 2011 stopped the collection of this head tax instituted by the UWP government which caused SLASPA to lose 250 million dollars based on the victimization of the former administration for whatever reason or reasons they may have had.
3. St. Jude Hospital was under the control of the SLP administration from 2011 to 2016 where over 150 million dollars were disbursed, and the facility was only 50% poorly completed by the opinion of their own contractors.
4. The SLP announced on Sunday evening that the nation is $5 billion dollars in debt whereas this figure includes the entire borrowing of both administrations for the last 30 years, but the SLP continues distorting the facts by making it appear that the current administration is responsible for the entire debt. HOW RIDICULOUS!
5. In the middle of a pandemic when the great US, UK, Europe and others are struggling with their economies and having to borrow billions and trillions, the opposition leader keeps spilling incorrect information regarding the status of our economy.
6. The darling prime minister of Antigua is now facing his share of difficulties as his people call for his resignation. WHY? The revenues in Antigua like all other nations in the Caribbean are down dramatically and borrowing at low interest rates at this time is the answer. Mathematics is a science which cannot be twisted and turned, as one plus one equals two, and two minus one equals one, and so it will forever remain. St. Lucia in the midst of a pandemic still qualifies to borrow whereas the SLP could not borrow in normal times. Lenders are only willing to lend money when the borrower has the ability to meet its obligations and this remains a fundamental part of borrowing. St. Lucians are savvy in many ways and the SLP propaganda is swallowed by their hacks and not by the independent minds of the nation who control the swing vote.