The just-released Economic and Social Review presents further proof that the policies of the Allen Chastanet-led United Workers Party Government were working, with the report proclaiming a 12.2% increase in Saint Lucia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2021.
The report from the nation’s Ministry of Finance provides more concrete evidence that the decisions made by the UWP administration, during the height of the pandemic, was to the benefit of Saint Lucia as a whole, with all sectors showing immense improvement: the Tourism Industry showing 66 percent growth and Construction 20 percent!
Despite the heavy criticism at the time from the SLP, the United Workers Party Government made the responsible decision to reopen the borders in a phased approach in an effort to balance lives and livelihoods while also managing a pandemic. Former Minister of Finance Honourable Allen Chastanet also launched an extensive Economic Recovery plan which saw income support, concessions to various sectors and the fast tracking of shovel-ready construction projects to keep the economy going after the historic pandemic-induced downturn of 2020.
The report states that growth was “supported by fiscal stimulus from public investments that were advanced to stimulate the economy in response to the Covid-19 crisis as major projects continued into 2021.”
The report further states that the resurgence of the economy was due to economic activity from strong tourism and construction activity, noting that this had a spill-over positive effect on other sectors hard hit by the pandemic such as retail & wholesale, manufacturing and transport.
“The positive economic indicators contained in this report further exposes the ‘BIG LIE’ of the Labour Party in their efforts to get into office. They were irresponsible when they spoke then and are even more irresponsible in office by halting projects and policies that benefited this country. How much further would (we) be as a country if these projects continued such as St Jude, HIA and the roads?” asked Leader of the Opposition Hon. Allen Chastanet. “This is not about vindication, it is about understanding what works and continuing the prescription that is going to help Saint Lucia fully recover. Based on the recovery so far, the present Government has no excuse as to why they cannot fulfill their promises to the people. The evidence is clear for all to see that we are heading back to pre-pandemic numbers in terms of revenue because of the decisions we made.”