Letters & Opinion

Is the whipping boy really extricated?

By Adrian Stanislaus

After nine months in office the current administration continues to ramble around sans direction, wallowing in vengeance and hatred as the economy faces challenging headwinds from unprecedented inflation and the sixth phase of the Covid virus. 

While we applaud government for keeping the borders open, reintroducing carnival and Friday Night Gros Islet which comes at a health cost, they have completely set aside projects like the three major housing projects, the Rodney Bay highway and roundabouts, the St Jude Hospital and the HIA terminal.  Those projects in total employed some four thousand workers which surpasses any form of ongoing employment.  St Lucia is in dire need of employment and growth and both opportunities have ben squandered without rhyme or reason leaving hundreds of citizens on the breadline with a concocted slogan of putting people first.

With a looming crisis worldwide, St Lucia’s population of 180,000 depends upon an administration to keep the economy ticking.  This is a major responsibility which requires immediate and careful attention.  Elections are over and politicians need to get along with the business of the nation or do the honourable thing and bow out.  They had all the answers in opposition so let us see at least fifty percent of all the ideas implemented.

The Cabot development which was so heavily criticized now appears to be the star development employing some three hundred persons with an addition on the way as the housing phase commences at the end of the year when the golf course is completed.  Another company which was a whipping boy (Sandals Resorts) has become the best thing since sliced bread.  The acknowledgement may have taken twenty-five years but better late than never.

The former chairman deceased Butch Stewart made a statement some six years ago at the opening of three new restaurants adjacent to the Sandals Grande that his company had invested over one billion dollars into the St Lucia economy over the last twenty-five years and he remained very proud in highlighting this milestone.  It has been rather hurtful when persons who have invested and pursued such investments and politicians on the other side pass needless disparaging remarks.

We should neither lose sight of the twenty-four-million-dollar claim laid against the same Sandals for an incorrect withholding tax substantiated by an accounting and auditing firm based in St Lucia.  Under the Kenny administration the matter remained dormant to the displeasure of Sandals leaving the UWP administration with the task for making the rightful decision.  Sandals will forever be recognized as a first-class investor which is today displaying their continued commitment by investing in these turbulent times.  Sandals remains a priority in the eyes of its eight hundred employees.

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