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Pierre/Chastanet Spar Over Rising Cost of Living

Prime Minister, Philip J Pierre and Leader of the Opposition, Allen Chastanet
Prime Minister, Philip J Pierre and Leader of the Opposition, Allen Chastanet

Prime Minister Philip J Pierre this week urged Saint Lucians to be realistic about the rise in the cost of living amid calls for greater relief for citizens.

Pierre noted that government is trying to mitigate the situation by reducing the service charge on goods that are price controlled by six and a half percent.

“Are we not seeing how the price of fuel is increasing all over the world? Do we not know that right now we are making negative income as far as the fuel surcharge is concerned? That has never happened in the history of Saint Lucia’s economic life,” Pierre told reporters.

“Are you reading what’s happening in England in terms of the cost of living? Are you hearing what’s happening in the United States (and) Barbados? Why are we not realistic? That is what is called imported inflation,” Pierre said.

Opposition Leader Allen Chastanet believes the prime minister can do more, however.

Chastanet, in a recent Facebook post, stated that government had rejected a six-point plan presented by the United Workers Party, which he said would surely lessen the economic burden on citizens.

“Whereas other countries in the OECS are implementing major measures to assist their citizens with electricity costs, helping to keep gas prices down and cushion the impact on citizens, the SLP administration’s latest measure of only removing the service charge on price-controlled items is too little too late and shows a government that is uncaring, empty of ideas and bereft of any economic strategy,” Chastanet said.

He claimed that this latest policy “is not going to have any major impact”.

“The government is in a position to do more, especially since government revenues have reverted to pre-pandemic levels. As elected officials we need to focus on policies that help the people especially in times of crisis,” he said.

Pierre, however, told reporters critics must face the facts.

“The opposition is still frustrated and hurt at the fact that the people of Saint Lucia rejected them, that’s their right, but let’s be realistic. Let’s work together (as a country). People (are) being biased because of their political motives,” he said.

“This inflation is not because of Saint Lucia. The cost of imported goods… that’s what it is, it’s very simple. You hear what’s happening all over the world. Why do we think Saint Lucia is different? We’re trying,” Pierre added.

1 Comment

  1. May I suggest some simple ways to save some valuable and urgent money to help out with the economy, even for this and the near future. Firstly, as an easy and immediate action, though for a time, given the economic condition. Reduce the salary of every member serving Parliament, the Speaker and Senate, there are other avenues where some cut in revenue can be effected, moneys set aside or allocated for certain amusement like the much hyped up Carnival. That alone, though unnecessary is draining valuable Revenue from the Coffers of the Treasury. The Salary reduction for the present should be no less than Forty Percent, the cut from Carnival and associated amusement, no less than Sixty Percent. The Berget for Travelling also should be cut even for Twenty Five Percent; that alone should do it for now; Blessings.

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