Prime Minister Philip J Pierre has credited a decision by a senior public official to take a $70 million arrangement to the Office of the Attorney General for review as saving taxpayers from a costly debt burden.
Pierre, at a House of Assembly meeting last week, revealed the financial details behind this $70 million dollar arrangement by the previous administration, saying in fine print, the client agreed to enter into a payment plan, which required the Government of Saint Lucia to pay within 12 months architectural works costing $22,883,000 and ground floor works amounting to $34,143,000.
Pierre noted that all in all, the grand total of this arrangement amounted to $70,773,864 for the ground floor of a hospital.
He said the arrangement was drawn up days before the July 26 general elections and only needed a signature to proceed, and that the payment would be carried over a one-year period in the following manner:
“Within three months of signing this agreement the client will pay EC$26 million dollars, the sourcing being a loan from the Republic of China in Taiwan, identified as loan agreement 602184007.
“This same loan agreement was air marked to do something else. The second quarter payment carried out by the client paying to the company EC$10,762,000. The third payment will be carried out by the client paying the company EC$ 18,710,000 the source being the Government of St. Lucia. The fourth quarter payment EC$14,478,494.80 sourcing being the Government of St. Lucia. In the case of late payment of any invoice submitted by the company. The client will have an interest of 1% a day to the amount overdue, which would be $69,000 a day,” Pierre said.