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PM Pierre – “The Economy is on a Steady Footing”

By Reginald Andrew
Prime Minister Philip J Pierre
Prime Minister Philip J Pierre

While reveling in the latest ‘Vote of Confidence’ shown in him from the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) delegates, Prime Minister Philip J Pierre has stated that the country is progressing on a steady footing.

The SLP, last Sunday, held its closed session of the 2023 Conference of Delegates, at the Beanefield Comprehensive Secondary School, in Vieux Fort, where the SLP’s political leader secured a 100% vote of confidence from delegates for the second consecutive time. The theme of the event: “Moving Forward Together.”

Pierre acknowledged the support of the delegates, Cabinet ministers and parliamentarians and the “party generally” for approving of the works undertaken by the government and the SLP leadership.

“I am very grateful that the people of Castries East, have on six consecutive occasions gone to the ballots and voted for me,” the Castries East MP told reporters apart from the weekly Cabinet briefings.

Pierre stated that despite the ‘political rumblings’ from the opposition and his critics, “I use the people as my guide …I take my guidance from the people and the people have showed me that they agree with what I’m doing, they continue to support me”.

He continued: “I’m elated, and thankful and grateful.”

Regarding the Youth Economy Agency (YEA)he said that it was flourishing with more young entrepreneurs getting an opportunity to ply their trade.

The YEA initiative was spearheaded by PM Pierre, and commenting on that matter, he said that, the government has procured a loan of USD$6 million from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and a grant totaling over $300, 000 for the youth economy.

He further disclosed that the Youth Economy will be launching another funding programme very soon and also, YEA will shortly be undertaking the loan component of the business.

“We have also been doing quite a bit of training, so the Youth Economy is actually doing very well …extremely well, and it is something that is growing. Young people are becoming more interested and we can see by the interest that young people are showing towards the  government,” said Pierre.

“More and more young people are getting involved in wanting to get into some form of economic activity,” he added.

The SLP political leader commented that “more and more small businesses” are being developed, and referring to the opposition’s criticisms, Pierre said, he wasn’t sure as to “what world the opposition is living in”.

The Castries East MP noted that it was unprecedented, and he was amazed to see so many young people at the conference. “Our delegates are becoming younger and younger. When I started in politics our average age was over 60 and 65, these people are now still supporting the party, but the delegates are getting younger and younger and that is very inspiring to me,” he declared.

Pierre said young people are also making it into the hierarchy of the SLP. He added: “You look at our senators, you look at the people who are joining the party…younger and younger people. So, our party is growing …we have a number of young people who want to join and who want to run (contest) elections for us.

“So, I am heartened by what is happening to our party … so, we are remaining focused and we are not going to be put off course.”

He said, the government is “very excited” about the developmental projects in store and other ongoing ventures taking place in the island.

Noting that the administration has faced challenges along the way, Pierre said, despite these setbacks, government remains committed to seeing to the welfare of the citizenry.

“We have issues over the cost of living, we’re very concerned about the cost of living, we’re very concerned about the crime situation …bur we are doing something about it,” he asserted. “The government has a clear path as to where we are going.”

In terms of the status of the economy, the prime referred to the CARICAS report, stating that, “The economy is on a steady footing. We said we would have expanded on the tourism industry, (and) new investments are happening, new hotels are being built, but we have issues”.

“So, we are very pleased with where we are going and are looking forward to a new year with very high expectations for that new year,” Pierre added.

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