St Lucia: The main opposition party of Saint Lucia raised questions against the ruling government in handling ongoing COVID situations in the country.
Saint Lucia Labour party head Philip J. Pierre said,” The Government has failed to relieve the pain of the farmers, fishers, barbers, hairdressers, hospitality workers, taxi-drivers, small enterprise owners, & the unemployed who are facing the economic repercussions of COVID-19.”
In the statement further, he added, “As early as March 2020, I recommended such a program which the Government ignored, and to make matters worse, International financial aid meant for economic and social support from COVID-19, was cruelly deflected to other uses, such as the unnecessary DSH Project and over-priced road works.”
He noted,” The Prime Minister claimed last year that the Government had “no more money” for social and economic relief, yet it borrowed over $300 million for COVID, most extensive of which has not been spent on Covid; the government would have had the required fiscal space if its priorities had been aimed at saving lives and not unnecessary concrete and steel projects.”
Philip J. Pierre also made some valuable suggestions to the government.
The Government must take forward a second income support program for the next three to six months and support SMEs in grants, not only loans.
We estimated that it would cost in the region of $120M in the next year.
$45 million is for income assistance and SME assistance.
$20 million for care for our education system,
$55 million for health-related spending, including examination and vaccination.
These interventions we believe are essential to ensure we can protect lives while supporting livelihoods.
The current situation of Saint Lucia is terrible, and people are suffering from server problems.
Saint Lucia Labour party also urged people,” Tune in to Townhall Tuesday as we continue our discussions on the COVID-19 pandemic and the multiple crises facing Saint Lucia. Our guests, candidate for Castries South East Joachim Andre Henry & former Minister of Health, Alvina Reynolds .”