St Lucia: The Caribbean island of St Lucia goes into general elections on July 26; both leading parties, including the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) and United Workers Party (UWP), have launched their manifestos.
The St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) released their manifesto on Sunday in which they have made various promises to develop the economy of the nation and boost the other sectors.
One of the promises being made by the SLP is stabilizing and growth of the economy in order to strengthen the economy to meet the challenges of creating jobs and wealth for the St Lucians.
SLP, currently the leading opposition in the country, has promised to boost the housing sector in order to stabilize the economy; they also declared that the government, under their administration, will also redevelop Castries into a modern structure with multi-level residential buildings.
The St Lucia Labour Party has also promised to bring a plan for repairing houses and is looking forward to collaborating with the private sector to invest in expanding the housing stock, especially for low and middle-income families.
SLP, in its manifesto, promised to look after & continue to improve the housing settlements and road infrastructure maintenance. With this, the opposition has also promised to expand the digital economy of the country by enhancing transacting business in E-commerce, executing e-government services, with extending broadband access throughout the island.
With this, the opposition has also promised to renew the acts such as –
Data Protection Act, Computer Misuse Act, Electronic Transaction Act and Evidence and Amendment Bill so as to boost the digital economy.
SLP has also pledged to broaden the islands’ economy by granting a Digital Nomad Visa programme for overseas workers and their families. The opposition would engage with local medical and health professionals in order to expand and boost the health tourism sector.
SLP has also promised to amend the Citizenship by Investment Programme – CIP, to boost the services of financial sectors.
Despite this, the opposition party has also promised to conduct a financial review of GOSL – government of Saint Lucia by Eastern Caribbean Central Bank or the Caribbean Development Bank – ECCB/ CDB.
In its manifesto, the party has also declared to improve the Medium-term Economic Strategy (MTES) for 2021-2026 and to give their full support for cooperatives & Credit Unions in building and to diversify St Lucias’ financial architecture.
St Lucia Labour Party also stated in its manifesto that it would also review the current capital projects to undertake Debt refinancing to secure lower debt repayments in relation to International Financial Corporation (IFC) and local financial institutions.
In order to lessen the burden of the citizens on repayments, SLP would renegotiate and strengthen existing loans. The party has also promised to transfer governments’ some fixed assets to the private sector so as to convert the government loan payments into lease rental payments.
St Lucia Labour Party, in its manifesto, has also pledged to improve the current level of tax compliance and would also present a supplementary budget on expenditure switching policies.
SLP has stated that it would review the financial legislation and build a
cost-consciousness environment within Ministries & Departments in order to decrease corruption.
With this, the opposition has also highlighted that it would spare the workers earning less than or up to $4000 per month for paying the income tax in order to boost the local economy.
Within the Ministry of Commerce, SLP has also promised to establish a Business Recovery Strategy unit to assist with special concessions and technical support, companies that have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its manifesto, the SLP has also decided to establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund to get external investment funding for the state assets development and their security for the long-term interest.
As per the ground reports, it is expected that this time SLP would make its government in St Lucia. The people are already supporting the party.
Ramanjot Kaur is a dedicated journalist with a Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication, specializing in economic and political news reporting with incisive analysis and integrity.