St Lucia faces huge downfall in economy during Allen Chastanet’s administration

In the last couple of days, Allen Chastanet has been working tirelessly to defame St Lucia in his every political stunt to regain power. Even after facing huge criticism and rejection from the residents of the country, the former Prime Minister still indulged in portraying a bad image of St Lucia in the international community.

St Lucia faces huge downfall in economy during Allen Chastanet's administration
St Lucia faces huge downfall in economy during Allen Chastanet's administration

Castries, St Lucia: Most of the political leaders starts working on building up their image after they faced rejection from people due to their poor administration. However, this is quite contrary for the former St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.

In the last couple of days, Allen Chastanet has been working tirelessly to defame St Lucia in his every political stunt to regain power. Even after facing huge criticism and rejection from the residents of the country, the former Prime Minister still indulged in portraying a bad image of St Lucia in the international community.

Allen Chastanet was sworn in as the Prime Minister of St Lucia in 2016 with his United Workers Party, but due to mismanagement and corruption in the government people declined him in 2021 elections.

The general election of St Lucia in 2021 proved his destructive administration as he could secure only 2 out of 17 seats and attained crushing defeat. He is profoundly known as a St Lucian businessman who now serves as a parliamentary representative for the Micoud South constituency.

When people gave him a chance for five years to prove himself as a good political leader, he was busy serving his own pockets. St Lucians always referred to him as a poor administration as he only enhanced his business in the five-year tenure.

In an ironic incident, the former prime minister raised questions over the economic condition of St Lucia. While neglecting his all so-called concern, residents started pointing him out over his administration’s work in the growth of the economy.

St Lucia resident stated that he is the same person who presided over the worst fiscal and economic performance. They have also asked him how much relief did UWP-led government provide over VAT reduction and didn’t Chastanet’s administration destroy all infrastructure for farmer support.

Moreover, as per the statistics, the economic conditions of St Lucia was lacking behind everywhere from 2016 to 2021. Residents faced incredible hikes in inflations as they have gone through difficulties in buying even their daily needs as the average annual income of St Lucian was reduced to USD 8,790 in 2020.

A person who has done nothing for the welfare of St Lucia is now talking about the country’s saviour. St Lucia has already witnessed the fall of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which was at its lowest phase from 2016 to 2017. This was a time when other Caribbean countries have been moving toward the developmental approach; St Lucia, due to Chastanet’s disruptive administration, faced downside in every phase of growth and success.

In the regime of Chastanet, the economic conditions have significantly deteriorated, and the crime rate witnessed a hike with an increase in the rate of homicides.

As per the report of World Bank, residents of St Lucia faced huge setbacks to their pockets due to the poor handling of the economic situation; the unemployment rate was at its peak in 2019. The unemployment rate has witnessed an average increase of 1.54 percent, and it stood at 17.13 %.

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, it further created a burden and increased the economic crisis. But Chastanet’s administration turned out huge failure in handling the COVID-19 and economic situation.

As per the report of the World Bank, the primary deficit is estimated to have deteriorated to 7.9 percent of GDP in 2020, compared with an average of 1.0 percent surplus between 2016-19. General Government debt surged by 20 percent of GDP in 2020, half of which was caused by the large GDP contraction.

World Bank also informed that there was more than 30 percent drop in tax revenues which also contributed to the deficit due to losses in taxes on goods & services and international trade.

As a result of income and job losses, poverty remained high in 2021, following the spike in 2020. It will, however, be mitigated by the measures implemented by the government, such as the extension of the main social assistance program, the Public Assistance Programme. The poverty rate at the upper-middle-income international poverty line of $5.50 per person per day was projected to increase to 24.5 percent in 2021 and then gradually resume its decline to a projected 19.3 percent in 2023.

The World Bank report on St Lucia added that the poor and vulnerable groups were disproportionately impacted by the crisis, compounded by potential threats from exposure to extreme climate-related events exacerbated by climate change.

Furthermore, Women have been more vulnerable to unemployment caused by the pandemic since they are more likely to work in the tourism-related sector, and there has great fallout in tourism, which accounts for about 40.7 percent of GDP, which is expected to drive the contraction and increase in unemployment. Almost 45 percent of the population working pre-pandemic had stopped working in May 2020, mostly due to COVID-19 related business closures.

By experiencing such a turbulent five years, people just wanted to be rid of Chastanet, which resulted in the deposition of Chastanet as a Prime Minister of St Lucia in 2021.

His five-year regime turned out a big failure because of his inability to bring out innovative ideas into reality. Despite witnessing any development in the country due to Chastanet’s crude policies, St Lucia has come down from where it stands before his administration.

St Lucia lacked in every sphere of development on his tenure as the country’s prime minister was busy enlarging himself. In his entire tenure of five years, he was only busy flourishing his own business enterprises and multiplied his wealth by millions.

But now, when he is out of administration, despite portraying himself as a good opposition leader, he is making efforts to bring down the country’s image and its people.

He is making huge comments repeatedly and deliberately designed to hurt St Lucia. While showing his dirty politics, Chastanet even blamed St Lucia to support Russia.

Moreover, he is also defaming the Citizenship Investment Unit of St Lucia and the government of St Lucia also expressed its disappointment with the comments. The GOSL stated that he knows that the programme has been acting in accordance with all international decisions ad actions. He knows that CIP has been used to pay off some of the debts that were more than EC$1 billion of St Lucia, which was borrowed by Chastenet when he was prime minister.

The government of St Lucia and its residents have been criticising the former prime minister for his irresponsible behaviour against the country.

A St Lucia said that he could fool the people some time, but not all the time. That’s why St Lucians have rejected their beloved Prime Minister.

Due to his destructive administration, St Lucians never wanted his return to the prime minister’s office. People from all across the country are only wished that Chastanet should leave the politics in St Lucia.

As per the residents of St Lucia, United Workers Party will always remain in opposition, and if the party wants to return to the administration, they have to remove Chastanet as a leader.

Allen Chastanet is indulged in defaming St Lucia and continues to create sensationalism. But St Lucians stated that his dirty politics would continue to indicate that his political career in the country is finished.