Castries, St Lucia: Prime Minister Philip J Pierre presented his budget address in the parliament of St Lucia and outlined the various aspects. On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, was the first budget Presentation of Philip J Pierre as a Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Philip J Pierre highlighted the major and key focus of the Budget. He noted, “In formulating this Budget, we have placed great emphasis on addressing the immediate and pressing needs of most St Lucians. Throughout this statement, I have outlined some policy measures to bring immediate relief to individuals, households, and companies.”
For further clarity and emphasis, he highlighted these measures:
1. Subsidizing cooking gas;
2. No personal income taxes for people earning less than $2083 montly, representing 15,000 public and private sector workers.
3. Cushioning consumers from the full impact of rising fuel prices;
4. Reducing personal income tax;
5. Prioritizing the payment of tax refunds to taxpayers;
6. Waiving interest and penalties charges on personal and company income taxes;
7. Providing Grants and soft loans funding for the Youth Economy; $10 million
8. Providing Grants and soft loan funding for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Businesses;
9. Providing Grants and soft loan funding for community-based tourism businesses;
10. Funding for the Creative Industries, Carnival, and Emancipation Day Celebrations;
11. Waive import duty of $10,000.00 on vehicles for travelling officers in the public service;
12. Increase the amount and range of support services for vulnerable groups
13. Provide a $500.00 one-off payment for pensioners.
14. Increase pay to public servants
15. Subsidize the price of rice and sugar to the consumers.
Latest increases for which protection has been provided: Rice has increased by 15%, flour by 31%, brown sugar by 28%, and white sugar by 75%.
Mr Speaker, to keep the prices of these items unchanged, the government has absorbed the increases in prices at an estimated cost of $9.8 million.