By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at 10:00 am, the parliament of Saint Lucia will convene. There is the distinct accuracy that more of the same is on the order paper – extensive borrowing and a country on the verge of economic collapse. Fiscal deficit and extensive borrowing is a natural staple of the government of Saint Lucia, evident by the prime minister budget address ‘a recital of unworthiness’ – ‘a wonderland of vacuous relics’.
Unsurprisingly, prime minister Allen Chastanet economic recovery and resilience plan, a revised hoax – is the revelation that CariCRIS lowered the credit ratings of the government of Saint Lucia by one notch to CariBBB– Outlook Stable. Consistent with this is Wikirating credit rating comparisons (long-term, foreign currency) of Saint Lucia according to the most common rating agencies BBB– Outlook Stable.
Moreover, “the truth is what you believe the truth to be,” the prime minister previously espouse along with the philosophy that, “government is a business”, “patrimony is the credit rating” and “the world is a selfish place,” he added, “in controlling our destiny, it is with the understanding that patrimony today is measured in my mind by one thing and one thing only – our credit rating.”
At Tuesdays sitting, the order paper says, “the minister of finance considers it necessary to borrow an amount of US$10,700,000.00 from the Caribbean Development Bank’s Special Fund Resources (SFR), to meet the Ordinary Capital Resources (OCR) debt service obligations to the Caribbean Development Bank for a period commencing from the 1st day of October 2020 and terminating on the 30th day of September 2021, in order to preserve fiscal space and to be used to — (a) finance immediate essential emergency COVID-19 pandemic-related health expenditure; (b) bolster economic and social recovery.”
Besides, parliament is expected to, “authorizes the minister for finance to borrow an amount of US$45,000,000.00 from the International Development Association for the purpose of financing the Caribbean Regional Air Transport Connectivity Project.”
Parliament further, “authorizes the minister for finance to borrow an amount of US$20,000,000.00 from the International Development Association for the purpose of financing the Caribbean Digital Transformation Project,” the order paper designated.
At a virtual meeting of the Saint Lucia Party (SLP) Sunday, July 19, political leader Philip J Pierre, reiterated that the promised good times and boastfulness of the government $1.6 billion estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2020/2021 is disingenuous.
“Is the prime minister living in an alternate reality to the near economic collapse facing Saint Lucia,” Pierre queried? “ Based on the prime ministers unrealistic $1.6 billion budget, there is a financing gap of $560 million. The current deficit is $216.2 million and the recurrent deficit at $342.4 million. This means the overall deficit is $433 million,” Pierre warned. “That is the country the SLP will inherit when we get into government. A country that is near economic collapse.”
However, given the governments’ majority (11-6) in parliament, there is historical and reasonable plausibility that the finance minister and by extension the government of Saint Lucia will continue with the perpetual debt inheritance on generations yet unborn.
Besides the invalidity of the State of Emergency and the weakness of the government of Saint Lucia to ‘the objective understanding of reality, economy and society’ the order paper and bills ascribed are substantiated by colonialist parliamentarians.
Papers to be laid
- The minister for finance, economic growth, job creation, external affairs and the public service has 15 statutory instrument to be laid.
- The minister for infrastructure, ports, energy and labour has three statutory instruments standing in his name.
- The minister for commerce, industry, enterprise development and consumer affairs has two statutory instruments, likewise the minister for tourism, information, broadcasting, culture and creative industries.
The minister for finance, economic growth, job creation, external affairs and the public service, will present for first reading the “Gaming, Racing and Betting (Amendment)”; while the minister for education, innovation, gender relations and sustainable development will proceed with the “Styrofoam and Plastic Food Service Containers (Prohibition) (Amendment)” for first reading.
Notwithstanding the above, it is the usual occurrence that bills go through all its stages in one sitting, speaks to the footnote on the order paper, “ * It is the intention of the honourable ministers to seek leave of the House to enable these Bills to go through all its stages at this sitting.”