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HomeInsightsSt Lucia’s acting governor-general prorogues parliament

St Lucia’s acting governor-general prorogues parliament

By Caribbean News Global fav

CASTRIES, St Lucia – The parliament of Saint Lucia was prorogued Thursday, April 20, by the acting governor-general, Cyril Errol Melchiades, in accordance with section 55 of the Constitution of Saint Lucia, Cap. 1.01. The first meeting of the new parliament and the senate shall commence on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

Prorogation terminates a session of parliament and resets, allowing for a new beginning with a speech from the throne and the prime minister’s policy speech.

This follows March 22, 2023, House of Assembly laying of the estimates of revenue and expenditure for the period 2023-2024 by Philip J. Pierre, prime minister, and minister for finance, comprising the annual spending plans of the government agencies, projected revenue collections, and programme performance information.

According to prime minister Pierre:

“ These projections are realistic based on the environment under which we will be called on to operate. We propose to spend $1.856 billion. Out of this amount, $1.442 billion is proposed to be spent on recurrent expenditure:

    • $302.14 million on Capital Expenditure; $218.93 million on Interest Payment;
      $112.25 million on Principal Payments or Amortizations; revenue and grants.

Revenue is expected to be $1.558 billion comprising:

    • Tax Revenue $1.260 billion; Non-Tax Revenue $153.0 million; Capital Revenue $7.6 million; Grants $147.04 million; Refunds $10.0 million.

“Our statisticians are predicting a further increase in our GDP for the calendar year as GDP is projected at approximately $6 billion as compared to $ 5.5 billion in the current financial year. In 2021-2022 GDP was $ 4.91 billion.”

The prime minister’s policy speech is expected to justify budgeted allocations and summations, relevant to the development of Saint Lucia, following the House of Assembly commencing at 10 o’clock in the forenoon on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

The speech from the throne and policy document collective charts the way forward for the social and economic development of the country and a new government agenda.

The new session of parliament is of the most significance, as Saint Lucia is in the midst of increased crime and lawlessness, and the 2023/2024 budget is expected to focus on security, (The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), and healthcare.

Commissioner of Police Crusita Descartes-Pelius and Prime Minister, Minister for Finance, Economic Development and the Youth Economy and Minister for Justice and National Security, Philip J. Pierre

On Thursday at approximately, 03:30 pm in the Morne Fortune area, a businessman sustained serious injuries in the head and was relieved of his legal firearm, by an unknown assailant.

During the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) crime symposium in Trinidad and Tobago, prime minister Pierre expressed concern over “the politics of crime” – “the elephant in the room.”

The expectation of many surrounds the government’s ability to form a coherent policy, (national security, social and economic) in keeping with the reality Saint Lucia finds itself right now – awkward!

The reality in Saint Lucia (crime, healthcare, and the economy) needs much re-calibration and redirection.

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