By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – Political delusions of control in trying to switch the thoughts and/or behaviour of the electorate complicates the festive season with a said Income Support Programme 2023 of limited to vague definition and execution – albeit – a political policy delusion that taxpayers are obligated to meet.
Income Support Programs usually provide monthly financial benefits and other services to eligible low-income people. [Minimum wage/cost-of-living allowance a pivotal basis] Income support is usually based on income and other factors to assist in meeting daily living expenses. In the main, the environment, lifestyle, economic status, overall mental health and well-being also play a role.
Thus, the evolution of a one-time political policy delusion at Christmas does not equate to an Income Support Programme 2023. And neither does the onetime political narrative of convenience that includes government vouchers, hampers and personal gift baskets, $500 monetary gifts, private parties for select constituents, and so-called constituency development contracts that elude accountability, equate to equity, equality and national growth.
Words that come to mind are hypocrisy and disrespect! In addition, Erotomania, or “de Clérambault’s Syndrome” is attributed to the delusional idea that one is loved by another person – generally of a higher social status. Famous and infamous politicians and actors come to mind who are not able to accept facts that prove otherwise.
On December 27, 2023, The Office of the Prime Minister, (OPM) announced that:
“More than 300 Saint Lucian households each received a one-time $1,500 payment as part of the post-COVID Income Support Programme.”
The results are visible to everyone, including Mind’s Eye December 27, 2023 At 6:44 pm
“More gimmicks…From I never said that…to I’m keeping an election promise. We see right through this creative vote buying in the guise of income support.”
The OPM seems elated with good news just in time for Christmas, and a good time for political delusions of control:”
“Since disbursements began on December 23, 2023, more than $450,000 has been paid out to more than 300 households. Each recipient was paid before Christmas Day!
Leaning on the fatigued of COVID-19, the OPM advised that:
“Thousands in the informal sector lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these informal workers slipped through the cracks and did not benefit from previous income support programmes.”
The continued dutifully repeat of the robotic mantra remains in place as outlined, previously: “Nearly $40 million in outstanding tax refunds will be paid out in a single financial year (2023/24),” in a statement on December 6, 2023, declared ‘history in the making.’
In addition, ‘St Lucia’s healthcare and NIC Gold Card: Something to aspire’ 60 businesses … have registered to participate in the program offering discounts of up to 20 percent on goods and services.
Ushering a new approach to the need for social connection can accompany the development of Erotomania, adding that delusional thoughts may crip in as a way to escape or cope with finding relief in the fantasy of freebies, or freeness.
Of annual festivity and the birth of Christ the King, ‘political delusions of control’ has no place in messaging ‘political policy delusion’ at the most vulnerable of citizens.
History recalls ‘Keynesians’ liberal economic days’ February 2014 – The biggest bluff to Saint Lucia’s politics and economic environment may very well be the arrogance that assumes we are all Keynesians.
“The re-election of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) on November 28, 2011, on the hypothesis of “Our Blueprint for Growth” concealed with high taxes, high spending policies and now, with the conjecture of “a year for renewal,” without accountability, restoration and a redevelopment plan going forward. SLP government’s job creation programmes, such as the National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE), the Short Term Employment Programme (STEP), the Construction Stimulus Package and other incoherent initiatives, continue to fail miserably.”~ 2014.
“Then and now, the government must give priority to a master plan for sustainable growth, job creation, poverty reduction and crime reduction in a systematic manner. With an accompanying new education approach to science, technology, engineering, maths (STEM) – and the introduction of an apprenticeship and job training program to narrow the mismatch of the necessary skills that employers look for, and are prepared to pay a living wage for the services provided. A substantial boost for growth and renewal could emanate from energy, trade, technology, infrastructure, and talent development to create jobs quickly.”~ 2014.
The observations of ‘Keynesians’ liberal economic days’ Monday 24 February 2014, are still relevant to recommend and execute.
The OPM December 27, 2023 announcement further advised “government committed to developing strategies to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable,” and that “disbursements for the Income Support Programme will continue into the New Year.”
Dr Kenny Anthony’s undemonstrative and dejected speech to the nation on January 26, 2014, noted: “Tough and sometimes unpopular decisions have become necessary.”
This continues to bear reference to the current social and economic situation in Saint Lucia and that the economy continues to suffer from chronic retardation and protracted uncertainty.
Never mind the said 5.2 GDP, tax amnesty and BBB+ (Adequate) ratings – inflation is pushing people every day into deeper poverty.
“The standard of living has dropped. Household debt is rising. As this decline continues, families are in crisis. Crime is on the rise and the underground economy is thriving – by narrowing the beneficiaries of growth to a smaller elite group.”
“Inequality is a growing concern that echoes in the depressed incomes of most households and therefore constrains consumption growth, which in turn reduces economic growth. It also raises the risk of instability – fuelled by the awareness of unfairness.” ~ 2014.
Meanwhile, the minimum wage debate – is too sensitive to discuss, in 2014 and now, [other OECS and CARICOM member states have advanced] Saint Lucia’s unbalanced growth, and the liability of pregnant opportunities – consummates a government that keeps on giving – but takes more.
A government that is resolute and dedicated to progress should facilitate the upliftment of communities and improve the overall quality of life for citizens. An annual handout or political gesture in the ambit and composite of the current Income Support Programme 2023 is disrespectful and limited.
The structures of institutions and governance must be set and redefined in the equilibrium of national development, growth, and governance with capable minds and talent.
Not partisan, regressive, and low quantum colossal change.