Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

St Lucia on a slippery fiscal slope, says MP
Published on May 6, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Caribbean News Now contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- On the final day of debate on the 2014/2015 estimates of expenditure in the House of Assembly, opposition member Richard Frederick said that new and innovative revenue measures were required “to halt the slippery slope on which Saint Lucia finds itself from a fiscal standpoint.”

Richard Frederick
According to Frederick, direction is necessary to lead Saint Lucia on a better path, based on the two days of debate on estimates of expenditure, which painted a miserable financial statement of the island’s finances.

“Once again, we cannot finance our monthly bills with our monthly earnings, so we have to borrow to finance, not only our recurrent expenses, but all capital projects as well,” he pointed out.

“Two things need to be done. We need to desperately cut our expenditure, especially recurrent, and attempt to increase our revenue intake. And although there has been a slight decrease in our recurrent expenditure of $22 million from the estimates, this has to be just the beginning,” he continued.

He noted a disparity in the law that prejudices revenue collection between government departments. On the one hand, he said, manufacturers who, having collected taxes on behalf of the government and people, are permitted to roam the streets without any sort of arduous effort being made to collect those monies, whilst an importer, whose goods are at customs is sometimes held to ransom.

Frederick said that revenue collection could be improved if the Inland Revenue department went about its business in a different fashion.

“I have vented my vehement opposition to the way things are done there. Once there is economic activity, there will be collection of taxes. But if from the onset you prevent a man from getting a ten million dollar loan because he probably owes some income or property taxes, how on earth can he cause the stimulation of economic activity, create jobs, all of which are taxable? So at the end of the day, we have to put in place mechanisms that will cause our collected revenue to far surpass the estimates,” he said.

Frederick pointed out that public sector salaries and wages, which include National Insurance Scheme (NIS) contributions and retirement benefits, amount to an alarming 47.59% of recurrent expenditure, totaling some $440 million.

Another very worrying figure within the estimates, he said, is the allocation to rental payments, which take up 4.09% of recurrent revenue, or approximately $38 million on renting properties every year.

“Something has to be done about that almost immediately!” he said.

“If the government of Saint Lucia spends $38 million a year putting up a building, every year we can build and own a building like the ministry of communications and works, debt free because we can construct that building for that sum or even less and in five years, we can probably have five of those buildings, paid off because we are using the rental expenditure to build them and have them debt free and, in a very short time, bring this expenditure almost to zero. That is why I am in total support of owning as opposed to renting,” Frederick explained.

“It’s about time the government and people have something to show for the enormous expenditure parliamentarians are called on to approve every year in the name of the people of Saint Lucia,” he concluded.
Reads: 4131

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.


Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Enter Code

Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g.,,, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The Caribbean Writer 2014
Women Entrepreneurs Network of the Caribbean (WENC)

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: