For the second adjustment period in a row, gas prices in Saint Lucia went down. The retail prices of gasoline and diesel will decrease by $1.01 and $0.46 per gallon, respectively.
Consumers will also enjoy further reductions in the prices of all LPG products. The price of 100lb cylinder will be reduced by $6.68; while the 22lb and 20lb cylinders will be sold for $0.78 and $0.71 less.
We are dependent on the world market, but, we’re pleased to do what we can to bring prices down as much as possible.
The Government has taken action. We sent funds, supplies and the Defender to aid in the recovery in Dominica. We’ve odne more. We’ve worked with the private sector to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the relief effort.
On Wednesday, September 2, 2015, the Office of the Prime Minister received confirmation that the Board of Directors of Super J had approved seventy five thousand dollars ($75,000.00) worth of groceries and household supplies in relief aid for Dominica. Paradise Springs has loaded a 40ft container of water, for shipment and distribution to badly affected areas in Dominica.
The Prime Minister:
It is heartening that our corporate community has responded in such a meaningful and impactful way. I am very pleased that individuals and companies have responded to the call for assistance without any official engagement from Government. We never approached these companies for assistance and they were not coerced into giving. They were prompted to give from the goodness of their hearts and from a deep desire to bring comfort to those affected by the storm in Dominica. This is admirable and should not go unnoticed. On behalf of the Government and people of Saint Lucia, I wish to thank Super J and Paradise Springs for their contribution. I look forward to the continued support and contribution from all Saint Lucians as we continue to mobilize assistance for our neighbors.
The items will be shipped to Dominica through NEMO. We continue to encourage Saint Lucians to open their hearts, prayers and wallets to the people of Dominica during this trying time.
We’ve all sat in the traffic. And, now, we’re doing something about it. We’re excited to announce that we’re expanding the Castries-Gros Islet Highway and doubling its carrying capacity from Choc to Gros Islet. This will be our largest investment in road infrastructure to date, but the benefits far exceed the cost. In addition to the relieving frustrating traffic issues, it will also improve pedestrian safety by providing sidewalks, footbridges, and safe drop-off areas for public transportation.
This infrastructure investment will also provide a much-needed boost to our economy, as customers will be able to get to shops more easily, and transporting goods will be faster and more efficient with the improved traffic.
We believe in investing in our island, and will continue to work hard to make it the best place to work, play, and live because we believe in Saint Lucia.
We firmly believe that the Labour Party is best suited to govern our beautiful island effectively, but there comes a time when we must put our people before we put our politics.
The opposition has utilized a Business Insider article to criticize our administration. The article falsely claims that our tourism has not recovered since the financial crisis, despite the fact that we have continued to break records in our tourism industry. False information on Saint Lucia’s economy can be damaging to our reputation internationally, and, in turn, actually damage our economy.
Instead of recognizing that this article was spreading reckless mistruths about our economy, the opposition used this mistake as an opportunity to attack our politics. They ignored the potential consequences for the people of Saint Lucia, and instead chose to play politics.
We are gravely disappointed, but not surprised, that the opposition was willing to sacrifice Saint Lucia’s reputation as a tourism hot spot in order to take a cheap shot at the administration. Once again, the UWP has proven that they don’t believe in Saint Lucia.
When St. Jude Hospital was destroyed in a fire in September 2009, there was little hope that it would be restored. For two years after the fire, no real effort had been made to attempt to restore or rebuild the hospital and our people were suffering. When Dr. Anthony was elected Prime Minister in 2011, he was determined to change that.
Rebuilding St. Jude Hospital has not been easy, but few things worth accomplishing are. We have faced challenges that seemed nearly impossible, challenges that the opposition did not believe we could overcome. We disagreed. We kept believing.
Today, we are pleased to announce that we have overcome yet another challenge in the process. We negotiated a donation contract for US$2.7 million from the Mexican government to help us finish the St. Jude Hospital. This donation will help us meet our goal of opening the doors to the new, state of the art facility by the end of the year.
There is still work to be done before we can open St. Jude Hospital, and this likely won’t be our last challenge. But, we will do what is hard, we will rise to each challenge, and we will achieve our goals. The people of St. Lucia are worth every ounce of effort which we put into creating a new and better St. Jude Hospital.
Education is one of the most important services we can provide the people of Saint Lucia. We believe in investing in the future generation by providing quality education. This year, we are working hard to make sure our students receive a competitive education.
We are rehabilitating Micoud Secondary School, Choiseul Secondary School, New Dennery Infant School, Reunion Primary this year. We are also continuing to grow past services. The School Book Bursary Programme has provided 1,641 Primary School children with assistance, and we plan to continue this program. Last year, we gave 7,000 laptops to students in Forms 3 and 4, and this year, we will give laptops to the students in Form 3.
We will continue to invest in trainings and scholarships for both our teachers and educators. We have been able to provide scholarships to students seeking medical education, as well as high education in other fields. We have also been able to provide training for teachers.
We believe in educating the next generation because we believe in the future of Saint Lucia.
Once again, we are excited to announce that we have shattered previous records of tourism in 2014. Over a million people visited our beautiful island last year, and we broke records in both stay-over and yacht arrivals.
The increase in tourism has contributed greatly to our economy. We added 451 jobs in the tourism sector. This was propelled by the increase in daily rates, length of stay, occupancy, and total expenditure for visitors.
While some islands are seeing their tourism product decline, we are proud of the beauty and culture of our island, along with our capable management of the sector, is allowing this job-creating industry to grow and thrive!
You're not going to believe all the good news in our new budget. We approved increasing pension payments by 3% for the National Insurance Corporation, as well as increased lump sum benefits. This accomplishment reflects our commitment to taking care of our workers and making sure that Saint Lucians who retire are able to do so comfortably.
We are transforming our tax system from direct taxes to indirect taxes. We will be providing relief to individuals by increasing the personal allowance by $7,000. This budget provision will provide opportunity for our people to spend more, which will pump more money into our local economies. We believe that putting money back int he pockets of our people will help grow our economy.
We will also provide education tax benefits, which will provide deductions for children and student loan interest because we believe in encouraging education and rewarding those who seek it.
We will provide medical deductions to provide relief to those with steep medical bills and costly insurance because we believe the people deserve quality healthcare that they can afford.
We are working hard on the budget and the tax system to make a better Saint Lucia, because we believe in Saint Lucia.
We are pleased to announce that more Saint Lucians will have improved access to technology soo!. We have secured from Taiwan our government more community centres and wifi hotspots in rural areas. Residents of Canaries are next in line to receive free computers and internet access. They will be the 4th community after the communities of Soufrière, Micoud, and Vieux Fort to receive these opportunities. We will continue to add more community access centres as well, to communities like Anse La Raye. There are also plans for community centres in Monchy, Babonneau, Dennery North, Choiseul, and Vieux Fort North. Although some Saint Lucians already have access to both technology and wifi, there is still a wide digital divide that we hope to close with these community centres and 70 wifi hotspots across the island.
In addition to the free computers and wifi, we hope to help educate our citizens to better use technology by providing tutoring at the community centres. We understand that a better understanding of technology will not only be useful to our citizens, but also stimulating for our economy. We are excited for these opportunities to bring education and technology to the people of Saint Lucia. We believe in Saint Lucians and know that you will take advantage of these resources to better your lives!
The Saint Lucia tourism industry witnessed a record breaking 14% increase in stay-over arrivals in January 2015. The increases were largely from the United States market, a primary focus for the Tourist Board. Our tourism team has been reaching the United States through targeted approaches, and will continue to explore innovative opportunities to excite the market.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party will continue to work diligently to pass legislation like the Tourism Enhancement Fund, which provided funding to increase tourism and create jobs, as well as legislation to expand safety measures and protections, for both our guests and citizens. These record-breaking increases are only the beginning of what we will accomplish for Saint Lucia tourism. Together, we will make our beautiful island the best place to work, play, live, and vacation.
We believe in Saint Lucians and are proud of what we accomplished together. These tourism statistics are great news for our economy, for job creation and for investment.