5 Years after St. Lucia’s June 6th 2016 Election

Reference: https://makeameme.org/meme/times-up-5923e0 (Please note that links to all reference articles can be accessed via embedded links)

The current administration celebrated their 5th anniversary of the election victory in 2016 as the exact election date for the 2021 still remains a mystery. The PM has indicated that his administration deserves another term and listed his administration’s accomplishments. The following will analyze the various key areas mentioned in the PM’s Facebook press release.

Unemployment Rate

The PM states “We found unemployment at approximately 25% and youth unemployment at 50%. Before the pandemic, we had already reduced unemployment to 17% and youth unemployment to 33%. Unemployment even during this pandemic remains lower than it was at this point in 2016.”

As discussed in the unemployment post and using figures from the Statistics Department, the figures showed that there are 10,000 less Saint Lucians employed at the end of 2020 than in June 2016. The only reason the “unemployment rate” is listed as lower is that 10,000 persons have REMOVED themselves from the labour force and hence are no longer classified as unemployed. If these persons were included as part of the labour force then Saint Lucia’s real unemployment rate would be over 30%. Is there any proof that this administration created more jobs during their five year stint?

St. Jude’s Hospital

The PM states “We promised that we would fix the mess with the St Jude Hospital. The new world class St Jude Hospital is currently in its final phase after only 2 years of construction.”

St. Jude’s Hospital is still not open more than 5 years into this administration. The 2 year timeline was imposed solely by the current administration, and they could have begun constructing St. Jude’s from Day 1. Furthermore, St. Jude’s Hospital is currently without x-ray services for more than 2 months. “The hospital has been without x-ray capabilities since March 30. We are doing everything in our power to have the technicians from Santo Domingo to troubleshoot the problem that we are having, and they have already given us a quotation. So, therefore, this moment, all we are waiting for is for the part to arrive here, and they will come and install it for us,” Miss Henry- Ernest said.” Ironically, less than 2 years ago, the PM boasted about a new x-ray machine for St Jude’s. The staff at St. Jude’s was also extremely dissatisfied leading to unsatisfactory patient outcomes like no food provided. Will the worker concerns along with the X-ray machine issues be a top priority for this administration?

Call Centers

The PM stated “We promised we would create new jobs. We’ve created over 2000 new jobs in the ICT Sector.” He failed to mention how many of these jobs continue past the 1 year employment mark from which the government is generously providing 40% of salaries. “The government of St. Lucia offered to subsidize salaries of up to $1000 for the first six months per every St. Lucian employee and $500 for the following six months. Further, the government agreed to cover the cost of customizing the assigned factory shells in the Vieux Fort Free Zone with the required physical layout and necessary telecommunications infrastructure.

These companies are granted 40% of the salaries of their workers paid for by the Saint Lucian taxpayers while the taxpayers gain ZERO equity and ZERO value from the work artifacts produced by the Saint Lucian workers. This is in contrast to other government programmes where the work artifacts could benefit other Saint Lucians as opposed to only foreigners in this case.

Furthermore, these “investment” terms are much worse than what a typical venture capitalist would ever accept. The payroll subsidy provides a clear incentive for the call centers to terminate employees after one year resulting in high employee turnover. This continuous employee turnover restarts the salary subsidy . Therefore it minimizes costs to the company while increasing the cost to the Saint Lucian taxpayers and call-center workers.

Sports

The PM states “We promised that we would invest heavily in sports. We have created the Saint Lucia Sports Academy, upgraded playing fields in Dennery, Micoud, Desruisseaux and Soufriere. Major work has also been done on upgrading other playing fields such in Balata, Jacmel, Canaries, La Fargue and Forestierre.”

As the rest of CONCACF wraps up the first round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, it is instructive to note that Saint Lucia was the ONLY country that withdrew from the CONCACF 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Has this government actually invested heavily in sports or is their signature achievement the failed horse-racing track for the Pearl of the Caribbean.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022_FIFA_World_Cup_qualification_(CONCACAF)#Group_E

Crime

The only comment from the PM related to crime was the following “We inherited deplorable Police and fire stations across the country. We have done repairs to every single station.”

There was no mention of the escalating murder rate in Saint Lucia. The Prime Minister stated the following with regards to the crime rate “Kenny can’t but I will”. Has this administration shown meaningful progress in addressing the deteriorating crime situation?

Election Date

The Saint Lucian public are awaiting the PM to provide the election date which is now more than 5 years after the last election. While the Constitution provides the PM up to 90 days after the first sitting of parliament which was held unconstitutionally 36 days (July 12 2016) after the June 6 2016 election. “Each session of Parliament shall be held at such place within Saint Lucia and shall begin at such time, not being later than 12 months from the end of the preceding session if Parliament has been prorogued or one month from the holding of a general election of members of the House if Parliament has been dissolved, as the Governor General shall appoint by Proclamation.” The United Kingdom from which we derived our Westminister system has delayed only election over the past 100 years “The election due by 1940 was not held due to the Second World War (1939–1945).

Saint Lucia has never had a Prime Minister provide the election date more than 5 years after their previous election win. Interestingly every St Lucian leader who has had the election date more than 5 years after the last poll has lost the subsequent election.

· Sir John Compton in 1979

· Dr. Vaughn Lewis in 1997

· Dr. Kenny Anthony in 2006

When will the PM give the Saint Lucian public the opportunity to judge his administration’s performance over the last 5 years at the ballot box?

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Critical data-driven research analysis of challenges facing Saint Lucia.