The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The Na­tional Work­ers Union (NWU) wishes to ex­press its ap­pre­ci­a­tion to and ad­mi­ra­tion for the St. Lu­cia Mort­gage Fi­nance Com­pany Limited (SMFC) on its 47th year of op­er­a­tion. Dur­ing that pe­riod, the SMFC has suc­cess­fully ex­e­cuted its in­tended man­date of pro­vid­ing af­ford­able land and hous­ing projects for Saint Lu­cians, in Ravine Chabot, In­de­pen­dence City, La Pansee, Sans Souci, Re­duit Park, Re­duit Or­chard and Mas­sade to men­tion a few. It was just un­for­tu­nate that ba­nana farm­ers, who made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to Saint Lu­cia’s devel­op­ment by bring­ing in sig­nif­i­cant in­come, were not sin­gled out to ac­cess SMFC’s of­fer­ings.

Given the hos­tile eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment, the NWU is con­vinced that the role of the SMFC must be in­ten­si­fied. As Saint Lu­cia con­tin­ues to de­pend heav­ily on tourism, we can­not ig­nore the con­tri­bu­tion made by ho­tel and tourism ser­vices work­ers, cur­rently over 12,000 heads. Gov­ern­ment should move swiftly to get fund­ing from the Na­tional In­sur­ance Cor­po­ra­tion at a rea­son­able in­ter­est re­pay­ment rate for the SMFC. Th­ese funds should fuel SMFC to con­tinue its man­date to en­able Saint Lu­cians, es­pe­cially work­ers in ho­tel and tourism sec­tors to ac­cess af­ford­able land and hous­ing through devel­op­ment projects.

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