SLP lauds IMF Re­port but Chas­tanet dis­counts it!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By STAR Re­porter

the Labour ad­min­is­tra­tion will con­tinue to make Saint Lucia proud.

How­ever, leader of the op­po­si­tion United Work­ers Party, Allen Chas­tanet, said this week that a re­cent IMF re­port be­ing touted by the gov­ern­ment as proof of growth in the econ­omy is “mere pro­jec­tion”.

Ac­cord­ing to Chas­tanet un­em­ploy­ment is presently at its high­est and this is cer­tainly not good news. He said the re­port stands as a “pro­jec­tion” and this will be so “un­til the first es­ti­mate of a so­cial and eco­nomic re­view for the year in ques­tion is com­pleted”.

The UWP leader re­marked that if the 1.6 per­cent growth is based on the “premise that tourism and trans­porta­tion are car­ry­ing the econ­omy”, then the out­look is bleak due to an ex­pected down­turn in the tourism in­dus­try.

“When one looks on the tourism ar­rivals num­ber that I have, up un­til 2015 shows that tourism ar­rivals in­creased only by 3.2 per­cent. That num­ber is ex­pected to de­cline be­fore De­cem­ber,” Chas­tanet said.

The for­mer tourism min­is­ter said the pro­jec­tions in tourism are des­tined to con­tinue to de­cline. “One, we have less rooms avail­able and two, the cur­rency is im­pact­ing on the rev­enues we are get­ting from our ma­jor source mar­kets,” Chas­tanet com­mented.

Ac­cord­ing to the UWP leader the SLP gov­ern­ment is mis­lead­ing the pub­lic by high­light­ing the in­flat­ing GDP.

He said the GDP is based on cur­rent mar­ket prices ver­sus con­stant mar­ket prices, and the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two is the im­pact of in­fla­tion. “The fact re­mains that the econ­omy has ex­pe­ri­enced neg­a­tive growth in the last three years and in our opin­ion will ex­pe­ri­ence the same thing this year.”

Chas­tanet pointed out that in 2011 Saint Lucia was pay­ing $100 mil­lion a year in in­ter­est pay­ments, and is now pro­jected to pay $165 mil­lion in 2015.

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