SLP lauds IMF Report but Chastanet discounts it!
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.