Black Immigrant Daily News
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Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has outlined a number of measures taken by his administration to assist citizens to cope with imported inflation.
Pierre, who on Sunday delivered a New Year address, restated the measures in a post on his Facebook page that appears below:
My administration has made interventions to assist citizens with imported inflation. A quick review of 2022 would reveal that:
1. Public Servants received their well-deserved back pay in December after the payment of salary increases earlier in the year;
2 NIC pensioners received a monthly increase of 4% on their pensions while government pensioners received a one-off payment of $500.00 each;
3 Former LIAT (1974) Ltd and Majestic Industries employees were paid $4.4 million in bonds and $ 1.95 million in cash respectively, to settle long-standing severance payment claims;
4 We made available to public servants a $10,000 duty reduction on vehicle purchases and extended the duty waiver for front-line workers initiated by the last government;
5 We obtained financing from the CDB’s Special Reserve Fund to support households affected by the Covid-19 pandemic;
6 We completed negotiations with the CDB for the island’s micro, small and medium enterprises sector (MSMEs), and secured an additional $9 million for their development and growth;
7 The Public Assistance Programme was expanded to include additional families, and $7 million was allocated to the Home Care Program to ensure the most vulnerable elderly among us get the care they need;
8 We commenced a Housing Repair Programme to improve dwelling conditions for our elderly citizens and persons with disabilities. This programme will continue this year;
9 In education, our one university graduate per household vision is progressing with an increase in the number of scholarships from friendly countries;
10 The one laptop per student was recommenced in 2022. Every student in the Secondary School system is now equipped with a government-issued device;
11 We continue to make strides in agricultural diversification with seamoss and honey production increasing. Our vegetable and fruit production, according to figures from the Caricom Secretariat, is increasing;
12 We continue to provide fertilizers to our farmers to increase the quality of their produce;
13 Saint Lucia registered record growth in tourism arrivals from its two main international markets, the USA and the UK. The USA market surpassed 2019 figures for eight ( 8 ) months in 2022, while the UK market surpassed for seven (7) months over the benchmark year of 2019. The average length of stay per visitor surpassed 2019 resulting in increases in average spend per visitor;
14 With the support of the World Bank, we have, in a realistic way, began the drive to provide affordable, equitable, and quality health care for our people with the ultimate aim being Universal Health Care;
15 We continue to subsidize 20 and 22 lbs cylinders of cooking gas. We have not attained our total budgeted projected revenue figure for fuel taxes set at $4 by the previous government. I am pleased to announce that from tomorrow January 9, 2023, the cost of gasoline and diesel at the pumps will be $17.00 per gallon, a decrease of 70 cents. Let me assure Saint Lucians that government will continue to monitor and make the necessary adjustments for the benefit of the people.
16 Our subsidies for basic foodstuffs were increased last year as we continued the battle against worldwide inflation. From January to December 2022, the government subsidized the price of flour by approximately $8.9 million; flour subsidies to bakers were $5.6 million and $3.3 million to the general public.