Another Huge Nail In St Lucia Coffin?

More and more people are seeing red, with the increase in prices of food, water  and now electricity.

More and more people are seeing red, with the increase in prices of food, water
and now electricity.

During his last budget presentation the prime minister and minister of finance announced the removal of subsidies on brown sugar, ostensibly a declaration of war on diabetes. The PM also announced VAT of 15% will now be collected on fish, butter, margarine, salt and beans. Since then VAT has also been added to other beans and peas, as well as canned sardines. Hardly a reprieve for the poor.

During the May budget, without any earlier warning, the prime minister said: “I propose to invite Parliament to amend the Electricity Supply Act . . . to increase the rate to 50 cents per imperial gallon or part thereof.”  And while another proposal of the prime minister, a five per cent cut in wages of public servants is yet to see the light of day, thanks to unions, not so with the LUCELEC proposal.

On Monday, LUCELEC announced an increase in the tax charged by the Government of Saint Lucia on fuel purchased by Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited had indeed come into effect on June 16, 2014, when the statutory instrument for that purpose was published in the Saint Lucia Gazette.

Fuel purchased by LUCELEC from Buckeye St. Lucia Terminal Limited now attracts a levy of fifty cents on every gallon.  This increase in the levy, according to LUCELEC, will be reflected in customer bills beginning in July. According to the government, customers can expect a “marginal” increase in the fuel surcharge applied to electricity bills.

There is nothing marginal about a 150% increase, particularly since consumers have already seen an increase of more than 60% in water rates. Add to that an increase in food prices, medical fees and unemployment of over 24% and the picture is quite grim.

Over the past few months, a number of businesses have also closed down, with banks downsizing and call centers going belly-up, all reeling from the economic pressure. Speak to many small businesses and the inability to pay staff and high utility bills are among their gravest concerns.

So how will this marginal increase in electricity help an already bad situation? Wasn’t Petrocaribe fuel from Venezuela supposed to result in a drop of fuel prices? And when will Jimmy Fletcher’s dream of alternative energy come true? Seems like there are more questions than answers these days, at least from the crowd of consultants and vision commissioners who are supposedly tasked to save the country from impending disaster.

Share your feedback with us.

4 Responses to Another Huge Nail In St Lucia Coffin?

  1. RR says:

    Nothing to be said about papasha

  2. Fer De Lance says:

    Kenny is a cold blooded vampire, he knows that by increasing the cost of utilities means that automatically everything else will increase in price which means more VAT for him and more suffering for you. This man has single handedly ruined the best country in the world. When I hear this mans name I taking a bad smell. Kenny kill de island.

  3. cswaerospace says:

    1. There are no Vision Commissioners in Saint Lucia unless you count the 15% Back Pocket Visionaries appointed by the SLP.
    2. The SLP Administration has in its possession Capital Works Project Documents that were submitted personally to the Prime Minister explicitly detailing how to Reduce the cost of Electricity to the population of Saint Lucia via Offshore Solar Hydrogen Technology.
    3. The SLP Administration also has Capital Works Project Documents in its possession that detail the installation of up to 5 Solar Hydrogen Desalination Plants for Saint Lucia which would reduce the cost of Potable Water to the consumer by 30% over 15 years and supply a total of 30 million gallons per day when at full operational capacity, in addition to generating an additional 2.1 Megawatts of Energy each, for island wide distribution.

    What happened? Check the 15% Up Front crowd on the Waterfront.

    • Fer De Lance says:

      Wah happen? The rainforest water is not good enough? Disalination sounds like a make work project, another level of useless added debt.

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