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Rising oil prices could factor critically in 2005/06 Budget Presentation

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Monday, April 18, 2005 - With final calculations having been made, Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony later today will present the Appropriations Bill – the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure - more popularly known as the budget, for the financial year 2005/2006 before the St. Lucia House of Assembly.

Press Secretary to Dr. Anthony Mr. Earl Bousquet says the Budget presentation will be preceded by the Thrown Speech, delivered by Governor General Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy. He says, “For a certainty, rising oil prices will have an impact seeing that the Prime Minster has insisted throughout the preparation period that in doing so, he will have to keep his eyes on the price of fuel internationally.”

Mr. Bousquet says while he was unable to disclose specifics, there will certainly be a definitive statement on the cost of fuel in this year’s budget. “This I believe will be accompanied by other pronounces on energy and the whole question of St. Lucia’s energy policy in light of the increasing inability of small developing countries like ours which non-oil are producing to be able to keep up with the spiralling cost of oil on the world market.”

On the vexing issue of crime Mr. Bousquet says, “I don’t think one can expect a more definitive statement on crime. However a reiteration of government’s commitment to continue to do all that it can to fight crime can be expected. “He says the budget presentation will shed light on capital expenditure initiatives that will go to institutions whose responsibility it is to help fight crime.

Prime Minister Anthony also holds the portfolio for Finance, International Financial Services and Information. Last year’s budget total over 818 million Eastern Caribbean dollars.

The Budget presentation will be delivered at 5 pm on April, 19th, 2005 and will be carried live by the National Television Network (NTN).

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