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Contact: Earl Bousquet

Monday, March 07, 2005 - The Government of St. Lucia has commenced discussions on the Budget for the financial year 2005-2006. Thatís the word from the Office of the Prime Minister.

The discussions, which commenced a fortnight ago, continued on Friday, March 4 with Cabinet Ministers and senior Government officials involved in the budgetary process.

The current discussions on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure are taking place against the background of the St. Lucia economy having grown by 3.5% in 2004, following a growth rate of 3.71% in 2003.

The discussions are also taking place against the background of rising fuel prices. On March 3, 2005, the price of fuel on the international market reached a record high of US $53 per barrel.

The rising cost of fuel on the world market continues to be a matter of very serious concern for the Government, which has frequently warned about the consequences and implications for small economies in the world, including those of St. Lucia and other Caribbean states.


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