Government of Saint Luca

Go to Homepage


[Site Map]

[Contact Us]

Search this Site

PM silence critics of country’s Debt

Governor General
Prime Minister
The Cabinet
The Senate
House of Assembly
St. Lucia Ambassadors
The Constitution
The Staff Orders

National Television Network

Saint Lucia Gazette
Press Releases

Saint Lucia 25th Independence Celebrations

About Saint Lucia
Frequently Asked Questions
Web Links
Government Directory
Browse by Agency
Site Help
Subscribe to NEMO News
Updates to Hurricane Frances

Weather Information Service Number

(758) 454-3452

Contact: Chris Satney

Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony has dismissed claims that his Government is plunging the country deeper and deeper into debt. Dr. Anthony sought to clarify this misconception on Monday, in his weekly radio address to the Nation.

In response to claims that other Caribbean neighbours were laughing at the island on the issue of its current debt, Dr. Anthony used available statistics to show that Saint Lucia in-fact has the best Debt to GDP ratio among the Independent States of the Caribbean, except Trinidad and Tobago, whose economy is driven by its abundant natural resource, oil.

Debt is expressed as a ratio of a country’s Gross Domestic Product, which is the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country in any one year. Presently, the Gross Domestic Product of Saint Lucia is EC$2.07 billion.

Using statistics Dr. Anthony said, “In the case of Saint Lucia, the Debt to GDP ratio at December 31, 2003 stood at 62.8%. Surprised? If you are, then that is what happens when you accept, without questioning, the pronouncements of individuals with no known interest in the truth. If this Government has handled the debt portfolio so recklessly, why then, does St. Lucia enjoy the lowest Debt to GDP Ratio among CARICOM States, save, as I stated earlier, with the exception of Trinidad and Tobago?”

The Prime Minister said St. Lucia had to increase its borrowing, since the amount of aid and grants received in the past to finance development, had over the years declined. He said the island had to contend with budget deficits and had not generated surpluses in sufficient amounts for re-investment in subsequent years. But despite this, he said the economy in 2003 grew by 3.0%, in 2004 by 3.5% and in the last quarter by 5.4%.
Pointing to why the country needs to borrow Dr. Anthony said, “The stark fact is that if this Government had not borrowed, there would be no Beausejour Cricket Stadium, no new west coast highway, no Poverty Reduction Fund, no loans to students pursuing higher education, no payment of the huge debt of the SLBGA, no new building for the Ministry of Communications and Works, no new roads for the Tourism Sector, no BERU to provide support to banana farmers, no new secondary schools, no new primary schools, no resolution of drainage problems in Castries and Anse La Raye, no Bordelais Correctional Facility to end the security problems we inherited.”

Dr. Anthony said in preparation to meet the island’s debt commitments, his government had established what is described as Sinking Funds, which basically are accounts in which the Government deposits specified funds to meet debt payments in the future. As of now, he said, the country had seven Sinking Funds with some $104 million dollars to meet debt payments.

Home ] Up ] [Site Help]

© 2005 Government Information Service. All rights reserved.

Read our privacy guidelines.