The Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Philip J Pierre, recently presented the Appropriations Bill and delivered his Budget Policy address. In his address, Prime Minister Philip J Pierre discussed the transformative agenda of the Saint Lucian government for the fiscal year 2023-24.
The Prime Minister also handles the responsibility for the ministries of Finance, Economic Development and the Youth Economy. In line with his duties, Minister Philip J Pierre discussed the various achievements that the country has recorded in the previous year. First, he claimed that the economy of Saint Lucia is projecting GDP Growth during the last few years. In 2022, the growth rate was 18.1; in 2021, it was 12.2.
Further, the country is also recording a decline in the statistics of unemployment in the country. The Prime Minister observed that the latest unemployment rate on December 22 was 19%, with youth unemployment at 25.9%. The country has recorded the lowest statistics of unemployment since 2010.
According to PM Pierre, after the administration removed the restrictions related to Covid-19, the tourism and hospitality sector of the country has seen noteworthy growth. As per the statistics shared by the prime Minister and Minister of Finance, tourism grew by 58%. Stayover arrival increased by 78.7%, while cruise arrival recorded an increase of 273.8% in the previous fiscal year.
The Prime Minister added in the same breath that wholesale and retail activity was the second biggest contributor to the apparent GDP growth. The country witnessed a growth of almost 23.7%. The sector contributed a total of 10.6% to the GDP growth of the country. The Telecommunication services and the Manufacturing sector of the country secure the third and fourth spot in terms of contribution to the GDP sector.
The Maufacturing sector of the country contributed 3.4% to th e GDP and the Telecommunication sector contributed 4.4% of total GDP and grew by 56% During his address, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance talked about providing the people of his country acccess to quality healthare. The Prime Minister stated that provision of healthcare and ensuring the safety of the people is among the nation’s foremost mandates.
Prime Minister Philip J Pierre co-related healthcare and crime in his address. He asserted that his administration will work to provide quality healthcare to people. He drew comparisons to the situation that the previous government had left saint Lucia in. He claimed that the people deserve better healthcare access.