Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Anthony concerned about 'monumental' cost of Hewanorra Airport Project

Former prime minister Kenny Anthony made the following post to his official Facebook page earlier today:

"The big day for the sod turning ceremony for the Hewanorra Airport Project will soon be here. There is celebration in the air.

It appears that the monumental cost of the loan of US $100 million is of no immediate consequence. Not even the diplomatic ramifications of this loan seem to matter.

Senator Adrian Augier did a great service in his Senate contribution when he calculated the cost of this loan.

He pointed out that "the interim interest payments for the first five years" is $60 million. If interest of 3.5 % is calculated "for the 15 years of repayment", a sum of $525 million additional or half a billion dollars has to be found. In effect, the total cost of the project "over the life of 20 years" will be $850 million. This is staggering. And we have been told that the entire project will cost US$170. To date only US $100 million has been identified so a further US $70 million is yet to be sourced.

Senator Augier put it very well: "That is a huge amount and it is not inconsequential and we really ought to have a much clearer idea as to how the people and the unborn children of Saint Lucia are going to pay this debt."

But the issue is not just payment of the debt but crucially, the implications for the Debt/GDP ratio of the country and its future capacity to borrow."

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