Friday 17 November, 2017

SLP: Government Puts Foreign Investors Ahead of St Lucians

The Saint Lucia Labour Party is not surprised at the position of the United Workers Party government of putting foreign investors first to the detriment of local businessmen and ordinary Saint Lucians.

Every businessman and every working Saint Lucian is expected to pay all applicable taxes as mandated by the Inland Revenue Department. If there is a dispute then there is a process to resolve the disagreement.

Why then should only Sandals enjoy UWP government’s intervention on its behalf? It is clear that the SLP government is not against foreign investors and definitely not against Sandals as evidenced by the generous incentives package granted to them in 2013. By its own admission the UWP, in its press release of September 7th 2017, acknowledges the SLP’s willingness to grant concessions to investors and Sandals.

This issue is not about incentives but rather about the UWP government’s blatant and unapologetic disregard for due process. The Inland Revenue Department assessed Sandals and determined that the government and people of Saint Lucia were owed 24 million dollars. The SLP maintains that if the process was followed, the matter would have been resolved either by the Tax Appeal Commission or the court as provided by law.

By intervening and granting the 100% waiver to Sandals, the UWP has removed any chance of collecting that money.

While other governments are willing to stand up for its people, the UWP government seems hell bent on giving away everything to the detriment of Saint Lucia and Saint Lucians.