Saint Lucia: Highlights of Budget 2023-2024

Saint Lucia: Highlights of Budget 2023-2024

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Castries, Saint Lucia: The Prime Minister, who also serves as the Minister for Finance – Philip J Pierre, presented Budget 2023-2024 in the parliament of Saint Lucia on April 25, 2023. While addressing the general public during allocation, the Prime Minister stated that the budget had emphasised the choices of the citizens of the nation.

Deputy Prime Minister Ernest Hilaire was one of the attendees of the Budget presentation. While sharing the highlights of the Budget of Saint Lucia, he stated, “A budget that puts the people of Saint Lucia First. A budget with the needs of all Saint Lucians at its core. A budget that gives back to the people of Saint Lucia.”

“Our government is committed to the success of all Saint Lucians, and this budget represents our core philosophy of Putting You First,” he asserted.

Deputy PM Hilaire also shared the highlights of the budget, informing about the amount allocated for all the major sectors of the nation. Some highlights of the budget are as follows:

  • The proposed removal of 12.5% vat on plywood, lumber, steel, and cement and galvanise for two years
  • Tax amnesty programme to be extended for businesses and individuals until May 1, 2024
  • Excise tax on tobacco products will increase by 50% effective May 1, 2023 (this will raise $33 million for the country)
  • $500,000 allocated for scholarships
  • Construction of the police divisional headquarters in Gros Islet has begun
  • $25 million for public assistance program, the largest ever contribution to the vulnerable in our society.
  • Work on the southern police divisional headquarters (Vieux Fort) will commence
  • New drug squad building to be commissioned!
  • Repairs underway at Canaries, Micoud, Richfond, and Marchand police stations
  • The contract for the construction of custody suites will be signed this week
  • Over $2 million was allocated for swift justice project
  • First district traffic court to be established
  • Witness protection program to be expanded
  • Coroner’s court to be established (to handle matters relating to death deemed to be unnatural or in the exercise of law enforcement.”
  • Sheriff’s office to be established (to handle assets subject to writs)
  • Crime prevention office to be established in collaboration with SSDF
  • Identification of available land for resettlement of some Vieux Fort residents
  • Broadband width at Bordelaise to be increased (to allow for the hearing of more than one case virtually)
  • Enactment of legislation to convert “Proud” into a statutory corporation
  • Construction of an administrative complex and cultural centre for the people of Vieux Fort and the south
  • Ministry of Health to establish elderly affairs unit
  • Ministry of Health to establish a cancer registry
  • Plans to advance for construction of Soufriere Hospital
  • Maternal and child health care program to be the first stage of universal health care (UHC)
  • Food safety bill to be enacted
  • Ministry of Health to launch Golden 80 plus medical Package
  • Ministry of Health to issue health cards to every citizen
  • Over 100 low-cost lots and houses for the massacre social housing program
  • Ministry of Health and millennium heights medical complex (MHMC) to develop Castries multipurpose health facility
  • The government has provided national sprinter Julien Alfred with a diplomatic passport to facilitate her travel!
  • $10 million for MSME loan-grant facility for this fiscal year
  • Ministry of Health to Refurbish Soufriere health centre
  • Semi-professional football league to commence this fiscal year
  • Ministry of Health to Refurbish la-resource health centre
  • Works have commenced on the refurbishment of the Mindoo Philip Park
  • Improvements to commence on Castries, Dennery, and Vieux-fort fishing facilities
  • A contract has been signed for the Anse la Raye Bridge, and work will commence during this quarter
  • Government to sign port development agreement once terms and conditions have met long-term government objectives
  • Plans to construct the Halls of Justice are underway and are expected to start in the second half of this year
  • $4.2 million has been awarded for the conversion of the old police building to a holding facility (custody suites)
  • Plans to construct the Halls of Justice are underway and are expected to start in the second half of this year
  • 250-room luxury all-inclusive hotel “Dreams resort spa” is currently under construction
  • Repairs are expected to be completed at Vieux Fort police divisional headquarters in 4 months
  • Since November 2022, work commenced on the reconstruction of the St Jude Hospital
  • $32.75 million has been allocated to meet outstanding payment for work done on the existing structure “The box” that should have been the St Jude Hospital