Chastanet applauds APD efforts Story bySarah Peter
Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony recently wrote to UK Chancellor, George Osbourne on the impact the controversial UK Air Passenger Duty is having on the Caribbean economy.
Dr. Anthony who is also Caricom’s Chairman says he is committed to pursuing positive dialogue with the UK government to address the discriminatory aspects of the current banding system.
Former Tourism Minister, Allen Chastanet has applauded the move by the Prime Minister but believes the matter can only be resolved at the World Trade Organization.
The UK Air Passenger Duty is a British environmental tax aimed at offsetting aviation’s carbon footprint. As a result of the initiative flight tax to the Caribbean has increased significantly.
Chastanet says the tax has already had a major impact on the region’s vital tourism product. He claims hotels have had to absorb the cost of the tax by lowering their rates.
Chastanet added the Air Passenger Duty to Caribbean destinations is considerably higher than other competing destinations.
He claims under the APD it cost twelve pounds to fly to Dubai from the UK but a flight to the Caribbean would cost about eighty pounds
The banding system is based on the distance between London and the destination’s capital city.
While the UK government says the initiative is designed to safeguard the environment – critics say it is simply a ploy to strengthen the country’s economy.
Frederick calls out PM on VISA Story byWinston Springer
Castries Central MP Richard Frederick has called on Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony to provide what he calls full disclosure on the Visa Revocation issue.
In a press Statement issued Wednesday from the Office of Leader of the Opposition, he criticized the Dr. Anthony for alluding to the matter during an address at the Conference of the St Lucia Labour Party Castries East Constituency Group.
Frederick claims United States Embassy Officials in Bridgetown Barbados handed the Prime Minister a file pertaining to the visas revocation matter.
The Castries Central MP claims Dr. Anthony should stop “his blatant politicking and propaganda and provide full disclosure to Saint Lucians including what he learnt from his recent meeting with US Embassy Officials”.
Frederick also takes issue with the SLP political leader’s characterization of the opposition party and some of its ardent supporters as “cunning” and a “cult”
Frederick in a prepared statement also used the opportunity to demand that Dr Anthony respond to persistent request from the United Workers Party to address the nation on his role in the Jack Grynberg oil matter.
Alleged Fake doc update Story byWinston Springer
Police have reportedly arrested another suspect in connection with the closure of Doctor’s office in the capital city.
On Tuesday Guyanese National, Howard Earl was charged by police for allegedly practicing medicine here without a proper license and not being a registered medical practitioner.
HTS news understands another individual was nabbed by authorities at the airport on Tuesday. Howard Earl was brought to court today where more charges were expected to be preferred by authorities.
However the suspect who was arrested by police at the airport and Earl are expected to make a court appearance soon.
Law enforcement offices reportedly closed the alleged unauthorized doctor’s office and confiscated equipment last week.
.So far they have remained tight lipped about the matter but a formal statement is expected soon.
Poison water Story bySarah Peter
A resident from Aux-lions Dennery is pleading for the intervention of the police. She alleges someone poured a poisonous substance into a drum of water located outside her house.
Mary John says her family uses the barrel of water for bathing and other household purposes.
She is convinced that the substance is linked to an alleged feud between her daughter and another individual which reportedly escalated on the weekend.
John claims the alleged incident occurred on Sunday, the same day her daughter was involved in a major altercation with the individual.
The Aux Lyon resident says she reported the appearance of the suspected poisonous substance believed to be a weedicide to the police
John says she is not satisfied with the police response. She claims the accused was questioned by authorities who allegedly advise that John discard the drum of water.
But the Aux Lyons resident says she kept a sample of the water in another container. John says she hopes the police can help allay her fears.
Despite her anxieties, Mary John says she is relieved that the substance was discovered before any seriously harm was done to her family.
Pap smear advances Story bySant Justin
Medical workers across the island attended a three day workshop organized by the Ministry of Health and the UN Population Fund.
The session focused on introducing a new Pap Smear technique called Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid to Health Care Facilities on the island.
Assistant Principal Officer for the Community- Juliette Joseph says Cervical Cancer and Breast Cancer are two of the leading causes of death among women in St. Lucia.
Joseph says the VIAA technique allows earlier release of results after a procedure is conducted.
Joseph says the aim is to improve the sexual reproductive health of the St. Lucian Population.
Approximately 65 medical staff attended the first day of three day training program which began on Wednesday.
The Regional Advisor says VIAA is relatively new to the Medical Fraternity, but is already being used around the world.
He says it is similar to a Pap Smear but provides quicker results. The Training sessions are being held at the Palm Haven Hotel.
"Spirit of St.Lucia" Story bySant Justin
A global alcohol consumption survey has ranked St. Lucia in the top four out of 20 countries based on annual spirits consumption for adults per capita.
St. Lucia has been ranked over countries such as Thailand, with a population of over 66 Million.
Coming on the heels of the Carnival Season, the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat has expressed
concern over the level of drinking on the island.Program Officer, Robert Huggins says while the council is not aware of the survey, it may be accurate.
Huggins considers the fight against alcohol abuse on the island an immense challenge. The survey was conducted by staff of the University of Cambridge and followed advice from a health policy expert to regulate alcohol on a global level.
AIDS conference Story byGovernment Information Service( GIS)
VAT preparations update Story bySant Justin
The VAT Implementation Project Office continues to work towards meeting the October 1st deadline.
On Friday 20th, the Project Office began the distribution of Registration Packages to all prospective VAT Registrants.
Communications Officer, Lisa Goodman says these apply to businesses who qualify to collect VAT.
Goodman says businesses have been complying with the office. Those who have not received forms and meet the $180 Thousand threshold are asked to contact the office before the cut off date of July 30th.
The introduction of the Value Added Tax is also expected to replace the consumption tax, applied during the ordering of bulky items.
Customs Specialist, Brian Wardrop says goods which have already faced the consumption tax would have to be exempted after the implementation of VAT.
Hence, the government has given permission for a free storage facility to house these items for a three month period for businesses which meet the $180 thousand threshold.
Registration forms are currently available on the VAT website. The cut off date for business to apply is September 30th.
Meanwhile, the VAT train continues into the Community of Micoud on July 24th and 26th.
PM calls for diaspora investment Story byWinston Springer
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony bas called on the diaspora to play a greater role in the development of Saint Lucia through both public and private investments.
He made the appeal during his address to the Fifteen Biennial Convention of the Union of Saint Lucian Overseas Associations this week.
Dr. Anthony believes remittances which play a role in the well-being
of many families here can benefit the entire economy, if the diaspora invests in community development initiatives. Dr. Anthony has challenged the Overseas Associations to make greater demands on the government to match contributions for works aimed at bettering the lives of citizens.
Dr. Anthony says the Diaspora will remain a central pillar for attracting investment and urged all to use their clout to transform social capital into fiscal capital for the good of Saint Lucia.
Dr. Anthony highlighted initiatives in the 2012/2013 Budget Address through which the diaspora can actively participate in nation building and the economic recovery..
Prime Minister Anthony spoke of the Small Business Assistance Component of the National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE).
Soufriere donation Story byDesmond Collymore
Green synergy 2012 Story bySarah Peter
The annual Green Synergy Competition was officially launched Wednesday at the Windward and Leeward Brewery headquarters in Vide Bouteille.
The competition is open to St. Lucians 18 years and older and seeks to provide an avenue for young DJ’s to show off their skills.
The 2012 Green Synergy champion will receive cash and products. Organizers of this year’s event promise the upcoming competition will have lots of flair and excitement.
However, they have note that this year’s competition will place less emphasis on the DJ clash aspect of the competition
Organizers of this year’s event also launched a new dimension to the competition called the H marks the sport campaign.
The initiative is similar to a treasure hunt competition but with a twist. The event will take place on August 1st, Emancipation day.
Tony Nicholas is the Chief Judge for the Green Synergy Competition. The 2012 Green Synergy Competition will be launched to the public on August the 5th and will culminate on September 2nd. Over twenty thousand dollars will be given in cash and prizes.
Jehovah witness convention Story bySarah Peter
The Jehovah Witness Annual Convention is expected to take place this weekend at the Jehovah Witnesses Bexon Assembly Hall.
This year’s conference will focus on spiritual development and inspiring persons. The religious gathering is also expected to teach people how to protect their heart.
It will be held under theme “safeguard your heart.” Chairman, Eric Louis is calling on members of the public to come out in large numbers to support the initiative.
The convention will take place over a three day period with the program sessions scheduled to begin at 9:20 am. Admission is free.
Conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses are supported entirely by voluntary donations.
Chastanet applauds apd efforts
Frederick calls out PM on VISA
Alleged Fake doc update
Pap smear advances
Drunk and disorderly
VAT preparations update
PM calls for diaspora investment
Green synergy 2012
Jehovah witness convention
Subventions from government are paid to all aspects of Saint Lucia Carnival. That means taxpayers subsidize everything from bands, to shows and community events. The cash injection is in addition to the bulk funding provided by government to the entity that manages the festival – for the past two years that has been the Stakeholder Committee and before them it was the CDF. Three Carnival bands including the reigning Band of the Year have dropped out of competition due in part to funding constraints. Other associations like the National Carnival Queen Committee and tent leaders have lamented dwindling sponsorship dollars and the need for government funding.
But is it fair to expect Saint Lucians to pay for a product they ultimately have to purchase in the way of costumes, tent shows and events?
Is it realistic for Carnival stakeholders to expect government to subsidize their contribution to the festival?