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Opposition Leader and Castries East MP Philip J Pierre

Opposition leader Phillip J. Pierre responds to UWP explanation

As expected the United Workers Party responded to my query on the use of the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) funds with the usual name calling and character assassination of the messenger.

The response by both the Party and the Minister failed to answer the pertinent questions that the public and the thirty – seven thousand people who voted Labour await responses for.

We await answers for the following:

  1. Is it accurate for the Minister to imply that $40 Million in 2015 is the same as $100 Million in 2018?
  2. The Minister says that the transaction by the SLP government was exactly the same but the UWP release says it is in “stark contrast” – which statement is true?
  3. It is responsible policy that when pensioners’ funds are being invested the highest rate of return should be received. This means that out of deference for the future of these funds the Saint Lucia Labour Party offered a higher return of interest.  What is wrong with that decision?
  4. The UWP government boasts about growth in the economy. Why was it not able to find from its cash flow money to settle the bonds that the investors demanded payment for?
  5. What are the individual values of the bonds that did not rollover?
  6. What would a default in payment mean to Saint Lucia’s reputation and credit worthiness?
  7. What assurances can the government give that the new bond issue would be purchased by the market in thirty days? If not how will the NIC be repaid?
  8. What are the total value of bonds presently held by the NIC on behalf of the government?
  9. What effect would the failure of bond holders to roll over $100 Million worth of bonds have on the capital and other expenditure plans of the government?
  10. Will the government not have to resort to other short term and more expensive borrowing to fund its expenditure?
  11. The NIC did not voluntarily invest in the bonds they were instructed to do so by the government. Could the NIC not get a better return than 1% on investment in other portfolios?

As I said before no amount of name calling or misinformation will obscure the facts, or the poor economic and financial management of the government.

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