COMMENTARY: Economically, could Dr. Anthony be Saint Lucia’s worst prime minister?

COMMENTARY: Economically, could Dr. Anthony be Saint Lucia’s worst prime minister?
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony.
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research in America, the global recession ended five years ago (June 2009). So Kennynomics had plenty of time after assuming office to produce a solid recovery for Saint Lucia.

In fact, according to the same Bureau of Economic Research, the worse the recession, the stronger the recovery. In 2014, Dr. Anthony should have had a booming economy by now, right?

Dr. Anthony and Co. touted in 2011 that they could do a better job with the economy of Saint Lucia. They promised better days, foreign direct investment (after scaring them away while in Opposition), $100 million injection into the economy immediately upon assuming office and jobs for every boy and girl. Of course, Saint Lucians bought into the promises of a “revived SLP” coming fresh out of purgatory.

But just one day after winning the General Elections, Dr. Anthony was now singing a different song, saying that, “it will be a difficult road ahead and there will be many sacrifices to be made.” Not too long after, during a national televised address, the same Dr. Anthony was pleading with Saint Lucians to implement some belt-tightening measures to save, because, according to him, Saint Lucia had some bad (no longer better) days ahead. What ever happened to the better days they touted?

In his 2014/2015 Budget Address, Dr. Anthony claimed that he had brought down the national debt of the country but not significant enough to decrease government’s exorbitant expenditure. I get it, any prime minister in his position would always want to give the country hope and to show that he is working hard to make things better. Who wouldn’t do that? But come on, we are living in the age of technology and instant communication. Every recovery would always be better than any recession, no matter how little the recovery. So reducing the debt by so little doesn’t mean much. It’s like rolling on the beach – you are still lying down on sand!

The right measure and comparison for Dr. Anthony’s record is not to compare the recovery to the recession, but to compare Dr. Anthony’s recovery with other recoveries from other recessions in the Caribbean since the Great Depression. By that measure, what is clear is that Kennynomics has produced the worst recovery in the Eastern Caribbean.

Unemployment figures continue to rise after reaching an astounding 24.9 earlier this year. Businesses continue to close as a result of a huge shortfall in sales. This of course happened after Mr. Prime Minister introduced the infamous Value Added Tax (VAT) at 15 percent, causing Saint Lucians to reduce their spending because of a spike in the price of goods and services.

Why would you blame them when earlier, the same prime minister told them to implement some belt-tightening measures to save money? They took his advice and now they are not spending like they use to. Didn’t he know a reduction in spending would mean less revenue collection by the government? Where on earth was he taught such economics – even the average man on the street knows that this is the wrong approach.

Dr. Anthony’s economic performance has been much worse than that of the former Prime Minister Stephenson King – someone who does not have ‘D R’ in front of his name. Real GDP growth under Dr. Anthony has been in the negative region since taking over from the United Workers Party – for someone who gave the country so much hope of better days. Not saying that things were so good under the UWP but at least they saw real GDP growth in the positive figures and at the time, it was the best in the OECS when compared to other island states. Dare I say compare the latest GDP figures with the rest of the OECS?

Despite his rhetoric, Kenny Anthony has failed to deliver for the poor and less fortunate as well. Oh but he invested millions in social programmes because Kenny loves the poor! I know I know! The money does come in handy for some families but IT ISN’T LONG-TERM and there are no returns for the government. So in essence, its good monies put to bad use. The only thing booming under Kennynomics is poverty.

These dismal results of Kennynomics have been produced because all of Dr. Anthony’s economic policies are thoroughly anti-growth, indeed, the opposite of what is needed for long-term booming growth. Instead of cutting tax rates, which provides incentives for increased production, Dr. Anthony introduced VAT at 15%; raised the price of water by 66% (and is due for another increase in January 2015); raised the price of electricity; reduced the subsidies on rice, flour and remove it completely on sugar; increase the list of VAT applicable goods, including fish, ground provisions and peas.

Instead of deregulation, which increases the ease of doing business, and results in reduced barriers to productive activity, Dr. Anthony has been all about increasing regulation – and we wonder why investors are not coming to Saint Lucia. Instead of cutting spending, Dr. Anthony entered office exploding spending during his first two years, and only now wants to restrain by cutting public servants’ salaries by five percent.

And instead of saving money to pay for loans that will soon become mature, he decided to lavishly spend $11 million on a bridge, $5 million on a new home for SSDF, and while he is at it, why not a few more millions on the renovation of the old Golden Hope building which will become his new Comfort Bay, while Saint Lucians continue to pay for his poor handling of the economy.

Oh! Did I forget to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent to represent Saint Lucia in the Grynberg Affair that he Dr. Anthony is responsible for? What about the exorbitant amount of money being paid to Anthony Astaphan and the courts to get his only formidable opponent in Allen Chastanet out of the way?

If I had access to all these monies, I know I would be spending it differently to make Saint Lucia a better place.

– McKinley Joseph 


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  1. I have realized that St lucian
    do not take time to really think of their future and that of their children. That is not Kenny Anthony first term in office we have seen his operation before . we always knew that he was not good when it comes to finance however we still did the most outrageous thing and still vote for him and expect that the economy would be miraculously better. when will we learn. Right now I have no Faith in neither of the two leading political parties .I think its time for fresh blood. I think is the opportune time for the lesser political parties to step up they game and win the hearts of the people by coming up with innovative ideas and policies that can take St Lucia to the next level.


  2. WOW!! i have enjoyed reading the comments here.
    They were rather refreshing and educational. I will not add to this debate because the participants here contributed significantly to the topic discussed. But, we need elections NOW!! Our country is sinking and hanging to a mere straw. If we are to save it; Kenny and his clowns must go!!


  3. I Pity my fellow lucians because inspite of an age of information and Enlightenment Our behavior in what we write and say is a testament of us as a nation, Isn't it time that we stop thinking local and act local; If we think global and act local all the maypris from the uwpees will translate into progress


  4. This is not very accurate or informative at all. Although this author of this piece makes some good points, in large part, he demonstrates a lack of understanding as to how economies work. The comments under this reinforce the idea that the people of Saint Lucia are a rather ignorant bunch.


  5. That whole SLP administration is the biggest joke in the whole OECS especially that ole rapist Lorne Theophilus as Minister of Tourism Ha ha LOL are you serious Minister of Tourism, Mate. If we give them fellas their whole five years term even Haiti will be in better shape than us. We need an emergency elections to kick these clowns out of office cause if we don't lucians won't even be able to buy a bread. LUCIANS WAKE THE **CK UP !!!


  6. It's not a question of whether Dr Anthony 'could' be our worst leader; he IS St Lucia's worst leader. Gosh, how I miss John Compton! The only true and patriotic leader ever known to St Lucians. It's so sad that so many people vote for the party and not for the policies that come with the party. So sad!


    • I was thinking the same darn thing.

      When country bumpkins are so darn limited in intelligence, knowledge and foresight that they can think no further but to select other FAILED country bumpkins and "DAMAGED GOODS", do INDIVIDUAL Saint Lucians think of other viable choices to get this miserable country out of the hands of these darn and unending, but routinely selected morass of god-forsaking failures?

      Why do SAINT LUCIANSC stubbornly refuse to learn from our mistakes?

      What a miserable future we are handing over to our kids, if the current situation is not pointing ALL OF US in a very different direction from what it is today.

      In fact, SAIN LUCIANS are suckers for real punishment.


      PS: Given their make-up and HISTORY, UNDOUBTEDLY, the CURRENT LEADERSHIP of both parties STINK!


    • Kenny is very busy DISMATLING the institutional requisites of a REAL democracy in Saint Lucia. We have ALREADY TASTED and FELT his CURTAILMENT OF PRESS FREEDOMS.

      HE IS PRESSING HIS LUCK and testing the waters to gauge how far he can go with his so-called Town Hall Meetings. Lately and now coming under serious threat are:

      1. The give-and-take of parliamentary discourse; he legislates what he wants and gives you a take-it-or-leave-it fait accompli, like the 5% cut INSTEAD!


      One wonders what is next. Is it independent courts and universities? The CCJ has already been SHOVED DOWN OUR THROATS WITHOUT A MANDATE. REMEMBER?

      The writing is on the wall. We can kid ourselves if we like.

      This man is a very dangerous threat to our fledgling democracy WITH HIS EXTREMELY CLOSE TIES with SOCIALIST Venezuela, plus a SOCIALIST FROM MAURICE BISHOP'S GRENADA IN BOSL with a brother as MINISTER OF INSECURITY OR Attorney General, and HIS

      Please don't say that you were not forewarned. The destabilized state of the economy TODAY MAY WELL HAVE BEEN INTENTIONAL,
      and renders the country ripe for more coercive powers of the state to be put in play.



  7. SLP campaigned on the slogan "En Rouge" and everyone knows red means danger. The tongue is a powerful weapon and we need to be careful with what we say and how we use it.


    • "En rouge"! Well, well, well! What an NATIONALLY embarrassing and palpable piece of self-fulfilling PROPHECY!


  8. Talk about lack of vision and lack of judgement and you get Kenny Anthony.

    The guy implements a VAT TAX at a time when the whole world was still in economic down turn.

    Then settles with civil servant for a 4% increase are months of negotiations. Only to ask them to take a 5% pay cut after he promised them the 4%. WOW UNPRECEDENTED !!

    And he lectures St.lucian as if we suppose to accept his foolish blunders.

    Yea I'd say, he's the worst we've seen given the current situation. HE'S A FRAUD !!


  9. Lol why is that not a surprise. We are witnessing the "ERA OF FAILED LEADERS", his almost on the level of Obama sadly,chastanet will do no better.


    • An extremely good bluffer. No doubt about this. It took a very long time for Saint Lucians to penetrate and see through the mask. I wonder: Which entertainer is next and will you please, please tell us?


  10. I think if you can't balance your budget then your government fails. What do the people say? As far as we know the PM budgeted way over his head and passed a budget that he has no way of financing. By the way this PM did spend the over 200 million we had in reserves just to say he reduced the debt. He went all about touting his horn. There were many toothless people in the crowd cheering when he said that. All fools. I still think you all did take alot of time to realize that Dr. Anthony only cares about politics added witgh vindictiveness.


  11. Are we to expect any difference from Flambeau, for 70 years we have been tossing and turning between SLP and UWP, the only alternative is to kick both out for good.


  12. Please forgive the comment,but think about it,
    Addressing the Higher Electricity costs should include??????????
    1. how to bring relief to the people.
    2. Bring down and keep costs down.
    3. Protect and preserve the Island.
    4. No loans used and or raising of VAT or TAX for funding and or maintenance of identified projects.
    5. Increase and stabilize Revenue Dollars coming into Government Coffers, while not raising VAT and or TAXES.
    6.Provide definable and do able short, mid and long term answers with respect to producing real, Stimulated and sustainable, stabilized Economic growth.
    7. Be able to outline future Projects Fundings utilizing the 6 numbered steps.


  13. Archangel St. Michael: Dr. Toni?

    Saint Lucian: Who is that?

    Archangel St. Michael: Dr. Jykel and Mr. Hyde?

    Saint Lucian: I'm lost. Totally lost.

    Archangel St. Michael: Dr. Hopeless Mess?

    Saint Lucian: Ah! There's no doubt.


  14. I have a short answer to your question: Ignorant of all the necessary economic, business and financial knowledge, plus not knowing how to secure and protect our national interest in the framing of his so-called contracts, uhn, uhn, he is Saint Lucia's worst nightmare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  15. I dont mind yall do yall borbol everybody want to eat, but when yall taking from the ppl too thats overdoing it


    • Just check Lucian history. Lucians LOVE to suffer. Every time they allow LABA to get the power, they suffer like hell. Lucians just have no sentiments. Well there you have it.


  16. This situation right for lucians yall too stupid as a people, always letting nonsense take yall brain "better days are here" smfh, it right it should get worse for yall to wise up


  17. Kenny Anthony was one of Guyana's Forbes Burnham advisors.Guyana has never recovered
    from the hardship and economic failure that caused the country.I had to run out of there.Fellow St. Lucians beware of that mad and liar Kenny.He is on a path to completely destroy our Helen.


  18. Omg well put together .kenny is the one who has the economy in this state . When it comes to managing money he has no qualifications in that . Kenny has to go. He also wants to remove the subsides on the government school bus for school chrildren .can u believe that. Chups


  19. He may very well be the best PM politically as he continues to put the future and livelihood of St. Lucians in jeopardy YET he is allowed to continue. Economically however, you are correct - He is the worst! His policies are so misguided at times I am in disbelief!


  20. As far as better days it is time to over throw thee government we need leadership and stability.


  21. Kenny and Castro cross paths. Castro is now on the path to capitalism, while Kenny is on the path to socialism.


  22. I think some people live in a vacuum. please read about Barbados. Shortages at public hospital only emergency surgery.


  23. I think some people live in a vacuum. please read about Barbados. Shortages at public hospital only emergency surgery.


  24. Mr. Joseph seems to ignore the question entirely, starting into a non sequitur about Dr. Anthony’s campaign promises. In trying to answer the question, he ended instead with the milquetoast declaration that “…deregulation, which increases the ease of doing business, and results in, reduced barriers to productive activity…” His statements are outrageous, thoroughly unprofessional, inciting misinformation and absolutely absurd and dangerous.
    Mr. Joseph asserted that the ‘Global Recession’ ended five years ago (June 2009) but he failed to mention that it ended only in the United States because of the excessive government spending done by the Obama Administration which he so blatantly opposed. He spoke affectionately of deregulation but failed to realize that deregulation was the main cause of the ‘Global Recession’.
    Deregulation, economic, social, and political ineptitude of the Bush Administration brought us to today’s malaise. Mr. Joseph again failed to cite his source when he stated that “… Kennynomics has produced the worst recovery in the Eastern Caribbean.” It may sound mawkish to suggest that he is trying to bluff his way through a very serious topic.
    I would suggest to Mr. Joseph that the British economy, a model for austerity, has slipped into a double dip recession and prospects for growth in the future are slim. I may inform you that St. Lucia is the largest economy in the Eastern Caribbean ( The St. Lucia economy needs more government spending, not less; to fill the hole left by inadequate private demand. And bear in mind that right now is not the time to worry about budget deficits and cut spending, which would only deepen the depression. I will leave you with the words of John Maynard Keynes “The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity.”


    • No matter how you try to twist it around . No matter how or who you compare St Lucia .Mr Joseph is very correct


    • Jacques, the writer may not have fully answered the question, but the information presented in the article is sufficient to help the reader reach a conclusion. Your attempt to represent a contrary view is not strong. Obama and the federal US Government had/has unlimited money to spend, whereas Britain and Europe do not. Hence, the US can afford to spend itself out of recession. This view is well known by academics and a cursory research will reveal that to you. St. Lucia is even more handicapped to spend itself out of recession. However, your quotation of John Keynes was not followed by Kenny; in the boom he spent more and wasted some more on Frenwel et al. Now in the slump he is trying to cut. So yes, based on your very commentary you have answered the question that indeed KDA IS THE WORSE PM/FINANCE MINISTER IN THE HISTORY OF ST. LUCIA.


    • Jacques Boucle, how did the recession affect us directly or indirectly? Wasn't it because the western world, especially the USA, was in recession? Low tourist from the USA, banks collapsing making it impossible for investors. In Europe, Greece economy has improved and the price of fuel is more stable from the Middle East. All this improved since 2009.
      St Lucia economy is the largest in the Eastern Caribbean? I thought it was Antigua. Anyway, if we do have the largest economy why did our economy have positive growth during the peak of the recession, while the other Islands' Economy had negative growth. Now that the recession is over all the other Islands is experiencing higher growth than St Lucia.
      The British economy, a model for austerity? Though I do not fully understand what you are getting at, I believe that in the third world country the Canadian was the model of austerity during the recession. However I will carry out a research on the British economy during he Global Recession to confirm your statement. For some reason I do not believe you.
      I compare your post with these articulate individuals who talks lots of shit and the public tends to believe them.Yes! like the PM.


    • "Mr. Joseph asserted that the ‘Global Recession’ ended five years ago (June 2009) but he failed to mention that it ended only in the United States"

      How can the Global Recession end only in the USA, Mr.Jacques Boucle?


  25. I thought I was the only one who recognized that the depression had ended before elections. Only a party hack will believe that this lawyer knows anything about boosting an economy. The evidence is there for all to see. Hope we don't put Kenny to tun this country again. This guy makes King look like a good PM. That's how bad he is.


    • And it will continue to get worse unless we all get off our asses and remove him and his hungry , shameless fowls. We the people have the power, NOT THEM! Why are we still there talking?


  26. The worst ever i have never seen it so rough in all my years.he has to go or stlucians will soon eat rocks.


  27. Saint Lucians are so sickly stupid. In the midst of BLATANT leadership failure, even today they fail to judge the value of those they call leaders, on the body of WORK these have DONE IN THE PAST. The greater their failures or inexperience, the more QUALIFIED they become in Saint Lucians' eyes.

    We even changed our constitution for a green horn. Now we are paying the price for our blatant stupidity.

    SAINT LUCIANS are still caught in the TRAP of assessing people who push through and fancy themselves as representatives, as those of a particular skin colour, and have a PhD or some other type of degree. It looks like a degree even in Religious Knowledge would today still give you a very substantive edge!

    Let's take a look at who heads both the UWP and SLP.

    UWP's leader is quite a spectacular executive failure in terms of impact on related company bottom-line performance. The business in question, an airline, literally fell from the skies. That person too, never seemed to have had a chance of a snow-ball in Hell to be selected leader of a regional tourism group, after heading the ministry involved in the Tuxedo Affair with approved leakages from the Government Treasury, and with the legal judgement making critical reference to very dubious testimony given to that appellate court.

    That one heading the SLP, on the other hand, has not done a single stroke of work EITHER in business, in management or in finance. Now, as elegant testimony to extra-ordinary and SPECTACULAR management skills, he is now sitting on a self-created BUDGET DEFICIT of $87 million, plus three, not one, not two, but THREE EGREGIOUS FINANCIAL BLUNDERS. Acquaintance with the law as a law lecturer, did not equip either, to be alert to FLAWS in THREE EGREGIOUS FINANCIAL BLUNDERS in the related contracts signed. The cost to this nation is a TOTAL LIABILITY which now stands at $271 million ($45 + $85 + $168 million), and counting. Plus, there are legal costs not EVEN yet quantified.

    Does this nation have the smarts to detect fatal flaws in, and to choose otherwise, regarding the very FLAWED personalities that similarly FLAWED executive branches of the respective parties REPEATEDLY and regularly chose?

    Like dogs, MUST we always have to return to, and lap up our own vomit?


    • Why are you so lenient on Dr Kenny Anthony. The Tuxedo affair for your information is something that has happened before, where goods are imported and the concession granted subsequently. It happened one more than one occasion under Dr Anthony's reign 1997-2006. As you know, Dr Anthony think we are stupid, that is why he do it and when someone else does he take them to court. You can confirm from any senior officer in Customs. Air Jamaica failed after Chastanet left it. Wasn't the tourism industry successful during his reign as Minister? Yes it was. Mr. Mc Donald can't you recall both the airline and the hotel sending staff home during the tourism low season, under SLP? Well I can tell you that during Chastanet reign as Min. of Tourism it did not happened. I will also tell you that it has continue for the pass 2 years, but I keeping my fingers cross because of what I am hearing from the hotel, in spite of the reports from the Min of Tourism.


      • In business and economics there are 'leads' and very visibly 'lags'. Effects of lagging variables may take a while to be seen or felt.

        Kenny's sowing of the seeds of this debt crisis by MARCHING IN SUPPORT OF THE 14.5% rise in wages WITH A CONSEQUENT INCREASE IN INFLATION, lagged in terms of its full effects.

        NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE MECHANICS OF THE DYNAMIC EFFECTS OF INFLATION, poor judgement would not alert him to the fact that this was going to haunt him, if he ever came into power. Plus King had to BORROW an additional $160 million, Jadia said in a recent Press Release, to accommodate that level of the wage increase.

        When you don't know, you don't know. It has all come back to bite our tails with a disruptive lagged effect.

        Payments are falling due. But whatever is coming in has to paid out to debts incurred before the $160 million was borrowed.

        The Minister of Finance appealed to the CARICOM HOG meting recently. 'We are all in this together' said he.

        To all intents and purposes they ignored him. Some people may be bright, but for whatever reason(s) they are not shining.


    • You are so right! One can not yet win a seat. The other, under his leadership the party has been thrown out as not being suitable after the Roachasmell FIASCO, the NCA scandals, and the loss of Black Bay lands with NOTHING to show for the money.

      Yet the outside government branches of those TWO PARTIES KEEP ON SHOVING THESE TWO FAILURES IN FRONT US, THE PEOPLE. This shameless INSOLENCE must be rewarded with total REJECTION AT THE NEXT ELECTION.

      SAINT LUCIANS DESERVE BETTER THAN THESE TWO REJECTS. Only the people in Vieux Fort believe that KENNY IS a white man God has sent from above to help them. He may be helping them, but the rest of the country, because they keep on voting for him, and SLP in other constituencies, the country is in deep doo-doo!


  28. He is the worst PM by far. He is the best exploiter and manipulator that this country has known (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree). This guy has absolutely WRECKED our economy - he has placed it permanently enrouge. HE HAS TO GO.


    • Why you'll keep saying "HE HAS TO GO". He and his pecking fowls will never go. We allowed them to get there. Now we have to remove them. We have to take the power from them. We gave them too much. Why are we still talking, talking, talking and doing nothing? '79 all over again.


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