Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Wednesday | April 29, 2009
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St Lucia to rely on loans, new taxes
St Lucia's prime minister is calling for new taxes and cuts in ministers' salaries to accommodate its US$449 million budget.

Stephenson King says revenue will also come from US$44 million in loans and US$42 million in grants, mostly from Taiwan and the European Union.

He says a two per cent tax would apply to cigarettes and a 50-cent tax to each litre of alcohol. Ministers would take a voluntary 10 per cent pay cut.

King also promises to lower gas prices and remove hundreds of minimum-wage workers from tax rolls.

State-worker salaries

He recently increased state-worker salaries by 7.5 per cent but said another 15 per cent increase they are demanding is unlikely because of the economic crisis.

King presented the budget late Friday.

- AP

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