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Friday, November 4, 2011

Stephenson King Misleads the Public Again


This week, the Political Leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, exposed the series of untruths and faulty statistics provided by Prime Minister Stephenson King in his first weekly Address to the Nation. In Dr. Anthony’s televised response, he used information from the Government’s Economic and Social Reviews, the 2007 Budget Address by the late Sir John Compton, this year’s Review of the OECS Economy by Sir Dwight Venner, and Stephenson King’s own contradictory speeches to show that the Prime Minister set out to deceive the public with his statements on unemployment, GDP growth, government expenditure and the performance of the economy under the UWP.
However, as damaging and embarrassing as Dr. Anthony’s revelations were, he did not reveal the complete extent of the deception that was attempted by this Prime Minister. 

In Stephenson King’s first weekly address he stated:
“In the six years of the decade ending 2010 when the world economy was buoyant and when the St Lucia Labour Party was in power, it was only able to achieve an average economic growth rate of 1.6% per year. In 3 of those 6 years, while the global economy blossomed and the Dow Jones indicator of wealth creation was cruising above 15 thousand, the St Lucia Labour Party came up with negative growth.”
With the help of Sir John Compton’s 2007 Budget Address and data from the 2000 to 2009 Economic and Social Reviews, Dr. Anthony has already shown that the economy grew steadily and impressively under the SLP government from 1997 to 2006, and that for all of its nine and a half years in power, GDP growth was negative in only two years, one of which was the year of 9-11. But it was not enough for Stephenson King to contain his deceptions to Saint Lucian data. He had to take them international.

Stephenson King claimed that during the reign of the SLP, the Dow Jones Industrial Average cruised above 15 thousand. The fact is the Dow Jones Industrial Average has never reached the 15 thousand mark. During the period 1997 to 2006 when the SLP was in power, the highest level reached by the Dow was 12,416.76. It never even touched 12,500 under Labour.  

However, under the UWP, the Dow Jones has hit all of its record high levels. The first time the Dow hit 13,000 and 14,000 was under the UWP, in April and July, 2007 respectively. The all-time record closing high of the Dow is 14,164.53 and this was reached on 9th October, 2007, again under the UWP. The record intra-day high is 14,198.10, and this happened on 11 October, 2007.  
We leave Saint Lucians to draw their own conclusions on the reason Stephenson King would find it necessary to deliberately present such inaccurate and dishonest information to the public in a National Address to the Nation.

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