St.Lucia Star-Public servants, taxi operators and bus drivers in Saint Lucia are set to benefit from duty-free concessions on vehicles. During today’s Budget Address, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said that the government has recognized the hard work of essential staff during mitigation efforts against the spread of COVID-19. These workers, he said, faced immense challenges in carrying out their duties.

“It was painful to note that essential service staff: nurses, police officers, firemen and firewomen, were profiled when taking public transportation and in many instances, were turned away from buses in their uniforms,” said Chastanet. “To that end, our government has taken the decision to provide duty-free concessions on vehicles for a stipulated period of time to essential service staff who have been employed for more than five years within the public service. The details of these measures will be finalized after further consultation with the relevant stakeholders.”

Stating that taxi operators have been hard hit by the impact of COVID-19 on the island’s tourism sector, the prime minister said: “The government will be offering 100% duty-free concessions on vehicles for taxi operators over the next two years. Our government is also mindful that bus drivers have been struggling amidst the pandemic and the 100% duty waiver will also be extended to our island’s bus drivers.”

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