“Our fiscal management of our public finances, has been second to none. We paid off $117 million IMF debt left by our predecessors. We have recorded surpluses and positive economic growth every year of our tenure,” said Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, in his televised national address on Wednesday (May 13) evening.
The prime minister noted that it is that successful management of the country’s resources that allowed the Team Unity Government to pay the public servants a double salary four consecutive years, and allowed them to respond with a comprehensive $120-million stimulus package to assist persons whose earnings were impacted during this period of global crisis brought on by the COVID-19 disease.
Dr. Harris stated further that his Team Unity administration has governed the affairs of the country “with thoughtfulness and compassion in every area,” while fulfilling manifesto commitments that were made in 2015.
He added, “You will recall that we made the prompt payment of $16 million to former sugar industry workers. We removed VAT from food, medicine, educational supplies and funeral expenses. We also introduced the Poverty Alleviation Programme and pay a monthly stipend of $500 to over 4,000 households earning less than $3000 per month. These were promises made and promises kept.”
Moreover, Prime Minister Harris said it was as a result of sound fiscal policies that allowed the government to respond with its historic roof repair programme to aid families whose homes were damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017.
“When we were impacted by hurricanes in 2017, we rebuilt homes and repaired roofs. This has improved resilience in the housing stock in the federation. More than 2000 families have benefited from this programme. We are particularly proud of our housing programme. Never before has any Government provided the type of housing here in St. Kitts, both in quality and quantity,” said Prime Minister Harris.
The honourable prime minister concluded that it is only with a Team Unity Government that the future of St. Kitts and Nevis will be safer and stronger.