Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 24, 2021 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis’ additional income support programme that was implemented in July 2021 has received 3, 733 applications to date, said Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during his monthly press conference on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, at NEMA Conference Room. The programme was set up as a measure to bring relief to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, especially the poor and vulnerable affected by COVID-19,
“A total of 3,733 applications have been received by the Ministry of Finance as of 23rd August 2021. A total of 1,886 applications have been approved so far. Claims will be processed daily until the cut off of 15th September 2021, when no further claims will be accepted,” said Prime Minister Harris.
The 2021 Income Support Programme was announced by Prime Minister Harris, during his monthly press conference on July 08. He indicated that $15 million have been allocated to the programme to alleviate hardships faced by persons who are still unemployed since the first wave of the deadly Novel Coronavirus in 2020. The Income Support Programme was one in a series of sweeping economic relief measures to assist workers and self-employed individuals, as well as small, medium and large corporations.
Other income relief measures include the Fuel Subsidy Programme which saw a total of 106 applications from bus operators, with 92 applications approved to date. The Disability Support Programme had a total of 119 approved applications, while all of the applications received under the Food Truck Vendors Support Programme were approved by the Ministry of Finance and paid by the Treasury.
Prime Minister Harris said that the “comprehensive targeted and far-reaching stimulus package” has since brought relief to many.
“This stimulus package is also expected to contribute to economic recovery. We provided this package of support notwithstanding the very destabilizing impact of COVID-19 on government tax revenues. We did this because we are committed to delivering the best quality of life to all of our citizens and residents,” said Dr. Harris. “In fact, we have given several tax waivers and deferrals over the last 17 months even though this has further reduced cash inflows for the federal government. We did this because for us people matter most. We feel their hardships and pain and we will do all we can to lessen their difficulties. We are asking our people to protect themselves, get vaccinated so that they can get on with their lives and contribute to their well-being and that of their families and loved ones.”
Prime Minister Harris indicated that his government would continue to do everything in its power to offer support to persons, especially those who are “having a difficult time and require a hand up and a helping hand to usher them out of poverty, out of abuse, out of a life of criminality, out of extreme dependence.”
“Yes, I will never ignore those who are lagging behind. Our stimulus will help to temporarily bridge the gaps and inequality in our society brought about by the deadly COVID-19 Pandemic. Our social safety nets are intended to reach the deprived communities and help them to improve their quality of life through our Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP) and a wide range of social safety net programmes scattered across various line ministries such as Health, Education, Social Development, etc., “he said. “Well over $50 million will be spent this year to bring some semblance of dignity to our vulnerable sons and daughters including battered women, foster children, and those for whom we are bringing real improvements in other areas of their lives.”