BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 14, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The highly anticipated 2022 Budget Address, presented by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, lived up to the expectations of the majority of citizens and residents who were in attendance and those who were tuned in live via radio, television and social media.
The Appropriation (2022) Bill, 2021, of approximately EC$952.2 million to facilitate the continued delivery of public services and help put the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis back on track, was laid before the National Assembly, which was held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort Ballroom on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.
At several points during the address, members of the gallery applauded Prime Minister Harris on the initiatives being proposed for implementation during the upcoming Financial Year – January 01, 2022 to December 31, 2022.
The honourable prime minister received a standing ovation and a resounding round of applause upon his announcement that an extra month’s salary, or double salary, will be paid to all civil servants this month to help ease the burden on workers and to generate economic activity across the Federation. Social media platforms were also set ablaze with positive feedback from the news.
Prime Minister Harris also revealed that a number of measures introduced earlier this year as part of the Team Unity Government’s second stimulus package will be extended for the first six months of 2022. This too was warmly welcomed by those in attendance and by members of the wider public who flooded the prime minister’s phone with calls and messages expressing their gratitude and extending their commendations for his delivery of a people-centered and all-inclusive Budget Address.
Mrs. Sonia Boddie-Thompson, Clerk of the National Assembly and former CARICOM Youth Ambassador, said she was particularly pleased with the emphasis placed on the advancement of young people in the Budget Address.
“I think the Budget presentation went quite well and I think definitely you can see that Government is interested in investing in young people, recognizing the potential and the talent that our young people possess. Usually sometimes the Budget is like three hours and a half and today it was short, but it was heavy. I think people walked away feeling very satisfied, especially with the announcement of the double salary, so although it was much shorter than in previous years, I think the general consensus across the Federation right now is that there was something in the Budget for everyone,” Mrs. Boddie-Thompson said.
The Sitting of the National Assembly continues on Wednesday, December 15 when the debate on the Appropriation (2022) Bill, 2021 will resume with presentations from Members on both the Government and Opposition benches.