BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, January 05, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – In recognition of his productive and sterling work – from keeping his citizens and residents safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to his efforts of ensuring the Federation’s economy remains resilient – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris has been named the St. Kitts and Nevis Observer’s 2021 Person of the Year.
It is the second time since becoming Prime Minister that Dr. Harris was named Person of the Year by the St. Kitts and Nevis Observer, a reputable media outlet.
Prime Minister Harris’ selection for this auspicious recognition was made by a group comprising civil servants, past and present parliamentarians, private entrepreneurs and ordinary individuals.
In choosing the Honourable Prime Minister, the group cited his “skillful handling of the economy since becoming Prime Minister in 2015, but especially during the perilous past 19 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Dr. Harris was described in the St. Kitts and Nevis Observer as the “perfect leader for these perilous times”, mainly due to “his care and concern for every resident of this twin-island Federation, his efforts in convincing his colleagues to lessen the tax burden on citizens, and also delivering a double salary for civil servants when they needed it the most – as cushions to their families that experienced layoffs or reduced work hours.”
In its article, the newspaper shed light on the prime minister’s role in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in his country and his advocacy for the equitable distribution of vaccines particularly to small, vulnerable states.
Moreover, the St. Kitts and Nevis Observer highlighted the two multi-million dollar stimulus packages that were introduced by the Dr. Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government that brought much needed economic relief to thousands of citizens and residents during difficult times.
“Dr. Harris’s Team Unity Administration maintained its record of being a good steward of the Government’s finances, and this was demonstrated in the outturn of the Government’s fiscal operations for the 2020 fiscal year when a Recurrent Account Surplus of $40.8 million was achieved. And he recently concluded in his Budget speech that as a result of our comprehensive stimulus packages, we are already seeing a rebound in economic activity and this will bring a further positive realignment of our Debt-to-GDP ratio,” the newspaper article read.
Referencing Prime Minister Harris’ stellar career as a politician and Minister of Government, the newspaper stated that, “He led Team Unity to a second victory in June 2020, with an overwhelming majority of nine out of the Federation’s 11 constituencies. Under his leadership, Team Unity has seen the resetting of relations with America and Canada, while expanding the Federation’s footprint in Africa and Europe. Over 130 countries provide visa-free access to holders of St. Kitts and Nevis passports.”
The St. Kitts and Nevis Observer outlined some of the deliverables of the Dr. Harris-led Team Unity Government since 2015 that have helped to improve lives and livelihoods. These include the removal of the Value Added Tax (VAT) from food, medicine, and educational supplies; sped up the payment of gratuities to former sugar workers; significantly improved the Citizen by Investment (CBI) Programme; the complete renovation of the Mary Charles Hospital, built an oncology centre and constructed a mental health day care facility.