Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 20, 2022 (SKNIS): After a period spanning four days, from the presentation of the Budget Address 2022 by the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, to the rebuttal by Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Mark Brantley, and debates by parliamentarians except for the member for St. Christopher 7, Dr. The Honourable Timothy Harris, The Appropriation (2023) Bill, 2022, with total estimates for 2023 of EC$ 1.02 Billion for recurrent expenditure, capital expenditure and net lending, was passed into law on Monday, December 19, 2022.
With a total recurrent capital and net lending charges on consolidated fund of EC$ 923, 152, 453, and a total provided by law of EC$ 101, 484, 848, the Bill made provisions for the Governor-General; Parliament; Audit Office; Justice and Legal Affairs; Prime Minister’s Office; National Security, Citizenship and Immigration; International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs; Finance; Social Development and Gender Affairs; Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives; the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and International Transport; Public Infrastructure, Energy, Utilities and Domestic Transport; Education; Health and Social Security; Sports and the Creative Economy; Sustainable Development; Foreign Affairs; Office of the Attorney-General; Employment and Labour; Housing, Human Settlement, Ecclesiastical Affairs and Faith-based Affairs; Environment, Climate Action and Constituency Empowerment; Information, Communication, Technology and Post; Youth Empowerment, Ageing and Disabilities; Economic Development and Investment, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
The Appropriation (2023) Bill, 2022 was presented under the theme: “Towards Our Transformation as a Sustainable Small Island State.”
“That in itself tells you that we are moving our nation in a particular direction where it can sustain itself Madam Speaker. That is a lofty goal. That speaks, of course, that we are serious about making St. Kitts and Nevis viable and resilient, resilient not only in terms of our economy but resilient physically and structurally to deal with changes of climate,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew during the wrap up of the debate on December 19.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew said that his government is very serious about transforming St. Kitts and Nevis into a sustainable small island state.
“It shows that when we speak about what we intend to do once the people would have invested that trust in us that we weren’t merely speaking words, but we were actually serious. And so, when we spoke about developing what we now call a sustainable small island state, in fact, we were very much serious when it came to that,” said Dr. Drew. “And so, as you can see from the Budget, which speaks to our progress as a sustainable small island state, you would recognize that in that Budget a great deal of discussions would have taken place. We would have acted quite prudently and we would not have acted callously, but prudently, understanding where we are economically as a region and where the world is.”
Dr. Drew expressed pleasure with his team for putting a “comprehensive” Budget together in just over four months. He added that the Government has “demonstrated that the budget is very well prepared.”