Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 22, 2023 (SKNIS): With just a little over eight months in office since the August 5, 2022 victory at the polls, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew is lauding the advancements of his administration in such a short period of time despite inheriting a country in deficit.
Speaking at his May 18, 2023 press conference, Prime Minister Dr. Drew said, “I am very proud of the advancements that my team and I have made thus far. We have many more exciting developments coming. We are serious when we say we are going to transform St Kitts and Nevis into a sustainable island state.”
“So, we continue to work diligently to propel our Federation towards, as I said, the sustainable island state. We pledge to provide better and that is what we will continue to do,” he added.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew said that when his government took office the country was running a deficit.
“Before I wrap up, I want to remind us of where we came from when we took office. When we took office, we were running a deficit, even though they were talking about surplus. When we saw the number, we were running a deficit. The Development Bank was in shambles. The National Bank ran its first deficit, I think in its history and was not able to pay dividends for the first time; tens of millions of dollars missing; the country under restriction – tourism under stress, economic growth stunted to some extent because of bad decisions,” he said.
“So, we had to stabilize the banks; we had to stabilize Social Security because Social Security was paying out much more than it was taking in, becoming unsustainable. We had to deal with the deficit, and we had to open up the country. And because we took so long to open the country, our growth, especially in the tourism sector, is lagging behind our OECS counterparts,” the prime minister added.
The prime minister said the country’s deficit upon his government assuming office led to some things being postponed.
“And so, some of the things that we wanted to implement from a fiscal standpoint, we had to delay them because we first had to stop the bleed and save the economy. And now we have done that, or we are doing that, we would be able to roll out. This government is not a government of excuses. We state the facts, deal with them as they are, and we will deliver for our people,” Dr. Drew said. “So just a reminder of what we met, and I have been repeating it, and what has caused some of the postponement.”
“But I would dare say that when objective people look at what we have done, I think that they would recognize that we have done well in the short time, first of all, to save our economy and then start to deliver in earnest for our people,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew added.