Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 08, 2017 (SKNIS):    Statistics from the Ministry of Finance show that the public debt has been reduced by 13 percent since 2015, Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, disclosed at his monthly press conference on Wednesday, August 02.  According to Dr. Harris, $228.5 million has been paid on the debt by his Team Unity Administration.

“It is well known that we inherited a very high debt and that part of our fiscal response is to reduce it.  In this regard, by… 2016 [we had repaid]…a total of $117 million of the over $225 million contracted with the bail-out with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July, 2011.  We paid off the IMF debt, expedited the pay-off, thereby redeeming our country’s good name…,” the Prime Minister said.

During the press conference, Dr. Harris referred to positive comments made about the results of the federation’s debt management practices from a recent Staff Report on the 2017 Article IV Consultation with St. Kitts and Nevis by the IMF.  That report stated that the federation’s public debt was “projected to reach the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) debt-to-GDP target in 2018, well ahead of its peers.” That would be twelve years ahead of schedule as the ECCU’s debt target of 60 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is set for 2030.

The report summary stated that “St. Kitts and Nevis attained the strongest growth and fiscal performance in the ECCU region in recent years.

Dr. Harris said, “This, of course, is excellent news. This, of course, indicates that we are doing better than most. This, of course, speaks well to our approach to fiscal and economic management.  And it is coming, not from me, in fact, it is coming from the most important global entity reporting on fiscal and economic affairs, that is, the IMF.”

The IMF report also states that the Executive Directors “welcomed the authorities’ commitment to sound economic management and continued efforts to strengthen their policy framework, which has resulted in favourable outcomes.”

Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris described the reviews received by the IMF as a mark of strong support for his administration’s “prudent management of the economy.”