BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 2, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, reported to the nation that for the fourth month in a row and the fifth year in succession, the fiscal performance of St. Kitts and Nevis continues on a strong and positive path under his Team Unity-led administration.
The prime minister was at the time providing an update on the fiscal and debt performance of the country for the period January to April, 2019 at his press conference today, Tuesday, July 2.
“Prudent fiscal operations of the Federal Government have resulted in record surpluses on recurrent account, the overall balance and primary balance – the three most significant indicators used to assess government performance internationally. In the context of St. Kitts and Nevis, we are doing very well on each of them.”
The Finance Minister further indicated that the actual recurrent, overall and primary balances far exceeded the budget to date and were noticeably above the performance of the comparable period of 2018 respectively.
“Put another way, we were not only surpassing our budget for 2019 but when we compare our actual receipts in 2019 to date compared to 2018 we were outshining and outdoing ourselves,” Dr. Harris added.
It was reported that two of the better performing revenue elements are Cooperation Tax and Withholding Tax. However, Prime Minister Harris noted that the realization of a surplus is a function not only of success at revenue collection but also of expenditure control.
“The government expenditures were primarily to support personnel emoluments such as salaries, wages, allowances, pension and gratuities, goods and services, interest payments, transfers and capital expenditure,” said the prime minister, who also commended the accounting officers and the Ministry of Finance “for containing recurrent expenditure to less than one percent departure from the budget.”
Government transfers were primarily to the University of the West Indies (UWI) and other institutions of learning, international organizations, as well as the Poverty Alleviation Programme which started in December, 2018.