Five Important Takeaways from Prime Minister Harris’ October 4th, 2018 Press Conference

St. Kitts and Nevis’ debt-to-GDP ratio reaches the international benchmark of 60 percent under PM Harris’ history-making Team Unity administration, making it the very first independent state in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) to achieve this important milestone!

Milestone comes 12 years ahead of OECS’ target.

1. “The Financial Secretary [Mrs. Hilary Hazel] has reported that our debt-to-GDP ratio, which stood at 78 percent at the end of December 2014, is now in keeping with the international benchmark of 60 percent,” Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said today, Thursday, October 4th, 2018, at his monthly press conference.
  • “We have achieved this important milestone 12 years ahead of the OECS target date of 2030 and we are the very first independent state in the ECCU to achieve this superior milestone,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis added.
2. “Speaking of performance, it is with great satisfaction that I can report that as at the end of July 2018, i.e the first seven months of the year, the fiscal operations of the central government resulted in surpluses far in excess of the outturns for the comparative period in 2017,” Prime Minister Harris reported today at his monthly press conference.
  • “These surpluses on recurrent account, overall balance and primary balance are far in excess of our 2018 budget estimates by 115 percent, 243 percent and 116 percent, respectively.  Compared to the actual situation in 2017, we have outperformed ourselves,” the Honourable Prime Minister said, adding, “Simply put, the fiscal health of the federal government is far better in 2018 than it was in 2017.  Our net fiscal position speaks eloquently to the astute management of our fiscal affairs by the Ministry of Finance in particular and your government in general.”
3. “In sum, our housing solutions have benefited 2,615 families – an amazing, historic feat never before accomplished in the history of St. Kitts and Nevis from the era of slum clearance to modern times.  Never have so many families benefited by government initiatives in so short a period of time,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said, hailing his administration’s housing solutions as a resounding success.  The Prime Minister also said:
  • “We expect to deliver a number of homes to persons in East Basseterre next Tuesday, October 9th, 2018. This will bring to 223 the number of homes delivered under the aegis of the National Housing Corporation (NHC) since 2015.  Construction has started on another 35 units.
  • “Under the NHC’s HELP, we assisted 450 families to the tune of $10,000 in repairs and construction of bathrooms.  This was an effort to move our people away from the less sanitary pit latrines.
  • “Our First- Time Homeowners’ Programme has assisted 413 persons between 2015 to 2018.  No Minister in the Team Unity Government has benefited under this programme.  We bade goodbye and good riddance to the bad practice of the former regime that allowed a Senator to be preferred in the programme.
  • “Our Government Employee Mortgage Financing Programme popularized as GEM has approved 62 applications.  The total mortgage financing committed is $10.5 million.
  • “The widely acclaimed Hurricane Rehabilitation Programme has provided assistance to 1,432 applicants/households.  It is the most comprehensive response ever to the felt need to rehabilitate our housing stock damaged by hurricanes.”
4. “I must report that the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ian Queeley, is on vacation leave.  The Commissioner has an accumulation of leave, which is being drawn down from time to time.  Others of the High Command from time to time have and will continue to proceed in an orderly fashion to draw down on extensive accumulated leave,” Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said today, Thursday, October 4th.
  • “In this regard, Mr. Hilroy Brandy (pictured in inset) will act as Commissioner of Police effective October 1st, 2018,” Prime Minister Harris announced.
5. Prime Minister Harris and the Honourable Wendy Phipps, who is Minister of State within the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender Affairs and Social Services, assured the public that the local hospitals and public pharmacies are adequately stocked with the usual insulin formulations.