Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris presented his 2019 Budget Address today, Wednesday, December 12th
, 2018, set against the backdrop of a week filled with remarkable achievements that highlight just how much his Team Unity administration has enhanced the quality of life of the ordinary people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Yesterday, Tuesday, December 11th, the world’s largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, made its inaugural visit to St. Kitts and Nevis, the smallest country in the Western Hemisphere.
The Norwegian Jade also made its first visit to the Federation yesterday, signaling that the local cruise tourism industry is booming as indicated in the 2018 BREA Report, which shows, for instance, that the country registered a 77 percent increase in total cruise passenger spend in 2017/2018 (US$133.02 million) over 2014/2015 (US$75.30 million).
Taxi and tour operators, speaking with the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS), have affirmed full-throatedly that the thriving cruise tourism industry has undoubted created jobs for locals and greatly benefited their businesses. This year, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) recognized the country as a marquee tourist destination with the arrival of the one millionth cruise passenger during the 2017-2018 cruise season. This marked the first time that St. Kitts and Nevis achieved the one millionth cruise passenger milestone in a single season.
Yesterday, too, the ultra-modern East Line Bus Terminal officially opened on Wellington Road in Basseterre, bringing with it roughly 300 sq. ft. of commercial space where five micro-businesses will provide professional hairdressing and barber services, as well as sell drinks, food, smoothies and ice cream. An additional 10,000 sq. ft. is available to be converted into more commercial space. There are also ample benches and bathroom facilities, and at the exit is a security booth.
This coming Friday, December 14th, 2018, for an unprecedented third consecutive year, Government employees will receive a double salary.
“The double salary will apply to all employees of the Federal Government, including the Government Auxiliary Employees (GAEs) or non-establishment workers, persons on STEP, pensioners, CFBC, and the NIA. Statutory Corporations, such as SKELEC, SCASPA, NHC, the Tourism Authority, etc., have also been encouraged to make payments to their employees,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said during his national address on Thursday, December 6th, 2018.