Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 20, 2019 (SKNIS): The historic Poverty Alleviation Programme, which was launched on December 24, 2018, has now dispersed its second payment to over 3,500 residents in St. Kitts and Nevis who are breathing a sigh of relief for the much-needed fiscal assistance. The programme is designed to improve the socio-economic status in the Federation.

On February 20, while speaking at a sitting of National Assembly, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said that the programme is an important promise made by his administration and noted that, “we have done great so far to move this programme along as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce and eventually eradicate abject poverty in our Federation.”

“On Christmas Eve, December 24, 2018, this programme was launched at the convenient location of Independence Square in the full view of all and in the sunshine of transparency that we have brought to the government,” said Prime Minister Harris.

He said that so far over $3.1 million have been paid out to over 3500 beneficiaries in the Federation.

He noted that persons, who are now in a better financial situation, have reported that they are no longer in need of assistance. This has enabled others to benefit from the programme. He also encouraged others to follow in their footsteps.

The prime minister also highlighted some courses of actions submitted for consideration by the Account General’s Office, which included the collection of personal banking information from all beneficiaries to facilitate direct deposits to their bank accounts until the debit card system is put in place and the implementation of fixed payment dates.

He further noted that the payments for February will be dispersed via direct deposit on the 28th and persons collecting checks can do so on March 2nd at the Inland Revenue Department from 8:30a.m. to 3:30p.m.

Prime Minister Harris thanked the staff members of the Departments of Social Services, Sustainable Development, Statistics and the Accountant General’s Office for their hard work with the operationalization of the programme.

“Let me end on a note of gratitude Mr. Speaker to all those who are helping us with the implementation of this programme. A lot of people have been impacted immensely by this policy initiative for which we say to God be the glory,” he said.