Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 12, 2017 (SKNIS): Senator Akilah Byron-Nisbett, who sits on the government benches, on Monday, December 11, supported the Appropriation (2018) Bill, 2017, and noted that the public should be aware that St. Kitts and Nevis’ Debt to Gross Domestic Profit (GDP) ratio is trending downwards.


“Our debt to GDP ratio as compared to the rest of the ECCU [Eastern Caribbean Currency Union] is well below average. The ECCB [Eastern Caribbean Central Bank] has prescribed a 60 percent debt to GDP ratio. The average for the ECCU is 71 percent; St. Kitts and Nevis at 63 percent,” said Senator Byron-Nisbett, while noting that the federation is on the trajectory to go well under that 60 percent mark. “Mr. Speaker…what we see here in St. Kitts and Nevis is good fiscal responsibility that would allow us to be able to meet all of our obligations and continue to have an economy that would grow.”


Senator Byron-Nisbett said that the numbers are a “representation of the plans, programmes and policies that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis” through the various ministries will accomplish in 2018. “It is within this context that I wish to add to the debate,” she said.


The senator reflected on the theme “Putting People First in the Pursuit of Sustainable Development” and noted that it adds to the objectives of the government in ensuring that the importance of people are highlighted.


“Mr. Speaker, there is no talk of sustainable development in today’s environment without us focusing on and talking about the UN Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]. Mr. Speaker, development goals that St. Kitts and Nevis is well on its way to achieving… It was in 2015 that this commitment to these goals was established with the idea of being able to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda,” said Senator Byron-Nisbett.”


She added that the Estimates for 2018 reflect the consistent theme throughout the various ministries of ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all.


“This tells me Mr. Speaker that in preparing for the 2018 objectives of the government that this government considered its international commitments it made in the adaption of the SDGs and has designed plans, programmes and policies… that will place St. Kitts and Nevis well on its way to meeting these goals by the 2030 target,” she said. “Mr. Speaker, this cannot and shouldn’t be taken lightly as this focus on meeting our international commitments will not only show and prove a government that follows through on commitments, but further examination of the SDGs and its people-focused sustainable goals, also reflects the government’s commitment to prosperity for all.”