Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 21, 2017 (SKNIS): Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, said that the fiscal house of St. Kitts and Nevis is being competently managed and as such, it has become a model for a number of governments in and around the region.
Dr. Harris was at the time speaking on the “The People’s Voice Talk Show” on Sugar City Rock on Monday, February 21, where he noted that the surplus was indicative of government’s early decision to discontinue the wastage of public funds.
“That is why very early in 2015 we recorded a surplus and we repeated that feat in 2016. We stand singularly as the best performing country not just in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) or CARICOM, but in the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and all those countries which are borrowing member states of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB),” said the prime minister, adding that these institutions, as well as the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund commended the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis for its exceptional management of the country.
The finance minister said that the country is performing way above standard and because of this performance a number of projects will be introduced and completed in 2017 in addition to those that would have been done in 2016, as the government works to further improve the lives and livelihoods of citizens and residents.
“We are going to be doing all these things that we are doing. We are going to get the roads fixed in the 70 plus projects for which no infrastructure had been given and persons are unable to begin to build their own homes, we are going to correct that wrong. Because we are in a surplus, we are able to say that we will build a brand new health centre for the people of Tabernacle,” he said, noting that the centre will serve persons in around the community. “Because we are in surplus, we are able to say that we will build a brand new community centre for the people of Lodge, Bourryeau and Ottley’s. Because we are in surplus, we are able to do that hard court that is being done this year in Keys Village.”
A number of other projects were identified such as the completion of the Boyd’s playfield and the repairs to schools in the Federation. The prime minister said that the surplus has also made provisions for the construction of a new facility to house prisoners.
“Because of that surplus, we are going to start this year the design works and the construction of a new prison. We have contracted as local person to do the designs and to do all the documents that would be required so that we could start the commencement of construction of the new prison facility,” he said. “Because of where we have managed the country, we could now respond to the people in Stone Forth Heights with respect to their roads. All these things we are able to do because the country is well-managed financially and that is why the surplus is important because it gives us a little bit more latitude to do things.”
He noted that in 2017, citizens and residents will see the largest capital expenditure “ever to take place in living memory”. He noted that this is important and is being done in an effort to improve the quality of life for all in a number of areas including education, health and infrastructure to name a few.