St. Kitts-Nevis’ Ministry of Finance: The state of the country’s economy is better placed today than it has been in recent times

June 15th, 2019
The Ministry of Finance denounces recklessly false and malicious statements that
claim there is dissension between high-level public servants and Prime Minister Dr.
the Honourable Timothy Harris over his handling of the Federation of St. Kitts and
Nevis’ economy in his capacity as Minister of Finance.

The Ministry of Finance places on the record that the state of the country’s economy
is better today than it has been in recent times.

Moreover, both the Ministry of Finance and the Minister of Finance enjoy a high level
of mutual understanding and trust in their close working relationship, which is
characterized by professionalism and respect, as well as a deep commitment and
responsibility to ensuring the sound fiscal management of the country.

“The staff of the Ministry of Finance executes its tasks, such as giving high-quality
advice, in the utmost professional manner as we strive to support the Government’s
fiscal and economic mandates,” Financial Secretary in the Government of St. Kitts
and Nevis, Mrs. Hilary Hazel said yesterday, Friday, June 14th, 2019.

The Ministry of Finance’s stable and successful working relationship with the Prime
Minister and Minister of Finance and his administration is evidenced by a number of
outstanding achievements.

The country has met its fiscal targets over the last four years. Furthermore, the
economy has grown consistently over the last four years and is expected to grow
again this year, all things being equal.

In 2018, St. Kitts and Nevis became the first independent country in the Eastern
Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) to achieve the ECCU stipulated debt-to-GDP
benchmark of 60 percent.

In 2019, St. Kitts and Nevis continues to meet this benchmark, as its outstanding
public debt is under 60 percent – well ahead of its peers in the OECS sub-region –
compared to 145 percent of GDP in 2010. This is an outstanding achievement by any
measure.

The Government fully repaid all outstanding debts to the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) contracted under the Stand-by Arrangements of 2011 and, in that regard, it
repaid the outstanding balance of $117 million out of the $225 million that was
contracted by the former administration.

The Government has also paid $100 million in relation to the land-for-debt swap,
reclaiming some of the land for the benefit of the people and also substantially
reducing the payout under the dividend guarantee arrangements.

“There is full and mutual support in our common endeavour to achieve strong fiscal
results, and this unified approach is working,” the Financial Secretary said.

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