BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, DECEMBER 7TH, 2016 (PRESS SEC) — Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris today, Wednesday, December 7th, 2016, laid before the National Assembly his Team Unity administration’s Estimates of the Revenue and Expenditure of the Government for the 2017 Financial Year.
Delivering his 185-minute Budget Address for the 2017 Financial Year titled Working Together – Accelerating Growth and Building Resilience, Prime Minister Harris, the Minister of Finance, said his Government would invest EC$712.9 million – on both recurrent and capital expenditures – to “develop and implement policies, strategies, programmes and projects that can help to stimulate the economy and enhance human development.”
Falling under the Government’s plan to enhance human development are several initiatives aimed at empowering and incentivizing its human resources. They include plans to:
– Increase remuneration packages to reward all Civil Servants “who work hard no matter where they are stationed.”
– Introduce a new performance incentive system to be spearheaded by its Human Resource Management Department. In a nutshell, the system will reward good performance. “The new approach is therefore based on the simple idea that rewards must be commensurate not only with the education and skills of an officer but equally with the efforts expended by the Public Servant,” Dr. Harris said in the National Assembly this morning, adding that, “It is envisioned that this would positively impact productivity and morale in the Civil Service.”
– Honour the longstanding commitment to make the Government auxiliary employees (GAEs) part of the normal pensionable establishment within the fiscal year.
– Facilitate the payment of on-call allowances to nurses who are called upon to work beyond their regular shift.
– Facilitate compensation of Officers with graduate qualifications in the Police and Defence Forces in the same manner as other Public Servants. “We hope to retain the brightest and the best in our Security Forces,” the Honourable Prime Minister, who is also Minister of National Security, explained.
These significant announcements in the 2017 Budget Address came two and a half weeks after Prime Minister Harris unveiled his Team Unity administration’s double salary Christmas stimulus package. The 13th-month salary represents a more than 8 percent bonus to all Civil Servants, auxiliary workers and pensioners on the Government’s payroll in both St. Kitts and Nevis.