St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris will present the 2019 national budget to Parliament on Wednesday, indicating already that the economy of the twin island Federation “is at its all-time best’.
Last year, Harris tabled a fiscal package of EC$516.7 million and he says the prospects for 2019, and the medium term, are for continued positive above-average economic growth.
“This will be the fourth year in a row under our administration that the country would have recorded positive growth. The healthy fiscal position of the government indicates that we have achieved the best ever debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio over the past 25 years.
“We have posted a surplus on the recurrent account, a surplus on our overall account, and the primary balance attests to the fiscal and economic well-being of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Harris said ahead of the presentation on Wednesday.
He said as a result, the government is undertaking a number of policies including .the launch of the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP) on December 21 that is designed to provide this special stipend of EC$500 every month to vulnerable households that earn less than EC$3000 per month across St. Kitts and Nevis.
He said public servants will also receive, for a third consecutive year in a row, a double salary on December 14 and that the government will restore and pay the annual December holiday pay to the Government Auxiliary Employees (GAEs) or non-establishment workers on December 14.
Harris said that during the month of December there will be a duty-free concessions on the importation of barrels and boxes of food stuff up to 400 pounds. He said also that goods with a value up to US$200 or EC $540 will also attract no duty.
Harris said on Tuesday, that the country will welcome the largest tourist vessel in the world and the authorities will also official open the new East Bus Line Terminal.
“This new terminal has already attracted rave reviews from our citizens at home and abroad, impressed as they are by the sheer beauty of the facility and the enhanced convenience and protection afforded to members of the travelling public. Good things are happening here in St. Kitts.”