April 23, 2008
Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry, led a delegation to St. Maarten on Saturday, April 19th and Anguilla on Sunday, April 20th 2008. The Hon. Joseph Parry reported to Nevisian Nationals on the accomplishments of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) led Nevis Island Administration (NIA).
Premier Parry was accompanied by Deputy Premier- Hon. Hensley Daniel, Junior Minister ““ Hon. Dwight Cozier and Legal Adviser to the NIA- Hon. Patrice Nisbett.
“We went into government with the idea of improving the lives of Nevisians. Our Slogan was “People First” and our manifesto was entitled “The People’s Agenda. We have not reneged on that promise.” Since we have been in government, we have focused on a number of issues like Education and training for young people. We have provided free textbooks to students in government schools, free lunches for those who qualify and free or assisted tuition for college /university level education,” articulated Premier Parry.
The Premier’s report was assisted by a meticulous and well organised power point presentation that contained text and pictures of the undertakings and progress of the NRP led NIA over the past 21 months.
During the power point presentation, the audience was unable to contain their excitement at the sight of a worker taking some water in a bottle from Maddens, (one of the gushing wells) and drinking it!
“There has not been anything done to water in Nevis since 1996. We (NIA) have brought in a company named B.E.A.D and they have found water and we are expecting to provide about one million gallons of new water daily for the island of Nevis,” exclaimed Premier Parry.
The Premier indicated that there has been a lot of infrastructural work that has also taken off greatly in Nevis under the NRP. Motorists on Nevis have witnessed smoother, wider and straighter roads. In addition, there has been a lot of infrastructural work to the Island Main Road, St.Thomas’ parish, Charlestown and in the Parish of St. John’s and we are in the process of doing the Camps and Westbury roads.
The Hon. Joseph Parry also told the audience that he and his cabinet are pushing towards Nevis controlling their own Police and Fire Services.
“We have an understanding with the Federal Government that on the 25th Anniversary of Independence, Nevis will have greater control of its affairs. We will be in charge of Health, Education, Police and Fire services, but we can not do it without raising revenues! ”
Recently, a revised Property Tax on houses has been introduced. The revised property tax bill would value a person’s home by market value instead of the past evaluation of rental value which has been previously in affect.
“To raise revenue we are going to ensure that everyone pays their Property tax and we are going to ensure that corporate tax is paid by all the banks in Nevis,” said Parry.
The question and answer period, which formed part of the meeting, generated a great deal of interest, and Mr. Parry was asked a number of questions about the geothermal energy project which is presently taking place in Nevis. “I will state this, geothermal drilling has gone down some 2000ft and there will be numerous benefits to Nevis such as revenue for the island once we export the energy to neighbouring islands, more jobs and a lower electricity bill monthly,” he explained.
In response to a participant’s question about Nevisians abroad receiving affordable housing from government, Hon. Patrice Nisbett answered, “We cater for the needs of all Nevisians no matter where they reside. We don’t discriminate. Once the individuals fit the necessary criteria we can honour the request.”
Both meetings were very well attended and the Anguilla meeting included a few noteworthy non-Nevisians such as the former Prime Minister of St.Kitts-Nevis, The Hon. Dr. Kennedy Simmonds and Minister of Social Affairs in the Anguilla Island Administration- Hon. Mac Neil Rogers.
All in all the participants and the Nevis Island Administration all agreed the meetings were an outstanding success!