St. Kitts – Nevis’ PM – Denzil Douglas
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
December 09, 2009 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has announced a number of initiatives that his Labour Party Administration is of the view, will help citizens deal with the impact of the global economic crisis.
Prime Minister Douglas, in a nationwide radio and television address on Monday night, said public officers will be paid a double salary in December, electricity rates would be reduced and that taxes and duties had been waived with regards to the importation of paint.
He noted that the global crisis has adversely affected the revenue receipts during 2009, but through the resilience of the local economy and enhanced vigilance in cash management and enhance revenue administration, St. Kitts and Nevis is still likely to meet the target established in respect of the primary balance.
“In particular, we had budgeted a primary surplus of EC$162 million or 10.7% of GDP, and based on the fiscal performance to date, we are now projecting a primary surplus of $171.8 million or 11.4% of GDP by year-end,” Dr. Douglas told the Nation.
This he pointed out has given the Government some financial space to continue to stimulate the economy and at the same time bring relief to its people, especially because the global crisis is not yet over and is still exerting a dampening effect on economic activity.
“In this regard, I am pleased to announce that my Government will pay a double salary to public servants in December of this year. I know that our public servants have worked particularly hard in this time of global economic malaise to implement the stimulus programmes of the Government and I think they truly deserve this bonus. This bonus payment will also be made to Government pensioners and to workers in public corporations,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He pointed out that the workers are the immediate beneficiaries of the bonus but expect that the payment of the bonus will boost economic activity throughout the Federation and bring benefits to retailers, traders and other businesses operating in the Federation.
“It is my hope that this double salary will therefore cause our business sector this Christmas to be as generous to their employees as possible,” said Prime Minister.
Dr. Douglas said his Government is also aware that some people have lost their jobs and find it very difficult to meet their regular household obligations at this time.
“We also feel that there is need to put more money in the hands of the entire population if we are to continue to evade the grip of the global crisis and thereby avoid being pushed into a downward spiral of recession and unemployment,” said Dr. Douglas.
He announced that the Fuel Surcharge imposed by the Electricity Department on household consumption would be waived in its entirety from the beginning of December.
“My government would also wish to ensure that our people can beautify their homes and our entire Federation as they look forward to celebrating Christmas. We have therefore agreed to waive duty and taxes on the importation of paint for use by our households as they prepare for Christmas. This concession would take effect immediately and continue until the end of the year,” said Dr. Douglas.