Students At Washington Archibald High – St. Kitts
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
October 22, 2008 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said his governing St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party Administration will always strive for fiscal responsibility but was adamant that “debt will be incurred to improve the quality of life of the people of the country.”
“I think the performance of the Labour Administration under my watch has been given good grades, good marks by those (local, regional and international financial institutions) who continue to monitor the economic situation in St. Kitts and Nevis,” Prime Minister Douglas said in response to a question on the radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister” which debuted on ZIZ on Tuesday.
“We aim of course for a balance budget. That is what we aim for. We always aim for a balance budget. We try to ensure that there is enough primary surplus to ensure that we can generate the necessary financing for a number of capital projects. There are times when we have had to depart from what would have been the specific budgetary plan of the government,” said Dr. Douglas.He added: “Realistically, we are talking about the development of people, the development of a country and I will not want at any time to have a surplus of money in the Treasury when people are suffering.”
“For example, when you are impacted by hundreds of young students who are leaving secondary schools and who want to go off to university to study and they are poor and cannot find the necessary money from their families, the government must invest in the education of our people and so if I have to spend what would have been intended to be a surplus, well sure, that human resource that is going to take this country to the next level is adequately prepared, I will spend that money.
Again, in housing. How can I talk about having a surplus sitting in a Treasury or in a Bank somewhere, when people need housing? When people need to be properly sheltered, when the hospitals need medicine, how am I going to do that? I therefore have to make sure that the priority of the government is the priority of the people, the social development of our people. Again I emphasise that if I have to incur debt to improve the quality of life of our people, I will incur debt, because at the end of the day, a government is only as good as the service that it gives to its people,” said Prime Minister Douglas.