Information Minister – Nigel Carty
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
May 12, 2010 (CUOPM)
The St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration is committed reducing public sector debt, turning around deficits, and achieving greater macroeconomic stability over the short to medium term.
Minister of Information, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty said that although small and large economies around the world have been hard hit by the current economic crisis, the Federation’s economy will return to growth in the medium term, and macroeconomic stability will be bolstered, particularly assisted by the implementation of several initiatives.
The commitment has come from St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas during a presentation to the Cabinet following a debriefing by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Team that visited the twin-island Federation from April 7th to May 7th.
The Team carried out its legal obligations to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis by conducting an Article IV assessment of the macroeconomic status of the country and had important policy dialogue with officials in the government and other stakeholders during a debriefing session on Friday May 7 at the Cabinet Meeting Room.
Present at that meeting were: Division Chief of the IMF, Arnold McIntyre and other economists from the IMF; Tom Hockins, IMF Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean; Sir K Dwight Venner, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB); the Deputy Governor and other officials from the ECCB; Elliot Murphy of the Caribbean Development Bank; Hubert Perr and other officials from the European Union; Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas and Ministers of the Cabinet; Federal Financial Secretary, Mrs. Janet Harris and other officials from the Ministry of Finance; Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance, Hon. Joseph Parry; Deputy Premier Hon. Hensley Daniel and Financial Secretary for Nevis, Mr. Laurie Lawrence.
In his Post Cabinet Briefing, Minister Carty reported that Prime Minister Douglas remains committed to reduce spending through a number of initiatives.
“Important among these are Tax reform, through the implementation of the value-added tax by November of this year; Corporatisation of the Electricity Department with a view to increasing operational efficiency and responding more effectively to the fluctuating price of fuel on the world market; Aggressive pursuit of our debt management strategy through the Debt Management Unit at the Ministry of Finance with EU support for an experienced consultant and reduction in expenditure on personal emoluments by reducing the public sector size through natural attrition and generally freezing salary increases for the time being,” said Mr. Carty.
He also stated that the Cabinet will review of its concessional regime to ensure a more effective application of government’s policy of assisting businesses and spurring investment through the extension of tax concessions.
“All signals indicate that, although small and large economies around the world have been hard hit by the current economic crisis, the Federation’s economy will return to growth in the medium term, and macroeconomic stability will be bolstered, particularly assisted by the implementation of the preceding initiatives.