Post Cabinet Briefing For August 12, 2009
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
August 13, 2009
Citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis, good day. I bring to you the Post-Cabinet briefing for Cabinet meeting held Wednesday August 12, 2009.
240 Lots at White House Garden Housing Development
In response to the ever increasing demand for lots for residential purposes, Cabinet approved the release of approximately 240 housing lots at White House Garden Housing Development at St. Peters. These lots are being offered under the Special Land Development Initiative (SLDI) with a starting price of $2.95 per square foot.
Under the SLDI, individuals receiving allocations of lots are required to make a down payment of just $100 after which a moratorium of 2 years is granted. That is, over the next two years, individuals are not required to make any additional payments.
Housing lots at the White House Garden Housing Development at St. Peters range in sizes from 6000 to 9000 square feet and occupy 49.5 acres of land.
Cabinet also recently approved the release of 118 lots of land in the Boyds area, and other lots at a number of sites in Keys Village and Newton Ground.
The Prime Minister as Minister responsible for Lands reported that the Land Committee continues to meet under his supervision once per week and intimated that there is a heightened level of efficiency in the distribution of lands under the SLDI. He outlined a number of areas where residential lots are soon to be distributed.
National Consultation on The Economy
In pursuit of its ongoing objective to build a more inclusive society and to engage in consultative democracy, government approved the staging of the annual National Consultation on the Economy. This year’s national consultation is geared towards building consensus for the 2010 budget and the medium term economic strategy.
Minister of Finance Dr Hon Timothy Harris in discussing the objectives of the national consultation remarked, “Under the new era of globalization, it appears that government’s function needs to become more focused on strategic objectives and planning, privatizing its role in producing goods and certain services, and creating enough regulation to limit the potential for market failure”¦Our system of collaborative governance of which the annual national consultation on the economy is just one event, needs to be expanded and broadened to achieve greater policy consensus on key issues.”
Cabinet deliberated on how this year’s consultation may focus on some of our major challenges. In so doing, Cabinet concurred that the national consultation should focus on youth problems and approved in principle the following theme: “Youth Development at the Core of our National Priorities.”
The Ministry of Finance promised that this year’s national consultation would be different and more productive, and identified dates in the second week of September for the consultations.
Two of the principal coordinators of the YES project, Permanent Secretary Elvis Newton and Accountant General Levi Bradshaw, presented a full report on the progress of the project. The YES project has been serving over 1000 project applicants through 41 trainers and 50 attachment sites.
The Permanent Secretary emphasized that the project continues to serve individuals with a range of aspirations and behavioural patterns, and described the management of the project as challenging. Overall, the project was described as successful and many of the students have been able to pursue multiple training courses under the project.
The coordinators assured the Cabinet that the project continues to meet a critical need in our evolving society. They highlighted the need to improve training in the area of Life Skills.
Government pledged its full support and looks forward to working with the coordinators to improve and strengthen the YES project over the medium term.