Public Debt Down 20% Over The Last Four Years
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
March 19, 2009 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis has shown its commitment to debt reduction by achieving a primary surplus in 2008 for the fourth consecutive year with the public debt ratio down by 20 percentage points over the past four years.
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says the twin-island federation will continue to pursue three key policy components in dealing with the national debt.
“We want to restore fiscal and debt sustainability, ensure there is a fostering of growth and enhanced competitiveness in the federation and mitigate all of the vulnerabilities that we are faced with at this particular challenging time,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
Responding to a question from a reporter for the opposition-owned Democrat newspaper, during Wednesday’s Press Conference, Dr. Douglass said the government remains committed to fiscal adjustment and debt reduction.
“We have done this in a number of ways. We have closed the sugar industry. We have been very specific in introducing the flexible fuel pricing mechanism. We have moved to ensure that market-based Property Tax has been the hallmark of our tax reform policy to date and have strengthened our tax administration,” said Dr. Douglas.
He said the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Administration has been meeting policy conditions for our first disbursement of our loan from the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the ability to receive several million dollars from EU Sugar grant that are available.
“We continue to move ahead in the area of fiscal reform, trying as much as possible to educate our people to ensure that there is the appropriate consultation on a transaction-based tax regime that we will want to look at and we continue to move forward on the preparation to corporatize the Department of Electricity,” said Dr. Douglas.
He said government continues to ask for assistance in the strengthening of the nation’s debt management capability with the necessary support expertise within the Debt Unit,” said Dr. Douglas.