Government to pay double salary

Civil servants in St. Kitts and Nevis will get a bonus, one months’ salary after it was confirmed late Thursday evening.

At his press conference Wednesday Prime Minister The Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris, who also serves as Minister of Finance, indicated that the government was contemplating a double salary for civil servants this December, as it did last year. But much depends on balancing the state of post hurricane finances with the state of employees post hurricane lives.

In December 2016 the government paid a bonus to civil servants of one months’ salary but this year facing a $150M hurricane debt many questioned whether the government would again be able to make that payment.

“With respect to the double salary or bonus, we too are contemplating, we are contemplating in the context of a responsibility to be fiscally prudent. We are contemplating in the context of the realities of significant damage having occurred in the country, we are contemplating in the context that we want to prioritize the balancing of people’s lives.”

Late Thursday evening the government released a statement indicating that civil servants in St. Kitts and Nevis will be paid a bonus of one months’ salary.

The statement read, “Prime Minister The Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris led Team Unity Administration has enabled the historic and unprecedented bonus salary or double salary payment for 2017. This is the FIRST time that any government in history has paid a Bonus or Double Salary in two Consecutive Years.”

At Wednesday’s press conference PM Harris acknowledged that some civil servants may have had damage done to their homes following the passage of the hurricanes in September.

‘Those who have had their roof damaged, those who are still carrying their tarpaulins, we would want of course to respond to those in a timely way and yet we understand that we have set a brave tradition across the world for there are few, if any other country, which would have provided a double salary.

“So in a sense, maybe having performed so excellently, persons do not do all the contemplation which we have to do, as a responsible government,” the Prime Minister stated.

He also noted that the government is not only concerned with balancing the books but also balancing the people’s lives.

“I can say the government will always be fiscally responsible and we are concerned with not just balancing the books…but we also want to balance people’s lives so we will look at that more properly.”