Prime Minister Timothy Harris discussed the Poverty Alleviation Programme during yesterday's Community Consultation, which was held at the St. Johnston Community Centre.
Prime Minister Timothy Harris discussed the Poverty Alleviation Programme during yesterday’s Community Consultation, which was held at the St. Johnston Community Centre.

The Poverty Alleviation Programme was started to improve the socio-economic status of citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis. Qualifying households began receiving payments in December. Three months later,  more than 3,553 households have benefited.

Prime Minister Timothy Harris said during a “Community Consultation” meeting held at the St. Johnston Community Centre, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said that work is being done to fine tune the programme.

Government officials are revisiting the household list where individuals are receiving the EC $500 under the Government of National Unity’s Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP) to make sure that  funds are being dispersed to families who fall below the $3,000 income threshold.

“Some persons – two, three, four members – [from the same household] applied under different names and different titles but are the same persons and they ought not to be in the programme, and so we are tidying up the programme,” Harris said during the town hall-style meeting.  “In a month or two, we put that behind us and we are ready again to go back out in the communities, so that those who for one reason or the other were not able to make it in the first, will have an opportunity to move forward.”

Harris said the programme “is not an issue of charity,” but one of “social justice.”

“It blesses my heart when people come forward and acknowledge the difference that our programme and policies have been making in their lives. We said that we will give you, as it were, a top up, an income, an inflow of five hundred dollars to assist you to get a better quality of life and living,” he said. Harris said this money should help residents pay their bills on time and help safeguard them from penalties such as having their electricity disconnected.

People who submitted their banking information should see the  500 dollars deposited into their accounts next Friday (March 29), while persons receiving a cheque can pick it up at the Inland Revenue Department next Saturday (March 30).