BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- “Take a leaf out of the Bible and learn to save a little every time you receive your pay cheque,” Area Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Number Eight and Minister of Agriculture, Health et al, the Hon Eugene Hamilton advised workers on the STEP Community Clean-up Groups in Cayon.
Minister Hamilton told the attentive workers of the story in the Bible in which Pharaoh had a strange dream twice. After the dream was interpreted to him he requested that large barns be built and the grain grown during the seven years of plenty to be stored. The stored grain would be used during the seven years of drought that would follow.
“We in government have made sure we put programmes in place to see if it can help you to save and STEP is one of them,” Hamilton said. “Please when you get your resources, do not spend all on consumable things. Save some of what you work for every time you get your pay cheque, and in the end you will be closer to financial independence than you are today.
“You pay yourself by making sure you put aside something in a bank, in land or in some property. Put aside something for yourself, including for your own health and wellbeing, no matter how small it is.”
Minister Hamilton was making brief remarks at the opening ceremony of a Soft Skills Training Programme on Money Management held at the Cayon Community Centre. It was put on by the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) for workers on Community Clean-up Groups from the Cayon area.
Also present at the opening ceremony was Prime Minister and Minister of People Empowerment, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, who also gave remarks and told the STEP workers not to take the opportunity given to them for granted. A training programme on Money Management was facilitated by Mrs. Petronella Edmeade-Crooke, manager in the Finance Department at the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank.
“We spoke to them about money management and how to manage their earnings,” Mrs. Edmeade-Crooke said and included,“How to budget, how to track their spending and how to make sure they have a proper financial plan.”
Mrs. Edmeade-Crooke was assisted by Mrs. Angelica Lewis, who said, “Even though they may feel that it is early, or they are young, we encouraged them to start saving for retirement and for whatever future goals they want to succeed in.”
Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for STEP, Mr Osbert DeSuza, thanked Prime Minister Harris for giving his support to the Soft Skills Training Programme by the STEP office that is aimed at bringing some enlightenment to the STEP employees island-wide.
“This morning represents the third in a series of activities that we are embarking on from the STEP office to try to bring some soft skills training to the STEP employees,” said DeSuza. “The ultimate aim is to better equip the STEP employees to deal with some of the challenges that all of us face on a daily basis. I think today’s topic ‘money management’, given what has been in the air (payment of a double salary), is very timely.”