A strong economy has meant citizens and residents of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis are enjoying more benefits in all spheres of life, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris said on Tuesday while delivering feature remarks at the 2019 National Consultation on the Economy at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort
“The challenge we face today is how we keep the economy that we inherited strong so that it can continue to deliver a better future for all the citizens and residents of our beloved Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” the prime minister said.
Dr Harris noted economic strength is not an end in itself, but rather a means to sustain an excellent quality of life for all the people and the fundamental means by which the government provides hope and build a stronger, better and safer future for all citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“A strong economy means we can create more jobs, especially for our young people, some of whom are here,” the prime minister said in reference to students from the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) who were at the St. Kitts Marriott.
“And the records would show that in January to June 2019, 25,975 jobs were taken up in St. Kitts and Nevis by citizens and residents,” Prime Minister Harris said. “This is an important data — the largest number of employed persons, the highest level of wages paid in the economy occurred over the last four-plus years. It is a record of our success in managing the economy and giving our people opportunity to participate, lest we take these things for granted.”
A strong economy, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance further noted, meant that his Administration can invest in rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, some which had gone in dilapidation. He pointed to the comprehensive resurfacing of the Island Main Road, construction of roads in housing projects and construction of a new cruise pier as examples of his administration’s successes.
“Everyone who comes to St. Kitts and Nevis can see and feel the difference in the quality of our infrastructure and they hail the government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis for its forward thrust in the social economic life of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr Harris.
The prime minister also noted a strong economy means gave the administration resources to improve the country’s education and health system. He pointed out that in 2019 the government invested millions in tertiary education and supported at least 300 citizens of the Federation in various universities around the world.
“It is our plan, very shortly, to introduce a comprehensive health insurance programme for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” he said. “So, whether you are rich or you are poor, whether you are receiving treatment at home or overseas, some financial support will be there for every citizen and resident of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
According to Prime Minister Harris, when the health insurance programme is put in place, St. Kitts and Nevis will be first country in the OECS, and perhaps within the CARICOM, that would have provided this kind of health delivery to the people in the country.