Prime Minister Dr. Drew Addresses Wealth-Building And Social Support Initiatives On The Roundtable

Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew.
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Basseterre, St. Kitts – Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, emphasised the critical importance of building wealth and highlighted his administration’s ongoing efforts to enhance the economic well-being of the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis during the July 02 edition of the Roundtable held at the Koi Resort.

Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew.

Dr. Drew detailed several key initiatives aimed at wealth-building and economic security. These initiatives included an increase in wages and salaries in the public sector, raising the minimum wage, advancing pension plans for Government Auxiliary Employees (GAE) , implementing social security reforms, and launching the children’s finance and education programme set to begin in September 2024.

The prime minister emphasised the government’s commitment to sustainable development and economic security.

“We are putting permanent sustainable things in place to secure our people,” he said. “No other country in CARICOM (the Caribbean Community) or the Caribbean has done what we have done.

Dr. Drew emphasised that the government remains sensitive to the needs of society’s vulnerable and pledged that social assistance programmes will be maintained to help those in need.

Prime Minister Dr. Drew also highlighted the extensive subsidies provided by the government to cushion the effects of post-COVID inflation. The government heavily subsidises water, electricity, cooking gas, gasoline for vehicles, food, and basic cable costs, ensuring these expenses do not rise. These subsidies total well over a quarter million dollars, he said, adding that spending on social safety net programmes represents 25 percent of the annual budget, a contribution unmatched by any other country in the region.

Prime Minister Dr. Drew reiterated the government’s dedication to the well-being of its citizens.

“This government and administration will continue to work on the behalf of you, the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. We are aware that things are not perfect and will not be perfect. We hear you, but please know also that this government is humble enough to always seek solutions to make your life better,” he said. “That is why we have the highest minimum wage and pension plan in the whole region, and that is why we have social security reform to make it sustainable and strong.”

Addressing the nation’s economic strategy, Dr. Drew acknowledged the need for diversification beyond the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme. He emphasised that while the government supports its people significantly, they are also working towards achieving a sustainable island state, reducing dependency on the CBI Programme.

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