Cabinet Ministers told to plan carefully for next budget

Basseterre, Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020, ( – The pending hurricane season, mixed with the current COVID-19 global pandemic, were some of the issues identified in Monday’s first Cabinet meeting, since the election of 5th June, 2020.

Chairman of the Cabinet and Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, encouraged his colleagues to take a new approach to the framing of the 2021 Budget, which is expected to be tabled in parliament in just under six months, in December, 2020.

The impact of the pandemic on the economy will certainly be an issue to be navigated when arriving at the estimates for the new fiscal year, and areas like tourism and construction, two of the central pillars of the economy, are likely to present major challenges.

“It was noted that the Budget cycle is upon us and due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 it will be necessary to prudently plan and implement the new Budget cycle,” said a statement coming after the meeting.

In light of the promises made on the campaign trail, “Several Ministers spoke to the issues that they would like to be foremost in the new term,” the statement added.

During the meeting, which was the first for four of the new Cabinet Ministers, (Jonel Powell, Alexis Jeffers, Akilah Byron-Nisbett and Eric Evelyn), the Prime Minister, who is also Minister of Finance, “…encouraged members to put their best efforts to deliver on the commitment for a better and stronger future…”

Mostly for the benefit of the new members, Harris also gave an overview of how Cabinet functions and its criticality to the functions of the Westminster Model of democracy.

Several issues were addressed in this regard, said a post Cabinet document.

Meetings of the Cabinet are usually scheduled for each Monday, running from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., or later.

Cabinet Secretary, Josephine Huggins (Left) and Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris (Right) at Meeting of Cabinet

Main photo: Meeting of Cabinet held on Monday, 22nd June, 2020