We have had some serious challenges due to the high national debt, said the prime Minister in a recent radio program, but he was at pains to point out that the St. Kitts-Nevis Government has invested in the economic and social development of the country.
Douglas said his Government invested heavily in the economic and social development of the twin-island federation, ahead of the serious international financial and economic challenges. “We made sure that our people were not left behind. We made sure that we invested in the infrastructure of St. Kitts and Nevis so that we can still attract a high level of foreign direct investment, even though the world is in recession,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who rejected a statement that hotels are closing and on the market due to high taxes being imposed.
“OTI has been on the market for a long time. Frigate Bay Beach Resort has been on the market for years, and has recently been bought by a group of persons, and the former Jack Tar Hotel – the Royal St. Kitts Resort for years has been on the market, having closed for several years, reopened and recently turned into a dorm for students,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
“We seem to be living in a world by ourselves. Hotels around the world are not only closing but going at almost a penny. Hotels are going a begging and people are buying up hotels around the world because of the global recession. Why is it that we in St. Kitts has to be different,” said Dr. Douglas adding that his Government instead of imposing heavy taxes has been providing concessions to hotels and restaurants like several other businesses.
“Several businesses are closing but some are also opening as a result of the global recession and what is happening in St. Kitts and Nevis is impacted by what is happening around the world. It has nothing to do with this government imposing heavy taxes with such rapidity that hotels are closing down and businesses are folding up. We need to give a full picture,” said Dr. Douglas.
The Prime Minister indicated that despite the difficult economic times, there are various tourism projects that are still moving ahead with their development.
“Every single one of them is still going forward,” said Prime Minister Douglas, singling out the multi-million dollar projects including Ocean Edge, Christophe Harbour, Silver Reef – which opened its doors in December 2010; the residential development projects at Half Moon Bay, Sunrise Villas, Coast to Coast on the Southeast Peninsula – all coming on stream during the middle of a hostile recession, said Dr. Douglas.