Double Salary for civil servants and strong economic forecast for 2022

BY MyVue Staff Writer

Basseterre, 14th December, 2021 (MyVue Minister of Finance in St. Kitts & Nevis, Dr. Timothy Harris, on Tuesday, 14th December, announced that all civil servants in St. Kitts and Nevis will be paid a double salary this month.

In addition, Harris also encouraged all government statutory Boards and Corporations to do likewise, provided they are in a financial position to do so.

The measure, which caught many off-guard, was announced while Harris was presenting the Appropriation Bill 2022, in a special sitting of the National Assembly, held at the St.Kitts Marriott.

He explained that thousands of persons are still suffering as a result of the fallout from almost two years of COVID-19, and its impact on countries like St. Kitts & Nevis.

Such persons need some help, intimated the Finance Minister, who added that there are many civil servants who today are the sole income earner in households across the country.

He thanked civil servants for their hard work over the past 21 months and said the government has determined that all should be rewarded for their dedication.

Over 35 million dollars have been allocated to cover the added expense but the Finance Minister said he is confident that it would help to stimulate a new wave of economic activity, while also creating new job opportunities.

“The government still has some fiscal space to successfully implement this Budget that would enable the country to honour its obligations, protect the poor, the needy, and the children among us,” said Harris.

At the same, the Budget will stimulate the economy so that people can go back to work. “It is a people-centered Budget,” he suggested.

“The provisions outlined in the Budget are expected to help the country grapple with the most devastating health and economic crises in our lifetime, for the past 21 months, “ stated Dr. Harris.

The pandemic has toppled economies and health systems around the world, said Harris, who added that despite this, St. Kitts & Nevis has managed to survive and it has done a remarkable job, as a small island developing state that has been able to withstand the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Budget is being delivered under the theme, “Investing in our people. Putting St. Kitts & Nevis back on track.”

This, said the Minister, represents the government’s unwavering commitment t continue investing in the lives of all citizens and residents, and their future …”

He stated that it is also the government’s desire to get the country back on track to achieving its developmental priorities.

Harris disclosed that the International Monetary Fund, IMF, has predicted that the country will realize a 10% economic growth in 2022. “This Budget, in my view, is yet another tool to ensure that St. Kitts & Nevis can realize this very optimistic growth forecast,” stated Dr. Harris.

No new taxes have been included in the Budget of over 952 Million Dollars.

On Wednesday, the Opposition Leader, Dr. Denzil Douglas, is due to give his response to the presentation made on Tuesday by the Minister of Finance.

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