Finance Minister Harris Weighs In On Budget Preparations

(ZIZ News) — On Thursday, when government officials met at the Ministry of Finance to discuss the upcoming budget presentation, the country’s Minister of Finance and Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris was present.

During a media briefing, he said that through the budget preparatory exercises, all Cabinet members gain more insight into the work of ministries that are not their own.

He maintains that his administration’s budget will bring answers to questions that continue to be asked.

“We intend that the various ministries as we are doing now, should be able to showcase to the country that the country is getting value for money in health, in education, in foreign affairs, in the Office of Justice and Legal Affairs, from the Office of the Attorney General, every area of engagement,” he said.

Like Financial Secretary Hilary Hazel, Dr. Harris said the budget takes into consideration suggestions made during the recent national consultation on the economy.

“The budget will demonstrate in a real sense that we are listening, that having listened and having weighed the options available to us that we are now responding to the felt needs of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. The budget as you said is clothed in an accountability framework. That is why from day one, we postulated that this budget will not be a deficit one but as part of the fiscal prudence and fiscal responsibility, it is important for us as a government to show a commitment to live within our means,” he said.

Looking ahead, Dr. Harris said his team will ensure that the benefits that consumers should receive as a result of removing VAT from food, medicine, and funeral expenses are effectively passed on.

“We will look at mechanisms as we pursue the budget through which we can properly monitor and evaluate whether there is price gouging in the national community,” he said.

Although no date has been announced, the upcoming budget presentation will be the first for the Team Unity administration that was elected in February this year.

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