Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 01, 2020 (SKNIS): Financial Secretary within the Ministry of Finance, Hilary Hazel, outlined the way forward for St. Kitts and Nevis’ economy with the new normal created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During her presentation on Leadership Matters on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, Mrs. Hazel said that two viewpoints are currently being shared in terms of the interjectory of the global recovery which is very instructive for the Federation.
“Under the optimistic viewpoint, we see that the recovery optimistic viewpoint that the recovery may take the form of a deep recession followed by a quick recovery after the lockdown has been eased. In the pessimistic viewpoint, we see the possibility of a deep contraction and then we have an optic resembling a recovery and then we see a contraction again before we can return to normal,” said the financial secretary.
The Financial Secretary said that it was important for an all-of-society approach to be at the forefront in decision-making.
“For the Ministry of Finance, we are hoping that this situation in St. Kitts and Nevis will be along the pathway to follow the optimistic view. And so, the pathway to our recovery we believe would rest heavily on the ability of the country, the government, businesses and households to co-exist with COVID-19,” she said. “How soon will be able to open our borders and the capacity to jump-start the 2020-2021 tourism season are also critical issues for consideration.”
The Financial Secretary said that several measures should be considered for recovery in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The path to recovery we believe must include the measures to tackle fiscal stabilization, stimulating economic growth, economic transformation and maintaining an adequate social safety net system that is targeted at the most vulnerable members of society,” said Mrs. Hazel. “We believe that the areas for fiscal stabilization should include considerations for reprioritizing our capital expenditure especially to reorient them to impact on the economy. We also would look at increased coordination between the allied ministries and other entities in the public sector to ensure delivery of services to our needy families and households – that is to help strengthen the social safety net programmes that are indeed being delivered by the government,” she added.
Mrs. Hazel said that the crisis offers an excellent opportunity to reshape the economy allowing for greater productiveness and resiliency. A key aspect of such includes enhancing resiliency against the negative impacts of climate change and the growing intensity of natural disasters.