Labour Government will continue to ensure Nevis benefits

Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) — Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said his Federal Government will continue to ensure that the people of Nevis continue to benefit from the policies of his Labour Party Administration.

In his recent New Year address to the Nation, Prime Minister Douglas noted that the Federal Government as of 31st March 2014 paid nearly EC$20 million on behalf of the Nevis Island Administration.

Dr. Douglas said noted that the Island of Nevis is benefitting very substantially from a number of major developments approved under the Federal Government-sponsored Citizenship by Investment Programme.

He said that it is of the view there is need to establish a proper framework for cooperation between St. Kitts and Nevis that does not depend on which Party is in office in the Nevis Island Administration or in the Federal Government.

“From 1983 my Government has posited the view that the Constitution is seriously flawed especially as it relates to the relationship between the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. The flaws are becoming evenmore glaring now because the same personalities in Federal Parliament that are seeking to bring down the Federal Government must at the same time look to the Federal Government for assistance and support in order to properly discharge their functions as leaders in the Nevis Island Administration,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He pointed out that in keeping with his responsibility as Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, he has done everything possible to ensure that the people of Nevis are not put at a disadvantage.

“The Federal Government has signed guarantees, have offered assistance in respect of salaries and bonuses, and have paid loans for the Nevis Island Administration when they could not afford to do so. Indeed as of 31st March 2014 the amounts paid by the Federal Government on behalf of the Nevis Island Administration amounted to $18.2 million,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

“We need a framework whereby the Federal Government can provide more resources to the island of Nevis, in a structured, equitable and automatic fashion. I am of the view the people of Nevis, like those in St. Kitts, have the right to determine which Party they would like hold office and they have done that in their local elections,” said Dr. Douglas, who said that the NIA needs to send a clear signal to the Administration that they wish to cooperate with the Federal Government through a mechanism that is administrative in nature, free of politics, and does not depend on the personalities in Government in either of the islands.

Dr. Douglas pointed out that when he entered politics he was incensed by the imbalance in relation to the development of the various communities in the Federation.

“I am still strongly of the view that development in our country must be balanced and must give every citizen, whether in Gingerland or Sandy Point or Basseterre or Cotton Ground or wherever, an equal opportunity to pursue their dreams and realize their ambitions. I intend to pursue that cooperation framework with great vigour and to give that matter urgent priority. The people of Nevis can assist by signalling to the NIA that they want to work with the Federal Government to accelerate the pace of development in Nevis through cooperation, mutual assistance and the orderly, automatic and equitable transfer of resources. They will have the opportunity to send that signal loudly and clearly in the General Elections scheduled for this year,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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