PM blasts Parliamentary Opposition for not making meaningful contribution to Budget debate

Pogson Medical Centre

ST. KITTS, DECEMBER 22ND 2010 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas blasted the parliamentary opposition in the National Assembly Monday accusing them of making no meaningful contribution in moving the country forward.

Winding up a five-day debate on the 2011 Budget Prime Minister Douglas accused the opposition of giving the impression during their presentations on the Budget that nothing was happening in the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis.He said some 241 business licences were issued by the Ministry of Finance in 2009 and 221 for 2010 up to December 20th 2010.Dr. Douglas said Carib Brewery made an EC$5.9 million profit in 2009 and S. L. Horsford and Company Limited, EC$14.9 million before tax and EC$9.2 million after tax.”The St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Trading and Development Company Limited (TDC) had a profit of EC$13.5 million in 2009, yet the Honourable Leader of the Opposition (Mark Brantley) is saying nothing is happening in the country and the Member for St. Christopher Five (Hon. Shawn Richards) is a senior official in TDC,” said Dr. Douglas.

Port Zante

He also disclosed that the FND Credit Union after just five months of operation reported s profit of EC$262,000 profit, while Lime (St. Kitts and Nevis Limited) realized a profit of EC$17.9 million in 2009. “The Police Credit Union made a profit of EC$1.5 million and had to write off EC$200,000 as a result of the collapse of British American. The St. Kitts Credit Union also had to write off $3 million as a result of British American,” said Dr. Douglas who also noted that the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank made a profit of EC$50 million.”You all are sleeping, you all come here only to oppose and that is why you will remain on the opposition benches. There has been no contribution for the opposition benches in moving the country forward, except criticism. Just talk, talk, talk, talk,” said Dr. Douglas, adding that the Leader of the Opposition should be ashamed just to be talking and does not know what he is talking about.

“You all are the Government,” two-term People’s Action Movement (PAM) Parliamentary Representative,” Hon. Shawn Richards fired back across the floor.

Prime Minister Douglas also weighed in on criticism from the Leader of the Opposition on government’s financing of the construction of the F.T. Williams Highway.

“It took a little longer to be completed because we had to build other roads connecting the highway to new roads. We had to join Beacon Heights.

New Buckley’s Round-a-bout

We had to give the people in Shadwell and Pine Gardens a proper road. We had to shift the road around the airport to New Road and St. Peter’s to a new section with a bridge to the new highway. It took a little longer and it has become a song and dance from the opposition in this Parliament,” said Prime Minister Douglas.He said the high national debt was used to provide schools for the children of the nation, brand new hospitals both at the J.N. France General Hospital in Basseterre, the Pogson Medical Centre in Sandy Point, hot meals, uniforms, text books and exam fees for primary, secondary school and tertiary school students, expansion of the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport, the new cruise ship pier at Port Zante, reconstruction of homes and schools and restoration of roads, electricity and water and other infrastructure following damage by five hurricanes and a flood over a five year period.

“We made these investments for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. The Leader of the Opposition does not need these, but the ordinary people of St. Kitts and Nevis need them, because they cannot afford to go to London, New York and Miami to seek medical care,” said Dr. Douglas.”This Labour Government is for the poor, ordinary people, middle income and those well off as well. This is a Government for poor people, for everybody, but in particular those who cannot help themselves. They will rely on this Government and they will benefit from the investment that we have made for ordinary people to live properly and with dignity here in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr. Douglas, who also highlighted the millions of dollars spent to educate students of all political persuasions – PAM, Labour, CCM, NRP – in universities in St. Kitts and Nevis and overseas.

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