Prime Minister Harris Works To Consolidate Gains Made Between The Federal Government And The NIA Under Team Unity
Successive administrations, led by former Premier Vance Amory and current Premier the Honourable Mark Brantley, have publicly proclaimed that Nevis has had its best support from the Federal government under Team Unity.
“It is important that we continue on this path, and that we consolidate the gains. We will do this working together. Working together we shall achieve more. The relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis must not be defined solely in monetary terms. Certain elements cannot be monetized. The strong amicable relationship between our people, the ease of doing business on any of our island by our citizens and residents, the synergies between our twin island state as we work together are to be cherished,” said Prime Minister Harris.
“Our Unity Government is committed to a stronger and safer future for all our citizens and residents on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. We have already created several historic feats just in the short period of six years. We are the first Federal Government to provide regular periodic transfer of resources to the Nevis Island Administration. Over the last six-plus years our budgetary transfers to the NIA have exceeded over $260 million,” said Prime Minister Harris during his Thursday, October 28 press conference at the NEMA Conference Room.
The prime minister continued, “We have paid double salaries to the public sector workers on Nevis, for example, the NIA employees, NEVLEC, NASPA in the same manner that we have done for those federal workers on St. Kitts. We have supported home reconstruction in Nevis post hurricane Irma. We pay all STEP workers in Nevis. We pay PAP [Poverty Alleviation Programme] beneficiaries on Nevis their monthly stipend. We jointly order pharmaceuticals for both islands. We pay the economic costs of our students from Nevis and St. Kitts studying abroad. Nevisians participate in equal measure in special mortgage facilities funded by the Federal Government. These additional benefits to the $260 million are valued well in excess of $60 million.”
Moreover, Prime Minister Harris noted that the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund (SIDF), under the Team Unity Government, has provided financial assistance to the NIA for the construction of the Treasury Building, the expansion of the Alexandra Hospital, and the developments at the Mondo Track.
“All these developments in my view indicate that our Team Unity Government is working for all our people and the people of Nevis like the people of St. Kitts are benefiting from Team Unity. The delicate balance that we have managed so far is to ensure that both islands are further developed and advanced and that our people on both islands enjoy the stronger safer future we promised. Therefore, we have continued to provide the historic and unprecedented levels of support to Nevis. We appreciate and welcome the support given by the NIA to members of our Defence Force who for several years helped to preserve law and order on Nevis. This again is a historic change,” Dr. Harris said.