Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) — With the Federation’s Debt to GDP Ratio down from nearly 200 percent to 95 percent and the economy doing better, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has showered praise on several persons responsible for this achievement.
He said credit should go to those who have worked assiduously to ensure that the financial situation in the country would have improved.
“I give credit of course to the Past Financial Secretary, Mrs. Janet Harris and the present office holder, Mrs. Hilary Hazel and the various teams who worked very hard with them, not only firstly with the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to put the locally-crafted programme in place, but who meticulously executed the programme which to a large extent became the first modern home-grown programme in recent history of the IMF that has been successful,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He told listeners to his recent “Ask the Prime Minister,”: “none to date in the history of the IMF has been so successful and to a large extent, this has been as a result of the hard work of the Financial Secretaries. Of course credit has to be given to the Permanent Secretaries in the other Ministries and Departments, who not only adhered to the advice that was being given from the Ministry of Finance, but who themselves were a part of the execution and implementation team.”
Prime Minister Douglas also expressed thanks to his colleagues in the Cabinet, “those who lent of their advice; those who improved on what were originally given, those who made the necessary adjustments, those who were being very conscience of what possible pains, the adjustments could have caused and tweaked it a bit.”
Commenting on the social safety net aspects of the programme, Prime Minister Douglas commend to a large extent all of my cabinet colleagues. He however singled out Minister of Community and Social Development, the Hon. Marcella Liburd, the only female in the Cabinet for “demonstrating great sensitivity to whatever adjustments could have caused and as a result came up with a programme that today is being properly executed.”
“I want to thank my colleagues and all in the public service who sacrificed and don’t forget the public servants themselves. That is why nothing is too much for them, they sacrifice greatly. They allowed their increments to be withheld for maybe three years and eventually they came on board and allowed the government to implement its adjustment programme so that today we are much better off than we were before.
And so that is why the increases that we gave, even though other countries in the Caribbean are talking about reducing public servants’ salaries, we here in St. Kitts and Nevis commend our public servants for their own sacrifices and we continue to improve their own salaries,” said Dr. Douglas.
He also thanked the pensioners, those who recently have also adjustments made from the Social Security as well as the Public Sector and the Private Sector.
“That is why today we must work together to ensure that the gains that we have made must not be allowed to be fritted away from us by those who are power hungry and those who are seeking political power to get revenge on those persons who do not support them. We need to protect what we have gained and protecting what we have gained meaning continued support for the policies and the programmes which this government has put in place,” said Prime Minister Douglas.