BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, August 27, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – A number of nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis used Tuesday (August 25) night’s edition of Leadership Matters to record their appreciation and commendation to Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris for his staunch leadership of the country during these uncertain terms brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to the arrival of the deadly coronavirus in the Federation, St. Kitts and Nevis, under the leadership of the Dr. Harris-led Team Unity administration, had the lowest debt to GDP ratio among all independent countries of the OECS, and the highest per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the subregion.
One caller to the programme thanked the honourable prime minister for keeping the residents safe from the spread of COVID-19. He added, “When I look at St. Kitts, we have no active cases, we still have no deaths and I would like to hear more of the media thanking you for keeping us safe because the measures that you have put in place were a success.”
Another caller phoned in to also express his gratitude to Prime Minister Harris and his Team Unity administration. He echoed similar sentiments of appreciation by stating that as a result of the protocols that were put in place at an early stage, St. Kitts and Nevis was spared the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak with less than 20 positive cases and zero deaths.
A third caller, a national residing overseas, told Prime Minister Harris that St. Kitts and Nevis is in an enviable position compared to other nations because of its handling of the pandemic that has crippled world economies.
In response, Prime Minister Harris wholeheartedly thanked the callers for their words of commendation and well wishes. Dr. Harris then pledged to use his good offices to continue the work of developing the twin island Federation on behalf of every citizen and resident of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Every day I am conscious really of the awesome and onerous responsibility to lead and to provide leadership to the citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis, and I in a prayerful way, really endeavour each time to do my very best and will continue to do so. So I want to commend all for congratulating me on the work so far and to say I will try hard not to disappoint or let you down and I will bring every energy, every knowledge, every experience that I have garnered and honed over the last couple of years to ensure that we advance the safer and stronger future for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Prime Minister said.
To help cushion the economic impact from the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dr. Harris-led Government of St. Kitts and Nevis introduced a comprehensive $120 million stimulus package which included reducing Corporate Income Tax and Unincorporated Business Tax; waived water payments of farmers for six months to boost agricultural production; injecting $10 million to boost production in the agriculture sector; and provided an additional $5 million to support the Poverty Alleviation Programme, among others.
It was recently reported by the Chief Executive Officer of the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board, Mr. Antonio Maynard that over 8,000 employees and 1,568 self-employed persons in St. Kitts and Nevis, who suffered a loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic, have benefited from a payout of some $22 million from the Social Security COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.