Basseterre: Focusing on three topics Safety, Relief and Recovery, Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris addressed the press conference on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister boasted the decreasing cases of homicide as compared to previous government of Labour party. The good scorecard in vaccination and other programmes initiating in development of the economy of twin-island federation.
While talking about the Security of the citizens on the island, PM Timothy Harris said that when they started handling the administration of St Kitts and Nevis in 2015. They had to struggle a lot with the problems posed by the failures done by the previous government to secure their people.
PM Harris said, “Homicides had reached a record high of 35 in 2011. Since assuming office, we have reorganized our security forces and enhanced manpower. We increased budgetary support to National Security from $62.8 million in 2014 to a record high of $99 million in 2020, followed by $86.2 million in 2021. We created new programs like the Alternative Lifestyle Programme (ALP) and the Explorers Club. We are seeking to redirect our youths from the path of crime.”
Team unity-led administration has been maintaining rehabilitation and engaging positively with youth in the country. The government made the largest group of young persons organized for constructive activities via the Explorer Club. Over 1200 young persons have been participating in the club under the guardianship of the Community Policing Team.
While discussing about the COVID-19 situation in the country, PM Harris said that COVID-19 is posing a serious threat to human security. Vaccination is the major weapon to fight against the COVID-19. PM Harris highlighted that the federation had discovered some cases of Lambda and other variants in the past days. Due to which the cases of COVID-19 may increase in the twin-island country.
PM Harris said, “Thursday, August 12, 2021, we received a donation of 11,700 doses of vaccine. We took yet another step to protect our adolescents and adults from the virus,” PM Harris added, “On September 1, we will begin to administer the Pfizer vaccine. I must remind everyone that the Pfizer vaccine will be available to every individual 12 years and older. Please begin to make appointments at your health centers.”
On Tuesday, August 17 2021, the Government of St Kitts and Nevis described their primarily targeted and long-going stimulus package. This package is said to be sufficient for every vulnerable, poor and people of communities affected by the COVID-19 virus. It would also play an essential role in the economic recovery of the country. The government of St Kitts and Nevis, as being committed to delivering a good quality of life to all people on the island.
PM Harris said, “In fact, we have given several tax waivers and deferrals over the last 17 months even though this has further reduced cash inflows for the government. We did this because our people matter most. We feel their hardships and pain, and we will do all we can to lessen their difficulties. We are asking our people to protect themselves, get vaccinated so that they can get on with their lives and contribute to their wellbeing and that of their families.”
PM Harris said that their Poverty Alleviation Program (PAP) and a wide range of social safety net programmes across various line Ministries such as Health, Education, Social Development, etc. over $50 million would be spent in the current year to bring some resemblance of dignity to the vulnerable sons and daughters this also include battered women, foster children.
The statement shows PM focusing on the income support programme. This programme has been beneficial for the poor, vulnerable and unemployed citizens.
PM Harris reported, “A total of 3,733 applications have been received by the Ministry of Finance as of August 23 2021. A total of 1,886 applications have been approved so far. Claims will be processed daily until the cut off of September 15 2021, when no further claims will be accepted.”
While talking on the Fuel Subsidy Programme, PM Harris said that the Ministry of Finance had received a total of 106 applications from bus operators till August 23 2021. Out of which, a total of 92 applications have been approved.
PM Harris said that their government had introduced the “Disability Support Programme” he stated that the government had approved a total of 119 applications. While supporting the trainees at Ade’s Place, the government had given the institution the grant of $15,000.
PM Harris said, “Ade’s Place is preparing persons living with disabilities with skills for work and effective engagement in society. My government is serious when we say no one will be left behind, hence this special carve-out for families taking care of persons living with disabilities.”
The economy of St Kitts and Nevis is recovering. The recovery of their economy has been moving at a high pace. This was measured by the performance of the key economic sectors.