Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 06, 2017 (SKNIS): The Appropriation (2018) Bill, 2017, is designed to support and strengthen the implementation of various plans and programmes of the government, said Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during the Budget Address on Wednesday, December 06.
Prime Minister Harris said that in 2018, the government will “continue to build on the solid foundation which we have already established” to develop a number of initiatives. These include: a dynamic climate change policy accompanied by a relevant climate change adaptation strategy; a new national housing policy; an updated land use policy; a national qualification register; a special needs policy; and a plan of action for non-communicable diseases.
“In addition to these, we will complete the National Strategic Plan for Health, and commencing earnest, the implementation of our Education Sector Plan. My Team Unity Government will also continue to seek strategic partnerships to translate these policy frameworks into tangible outcomes that will enhance the productivity and promote economic growth,” said Prime Minister Harris.
In presenting the EC$706,129,036 million Budget, Prime Minister Harris said that the implementation of the plans and programmes is intended to improve the delivery of public service, contribute to the increase in growth in the economy and improve the quality of lives of all citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Prime Minister Harris stated that the following allocations comprise the proposals for both recurrent and capital expenditure.
The Governor General will be accorded EC $2. 2 million; the Federal Parliament will be allocated EC $1.7 million and the Audit Office will receive EC $1.3 million. The Ministry of Justice, Legal Affairs and Communication will be allocated EC $15.8 million; the Office of the Prime Minister EC $36.3 million; the Ministry of National Security EC $75.5 million; International Trade, Industry and Commerce EC $4.1 million, while the Ministry of Finance will be accorded EC$221.3 million, while Community Development, Gender Affairs and Social Services will receive EC 18.6 million.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Human Settlement, Cooperatives and the Environment will receive EC $11.6 million; Ministry of Tourism will be allocated EC $27.6 million; Public Infrastructure, Post and Urban Development and Transport will receive EC $72.8 million, while the Ministry of Education will be allocated EC $91.8 million. The Ministries of Health and Youth, Sport and Culture will be allocated EC$57.1 million and 13.8 million respectively. The Ministry of Sustainable Development is set to receive EC $16.3 million; Foreign Affairs and Aviation, EC $18.7 million; Office of the Attorney General EC $12.3 million; and the Ministry of Nevis Affairs, Labour, Social Security and Ecclesiastical Affairs EC $6.9 million.
During his 2018 Budget Address, Dr. Harris stated that St. Kitts and Nevis’ economy for the upcoming year is very promising.
“Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to record again that we are generating positive growth results in St. Kitts and Nevis and indeed the last two years 2015-2016 and 2017 have provided ample evidence of the positive growth trend,” said the prime minister. “We are on a mission to craft the right set of policies to ensure that the positive growth continues and exceeds the growth level that was or will be attained by the end of 2017. We also intend to continue to build on our good track record in regional and international corporations to which we have an unwavering commitment.”
The 2018 Budget is presented under the theme “Putting People First in the Pursuit of Sustainable Development”.