Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 16, 2022 (SKNIS): Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, said that his government remains committed to fiscal prudence and strong economic management as the country rebounds from significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, statistics from the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board indicate that a record 30,487 persons were contributing to the scheme. Thirteen hundred contributors were listed as self-employed, while 29,181 were employees. Total wages at that time stood at over one billion dollars, the highest ever recorded.
The numbers fell dramatically in 2020 as lockdowns and other COVID-19 restrictions essentially forced a pause to economic activity in St. Kitts and Nevis and countries around the world.
“I don’t think anyone foresaw COVID-19 and the damage it would do or the uncertainty that it would create,” Dr. Harris noted on the February 15 edition of Leadership Matters. “It has been a tough two years with challenges we never expected. The good news is that the leadership and resilience of St. Kitts and Nevis stood out, and we managed COVID-19 very well notwithstanding our small size, fragile health system and economy.”
To assist persons during this difficult period, the government introduced three stimulus packages in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
“We managed well because of our fundamental principles. The principle of life first, coupled with compassion for each other and the all-of-society approach,” Dr. Harris added. “I am proud of the work that we undertook to navigate during these turbulent times. I feel deeply optimistic as we are exiting the pandemic. Team Unity has always focused on strong economic management. We are committed to being fiscally responsible as we continue to provide the stronger, safer future we intend to deliver. I am satisfied that we have worked hard and delivered much on our good governance and prosperity agenda.”
Prime Minister Harris noted that many young people are establishing their own businesses, and economic activity is getting back on track. The construction sector and the growing film industry are two sectors where there is significant activity.