In the aftermath of the August th, 2022 elections, the people of St. Kitts and Nevis had high hopes for the new Prime Minister, Dr. Terrance Drew, and his administration. However, the first year in office has been marked by a series of failures and unfulfilled promises, leaving citizens disappointed and disillusioned.
One of the key campaign commitments that the Drew administration failed to deliver on was the minimum wage increase, leaving the working class struggling to make ends meet. Additionally, the absence of VAT and duty-free building material and furnishing further burdened citizens, hindering construction and economic growth.
Another broken promise was the cap on gas prices at $12 per gallon, which never materialized, leading to increased transportation costs and higher living expenses for ordinary citizens. The failure to construct 100 homes in the first quarter of 2023 only exacerbated the ongoing housing crisis, leaving many families without adequate shelter.
The controversial negotiation surrounding the 700 million dollar NHC and Trinidad East Coast Development 2000 home construction agreement raised concerns about transparency and accountability in the administration. Similarly, the 8 million dollars museum renovation project lacked transparency, raising questions about its necessity and justification.
Furthermore, the lack of progress in increasing the PAP from $500 to $1500 and reintroducing one-to-one laptops left many feeling neglected and underserved by the government. The absence of significant projects to stimulate the job sector added to the growing frustration and disillusionment among the citizens.
Prime Minister Drew’s actions further fueled discontent, such as removing 3000 beneficiaries from the Poverty Alleviation Programme and dismantling the successful PEACE Programme. This led to an increase in violent crimes, particularly murders, and rampant victimization of perceived opposition supporters, eroding trust in the administration.
Moreover, the healthcare sector experienced deterioration, with gross incompetence and mismanagement at the JNF Hospital. Access to clean water became a dire concern, as areas like Cayon and St. Peters faced days without running water.
Adding to the dismay, the administration spent exorbitant amounts on travel and overseas trips for ministers and senior civil servants, raising questions about fiscal responsibility.
The first year of Prime Minister Drew’s administration has been a disappointment to the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis. The failure to fulfill campaign commitments, coupled with questionable actions and lack of transparency, has left the country facing numerous challenges and growing dissatisfaction with the government’s performance. As the administration moves forward, it must prioritize addressing these issues to regain the trust and support of the people.