CIA gives credit to Labour administration; contradicts Harris administration attempt to take full credit
Another reputable institution is crediting the former St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) of then Prime Minister the Rt Hon. Dr Denzil L Douglas for reducing the federation’s debt to GDP prior to leaving office in February 16, 2015.
“The government has made notable progress in reducing its public debt, from 154% of GDP in 2011 to 83% in 2013,” the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reported in its World Factbook, that provides information on the history, people and society, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
The Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) Country Report on St Kitts and Nevis (No 15/248) dated September 2015 had stated that stronger growth in 2013 and 2014 and sizable advance repayments have improved the debt outlook of the twin-island Federation.
The IMF clearly stated that St Kitts and Nevis’ debt-to-GDP ratio declined to 79 percent of GDP at end-2014.
These two publications on the Debt to GDP for St Kitts and Nevis are highlighted in the face of misleading information being circulated by the Timothy Harris Team Unity Government in a news release on June 14, 2019 headlined: “St Kitts and Nevis’ Economic Performance Leads The Way at CDB Conference”- which seeks to hog sole credit for the debt to GDP reduction.
A government sanctioned news release gave the false impression that reference to St Kitts and Nevis’ current debt to GDP is attributed to Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) President Dr William Warren Smith at the recent opening of the 49th Annual Board of Governors in Trinidad.
The St Kitts and Nevis Government release issued through a Public Relations firm stated that: “In October, 2018, St Kitts and Nevis, one of the Borrowing Member Countries, successfully reduced its public debt from 145% of GDP in 2010 to 60% in 2019,” conveniently making no reference to IMF and CIA figures which show that the Debt to GDP stood at 79 percent at the end of 2014, less that two months before the Labour Party left office.
Similar misleading statements have come from Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris.
The revelation comes in the face of Dr Harris’ continued refusal to give the IMF the green-light to release for publication, the 2018 Article IV Consultation-Staff report on the economy of St Kitts and Nevis.
Dr Harris’ refusal to release the reports suggests that the true economic and financial state of St Kitts and Nevis remains clouded and off limits to the people of St Kitts and Nevis, local businesses and investors.