Basseterre, St Kitts, January 9, 2020 – Foreign Direct Investment in St Kitts and Nevis has fallen by half during the five year term of the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government, says Leader of the Opposition, The Rt Hon Dr Denzil L Douglas.
“Foreign Direct Investment has fallen from EC$516.2 million in 2014 to EC$253.9 million in 2018, a decline of more than 50%. This is a serious condemnation of the policies of the Team Unity Government and a confirmation that our economy has contracted dramatically since they have assumed office. This also represents a serious loss of confidence in the Harris-Administration,” said Dr Douglas, who pointed out that the Gross National Product (GDP) under his Labour Party administration registered over six percent in 2013 and 2014 and the Debt to GDP was down to 74 percent at the end of 2014 when he demitted office in February 2015.
He pointed out that the projections of Citizenship By Investment Programme which Harris has cheapened and nearly destroyed, is all that is propping up the 2020 Budget.
“If the CBI fails to deliver on its projected non-tax CBI revenue for 2020, the government would be in deficit – which means it will have no money to pay for essential services or to pay civil servants. Never before, under the former Labour administration was the CBI programme used in this way. It was always treated as a windfall amount. Our expenses has never exceeded the amount that we would receive in the regular revenue streams of government,” said Douglas, further pointing out that for the third year in a row, “this has been the case with the Harris budget, then he wants to talk about fiscal prudence.”
Harris, who is also Minister of Finance has refused to make public the 2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article IV Consultation of the St Kitts and Nevis economy and failed to give the greenlight for the IMF to conduct a similar mission in 2019.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Country Report on St Kitts and Nevis (No 15/248) dated September 2015 reported that “the debt-to-GDP ratio declined to 79 percent of GDP at end-2014, compared to a forecast of 86.2 percent in the last program review, and 100.8 percent at end-2013.”
“The people of St Kitts and Nevis can’t catch a break. Our households are bending under the burden of the skyrocketing cost of living and many have to make the difficult choice between buying food and paying their utility bills.
“Harris does not care. Renovating Government House? Renovating Government Headquarters Is this really the best that Dr Harris can do?” Dr Douglas asked.