Labour Party leader points to alarming trends in the economy; points to a fifty percent drop in Foreign Direct Investment
Basseterre, St Kitts, January 20, 2020 – A new St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party administration has the plans and ideas that will stimulate and drive the local economy when it takes over the reigns of government following the next general elections.
These remarks were also given at the recent St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party press conference, National Political Leader and former prime minister the Rt Hon Dr Denzil L. Douglas pointed to what he said was alarming trends when it comes to the economy.
“Unemployment is high and the cost of living is high. This is even as economic growth has slowed from robust rates of 6% back in 2014 to negative growth of -1.8% in 2017. In under five years in office under the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government, 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 represents a very serious loss of confidence in the Harris Administration,” said Dr Douglas, who noted that for the third consecutive year, the Harris Government has used the CBI programme to prop-up its Budget. The 2020 Budget would not be possible if it did not include the entire amount of non-tax revenue that the CBI is projected to receive. This means that if the CBI fails to deliver 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,” Dr Douglas told reporters and the nation.
“This particular point is being made because in the Labour administration the receipts from the CBI programme were always additional funds to be placed in a special account to create a soveriegn wealth fund which would have been tapped in extreme circumstances when there is severe hurricane damage to our country,” Dr Douglas pointed out.
“These are very worrying trends which confirm that Harris, as the Minister of Finance and Prime Minister, has been such a poor steward of our economy here in St Kitts and Nevis. The people of St Kitts and Nevis cannot allow this to continue,” said Dr Douglas, who pointed out that the only reason that the impact of Harris’ failures when it comes to the economy isn’t even more pronounced is because of the high level of economic performance that they inherited from the former Labour administration.
“If something isn’t done quickly to bring investment back to our country, to create jobs, increase our competitiveness and bring opportunities for our people, St. Kitts and Nevis will continue its rapid descent into economic stagnation and possibly full blown recession,” said the former prime minister.
“Such trends do not bode well for a “safer or more secure” future for our people contrary to what the Prime Minister would like us to believe,” said Dr. Douglas, who pointed to his party’s plans, policies and ideas that will stimulate and drive the economy again.
“We will do so in ways that will bring, not only prosperity but create inter-generational wealth for the ordinary citizens of St Kitts and Nevis. Our policies will ensure that that no man, woman nor child will be left behind,” said Dr Douglas.