One year on, St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris continues to block the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) from releasing the Article IV Consultation on the economy of the twin-island Federation.
Dr Harris’ Unity Government, which took office in February 2015 has been accused of mismanaging the St Kitts and Nevis economy, which registered 6.2 percent of GDP in 2013 and 6.0 percent of GDP in 2014.
The economy decelerated to 3.9 percent in 2015; 2.2 percent in 2016 and 1.7 percent in 2017.
An IMF Team led by Mr Arnold McIntyre, Deputy Division Chief in the Caribbean Division at the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department in Washington, DC, visited St. Kitts and Nevis late June/early July 2018 and submitted its report to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion.
The Board’s views are subsequently summarized and transmitted to the country authorities.
“The authorities (Government of St Kitts and Nevis) have not consented to publication of the Staff Report and the related press release,” the IMF said in a statement posted on its website on September 14, 2018.
One year after, the IMF Staff Report remains off limits to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, despite calls from the opposition St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party and several residents for it to be made public.
“There is real concern about Dr Harris spending of public funds like a drunken sailor and the absence of full accountability,” one critic said.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also accused the Minister of Finance of ignoring a long list of concerns expressed in writing by senior public officials on the federation’s economy and finances.