By Devonne Cornelius
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) — Citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis are to expect the federal budget address on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, by the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris.
“It is our intention to deliver the 2021 budget way in advance of the statutory deadline which is 60 days after the commencement of the financial year to which the budget relates, there should be the laying of the estimates. In this regard, I am hopeful that with the grace of God, I will be able to deliver the 2021 budget on Tuesday, the 15th of December 2020.”
He made that announcement during his presentation at his press conference on Tuesday, December 01, 2020. Prime Minister Harris said he will outline programs as part of the economic recovery effort due to the impact of COVID-19.
Meantime… The Nevis Island Administration’s budget for 2021 will be delivered on Tuesday, December 08, 2020, by the Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Mark Brantley where he will lay out the fiscal plan for the year ahead. Brantley was at the time speaking at his November 26 press conference.
“The budget address this year for the Nevis Island Administration will take place on Tuesday, the 8th of December at 11:00 am. We have pushed it back one hour…to accommodate a very important function that was prior to our announcement, and that is the graduation [ceremony] of the Charlestown Secondary School.”
Governments all across the world, particularly in the Caribbean, are grappling with the harsh impacts on the public’s purse due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet told St. Lucians that it is “no secret” that the island had exhausted all the efforts aimed at providing financial assistance to citizens in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and appealed to nationals to follow the various protocols and measures aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly virus that has so far killed 424,141 people in Latin America and the Caribbean according to a November 16, 2020, report by Statista.
St. Kitts and Nevis, like most Caribbean nations such as Grenada, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda, rely highly upon revenues from Citizenship by Investment programmes, which have now become the sole bread and butter of these countries during these unprecedented times.
These Caribbean nations mainly depend upon tourism. In contrast, the once-booming and vibrant tourism sector saw a complete collapse in the first two quarters of 2020.