by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The newly elected Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew says the Government will ensure that the seven pillars outlined in the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party’s manifesto will be implemented to the benefit of all the people of St.Kitts and Nevis with a good sense of decency and respect.
More specifically, on Saturday, August 06, during his victory speech outside his constituency office in St. Peter’s, Prime Minister Drew shared the first areas of business that the government will seek to work upon when they enter the office. These include the Good Governance Agenda, the healthcare system, gratuitous payment for individuals who were turned away from their jobs during the pandemic without pay, employment for the unemployed, removal of the COVID-19 travel requirements and amendments to the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP) and the Alternative Lifestyle Pathway Programme (Peace Programme).
PM Drew stated, “Those of you who have been fired from your jobs because of the vaccine, I promised before the election and during the election that you will get a gratuitous payment and we will make sure that- that is done. It was wrong, it was wrong. I want to say also today, that many of you wanted the government or want the government to take a different direction, you want to see good governance and decency; and I am saying to you today that the new Cabinet of St.Kitts and Nevis will make sure that- that is done.”
Dr. Drew added, “Many of you have lost your jobs, many of you can’t find work. We understand that things are difficult and as I said during the campaign trail, that the St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration will put you back to work and so we will start to work quickly on our programmes to get our people back to work, so that you can live your lives and move on. We spoke about our healthcare system. I want you to know that we will start to work on that system almost immediately. All those children who need to go away for medical care, I say that the first order of business will be that the government must pay for them, for no child should die from any curable disease and that is exactly what will be done.”
In addition, PM Drew explained that the PAP Programme will continue, as his team recognises that there are people who need assistance and that the PAP Programme will work to lift people out of poverty.
Dr. Drew said, “Those who know that you benefit [from the PAP Programme] you don’t have to fear. The Labour Government is not here to victimise you.”
The Prime Minister also shared the Labour Party Administration’s approach for the continuation of the Peace Programme.
“I want to also say to those on the Peace Programme that we said during the campaign that we will transform the programme in a way to benefit the young men. How the programme is set, they don’t even pay their social security and the St. Kitts- Nevis Labour Party cannot allow that. Any programme that is set up must benefit the people.”
The Prime Minister said an additional initiative will be put in place under the Peace Programme, which will be to the benefit of children of homicide victims. He explained that from the fund designated, the children of homicide victims will receive their fair due to bring about reconciliation.
Meanwhile, it has been the desire of many to once again experience a normal way of travel to St.Kitts and Nevis. Several people have been calling for the removal of the travel requirements or protocols that were implemented during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Prime Minister said that will be discontinued.
“The protocol that they have in place [saying] that you have to ask for permission, I want to say that- that will be ended. You will be able to come into St.Kitts and Nevis as citizens without seeking permission; because up until now, no one has presented a scientific argument for why that should be in place and so we are going to open up our country and say to the world that St.Kitts-Nevis is open up for business again; and our country will be set on the path of good governance and back to number one here in our region.”
Moreover, Prime Minister Drew said, the new Cabinet of Ministers will work hard for the people by responding to their needs.
“I want to say to you that this Cabinet will work hard for you. There is no corruption in this Cabinet and that is important. All of our policies will be to benefit you. On the campaign trail we spoke to you. We understand your stories. We understand your difficulties. We understand your pain and the Government must respond to that.
Dr. Drew also expressed gratitude to the people for exercising their franchise right and for voting overwhelmingly for change.
“I can’t say how elated we are and how thankful we are; not just because the Labour Party has one, but because St. Kitts- Nevis has won and so it’s time to put us back on the right track and move onward and upward to really fulfill the dreams and aspirations for our people and our country. Thank you… God bless you.”