BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MARCH 20TH 2013 (CUOPM) – Ministers of Government in the Cabinet of St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas told the people of the twin-island Federation that the 2013 Budget must go to the National Assembly before the opposition submitted Motion of No Confidence.
“Although our Country’s Constitution does not impose a clear deadline by which a Motion of No Confidence must be heard, we all know that Parliament will move to debate this measure,” said Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin at Wednesday’s Ministerial Press Conference.
In an opening statement, Dr. Martin, a fifth term parliamentarian and a four-term Cabinet minister said as a tiny country, St. Kitts and Nevis has clearly been hitting above its weight and delivering under the sound leadership of the Right Honorable Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.
He noted that the electorate in St. Kits bestowed upon the governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, 64% of the popular vote in the 2010 elections.
“Not only was this a clear mandate, but it is a mandate that we have handled with gratitude and respect, and used to advance and protect the best interests of this Nation,” he said at the press conference carried live on radio and television.
Dr. Martin pointed out that since assuming office following the fourth-term election victory, crime last year dropped 53 percent.
“St. Kitts and Nevis has gone from a fiscal deficit to a fiscal surplus. Government employees here, unlike their counterparts in other islands have never ever had to go without pay – or received their salaries,” said Deputy Prime Minister Martin.
He said major investment projects are moving forward despite the world crisis and the country’s Debt to GDP ratio which was almost 200 percent one year ago is at present 100 percent.
“The lands used to reduce our debt are now owned by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank – not a regional bank, not an international bank, but the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank … our bank. In other words, they are still owned by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Dr. Martin said.
He disclosed that passenger arrivals in the Federation continue upward, and cruise passengers recently placed St. Kitts ahead of every other regional destination – except one – in terms of traveler satisfaction.
“Cruise traveler spending is down regionally, but up in St. Kitts. The Federation has attracted more foreign direct investment than any other CARICOM country. And we export more than any OECS country – including Barbados,” said Deputy Prime Minister Martin.
He said contemporary propaganda notwithstanding; Prime Minister Douglas enjoys the support of a majority of the Members of the St. Kitts and Nevis Parliament.
“And this gives him both the practical ability, as well as the Constitutional and moral authority to move forward with his Cabinet’s legislative agenda. The Honorable Marcella Liburd, Glen Phillip, Jason Hamilton, Patrice Nesbitt, Nigel Carty, Ricky Skerrit and Prime Minister Denzil Douglas and I hold the Constitution of our Nation sacred. With this as our guide, we move forward, confident in our status as the majority in the National Assembly of St. Kitts and Nevis and confident in, and loyal to, the Government that we serve, and the Government of which we are a part,” said Deputy Prime Minister Martin.