A Commentary by Neville Bartlette
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief of Mission to St. Kitts and Nevis has weighed in to the growing controversy surrounding Timothy Harris’s economic plans.
A recent interview with Judith Gold, who heads the IMF mission in St. Kitts and Nevis, demonstrated just how deeply flawed Team Unity’s bar stool economic policies are.
Ms. Gold’s message was simple: spend taxes on public services, education and healthcare and invest funds received from the Citizenship-By-Investment programme into sustainable development and diversification away from old industries. This is precisely what Labour has done. What Team Unity offers the citizens of our Federation is nothing more than a high interest loan; you get a little extra money now, but you spend the rest of your life regretting it and paying it off.
All this comes on the back of news from earlier this year when St. Kitts and Nevis repaid part of our Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF. This early repayment prompted the global institution to say, “this is the first time that a payment of this magnitude has been repaid early to the Fund by a Caribbean nation”. Furthermore, they went on to commend Dr. Douglas’s government by saying that “St. Kitts and Nevis’ ability to repay the IMF ahead of schedule reflects the improvement in its macroeconomic balances that reflect both policy efforts and the strong inflows under the Citizenship-By-Investment programme”.
Ms. Gold’s intervention and the complimentary words of the IMF give an international seal of approval to the economic policies and fiscal strategies implemented under this Labour government.
Deliberately ignoring financial advice from institutions, like the IMF, is not unity it is lunacy and it clearly demonstrates that the “easy” solutions proposed by Harris are nothing more than election-time sound bites.