NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 29, 2020) — Budget Estimates meetings for the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) are currently underway as Cabinet Ministers and key public service officials discuss the government’s expenditure and revenue projections for the fiscal year 2021.
According to Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance in the NIA, those meetings began on October 27, 2020 and will continue until October 30, 2020.
During his monthly press conference on October 29, 2020, the Premier was asked what the NIA budget for 2021 would look like against the backdrop of negatively impacted government revenues for the greater portion of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will try to be as innovative as we can. We will try to save as much as we can in the areas that we can. Our primary commitment, in this budget, will be to our public servants to ensure that they continue to be paid; to our critical sectors such as Health and Education.
“And I think that those who, for example, have been clamouring for their road to be fixed, and they want better roads and that kind of thing. I think that those are the items that we will, perhaps, put a hold on,” he said.
Premier Brantley explained that cursory discussions on the 2021 budget outlook indicates a drop off of more than $20million in projected government revenue for 2020. He said the NIA has however continued responsible and sober fiscal management.
“We have struggled, but thank God, through the grace of God and through our bankers who have been very lenient and cooperative with us we have kept the lights on and we’ve continued to pay our staff.
“I’m proud as I stand here today on the cusp of our borders re-opening, after eight long months of our main engine Tourism being closed, that we have not laid off a single individual from the public service and that all of our public servants continue to be paid on time…
“I’m going through the budget process now, the estimates process and this year we’re already off the pace by over $20million which for an economy the size of Nevis is significant,” he said.
The Nevis Island Administration’s 2021 Budget is slated to be tabled in the Nevis Island Assembly during the first week of December 2020.