Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 14, 2020 (SKNIS): The Team Unity Cabinet of Ministers met on Monday, July 13, 2020, at the Ministry of Finance Conference Room, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris. Several issues affecting the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis were deliberated on.
Cabinet was presented with a detailed PowerPoint showing the statistical evidence of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide and in St. Kitts and Nevis. The main issue discussed was how long can we keep the country’s borders closed having regard to the economics of closure, what risks the Federation would be exposed to, how prepared is the health sector for dealing with limited open borders, how can the public be sensitized to the need for protection of themselves and the Federation, and what infrastructural changes and retrofitting would be needed to accommodate the reopening. Additionally, Cabinet discussed among other things, the time frame for airline services to resume operating into the Federation. The Cabinet was given much food for thought and the necessary scientific information to enable the decision-making process.
The Financial Secretary and the Deputy Financial Secretary presented to the Cabinet proposals for extending the stimulus package and also for a recovery plan to enable the Federation to get back on a sound financial footing. The Cabinet approved the proposals to extend the stimulus package further, but some areas will have to be tweaked in an effort to spread the social safety net to encompass a larger section of society. The Cabinet discussed creative ways to bring much-needed revenue into the country and also efforts to stem hemorrhaging of funds by streamlining some services in areas where it was felt there needed to be tightening.
The Cabinet approved other submissions that would generate income, and discussions concerning the reopening of some hotels which would alleviate some pressure from the public purse were also entertained.
Cabinet discussed the water situation in the Cayon, Lodge and Ottley’s areas and serious efforts are being made starting today to satisfy the needs of these communities for more adequate water services.
Cabinet held discussions surrounding this year’s Independence activities and the Minister responsible informed the Cabinet of the first meeting of the committee to be held on July 14.