BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 21, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Five days of meaningful debates and presentations on the 2021 Budget came to a close this evening, when The Appropriation (2021) Bill, 2020 was read a third time and passed in the National Assembly late into the evening of Monday, December 21, 2020.
The Appropriation (2021) Bill, 2020 provides for $867,919,842 million dollars for the provision of services for the financial year commencing 1st January 2021 and ending on 31st December 2021.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, in wrapping up the debate said that through the provisions within the people-centred 2021 Budget, it is clear that his Team Unity Government is focused on delivering a better quality of life for all the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“This Budget gives primacy to education, giving it its largest allocation ever of $100-plus million. This Budget, Mr Speaker, bolsters security services, sustains health delivery, allows for work to continue on a historic programme of national health insurance for all. This Budget above all tries to secure the people of St. Kitts and Nevis in the fight against the global pandemic of COVID-19. This Budget, Mr Speaker, proposes the largest capital programme in recent history as we work to grow the economy out of a challenging battle with COVID-19,” said Prime Minister Harris, who is the mover of The Appropriation (2021) Bill, 2020.
The honourable prime minister further noted that the 2021 Budget is designed to boost economic growth by supporting critical growth drivers such as the agriculture sector, tourism, manufacturing and construction.
“It provides the impetus in areas of marijuana production and cultivation and entertainment as potential new drivers of socio-economic activity in our country. It is a Budget, of course, of fiscal expansion but we have not done it in the reckless Douglas way. It takes into account the capacity of our people to deliver, in an orderly manner, a finite number of projects successfully,” Prime Minister Harris said.
The 2021 Budget has provided for, inter alia, the construction of the new state-of-the-art Basseterre High School, the construction of the new health centre in St. Peter’s, the continued build-out of the comprehensive CCTV Surveillance Project, upgrades to a number of sporting facilities and the rollout of Phase 2 of the Traffic Control System.