Personal Statement to the National Assembly Dr. The Hon Timothy S. Harris Parliamentary Representative for Constituency No 7 – Friday, 4th November, 2022- “As at 3rd August 2022, St Kitts and Nevis, under my watch as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, had an accumulated cash position $688,095,501.41.”
Find below Statement that should have been delivered in Parliament by Member of Parliament, Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris but was blocked by the Speaker of the National Assembly
Personal Statement to the National Assembly
Dr. The Hon Timothy S. Harris
Parliamentary Representative for Constituency No 7
Friday, 4 November, 2022
My attention has been drawn to a statement made on a local radio station, Freedom FM, on Wednesday 2nd November 2022, by Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew, to the effect that our country was in the “red” or without money.
This statement is frightening and calls for an immediate explanation from the Minister of Finance and Prime Minister.
I received many calls from citizens here and abroad about it, and it was obvious that the statement had had the effect, whether intentional or not, of bringing me and my tenure as the former Minister of Finance of our beloved Country, into disrepute and I must set the record straight.
In a prior media engagement, Prime Minister Drew had indicated that his government had met the economy in good standing with all resources required to meet his promises. Wednesday’s statement that the country is “broken” raised eyebrows as to the honesty and competence of the Honourable Member for St. Christopher Eight.
For the record, the Honourable Prime Minister inherited a strong economy projected by IMF to grow by a record 9.5 percent in 2022 and about 4.5 percent in 2023. In other words, the economy was on a strong path of recovery after 2 years of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Most importantly, my administration left the economy with the strongest cash buffers it has ever had in 40 years.
As at 3rd August 2022, St Kitts and Nevis, under my watch as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, had an accumulated cash position $688,095,501.41.
This is an outstanding financial achievement.
According to reports I received in my capacity as then Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, from the Accountant General, this whopping $688 million in accumulated cash comprised of the following:
(I repeat that as at Wednesday 3rd August, 2022.)
SKNANB Operating Account $ 214,535,961.57
USD Operating Account $ 103,446,535.18
ECCB Operating Account $ 58,257.66
BON Operating Account $ 607,711.51
SUBTOTAL $ 318,648,465.92
TOTAL RESERVES $ 25,865,632.93
TOTAL CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSITS $ 268,231,402.56
IN OTHER GOVERNMENTS $ 1,350,000.00
IN OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS $ 74,000,000.00
Accumulated Cash Position $ 688,095,501.41
My Administration left our successors a Country – that is our St Kitts and Nevis – with a most healthy financial position; a most sizeable deposit buffer of $688 million; closer to one Billion dollars than zero. The Honourable Member must explain how, in less than 90 days, he spent off or wasted $688 million dollars of our financial resources to put the country in “the red.”
It is not just me saying this. On September 13, 2021, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded its last Article IV consultation  with St. Kitts and Nevis and said this:
“St. Kitts and Nevis entered the Covid-19 pandemic from a position of fiscal strength following nearly a decade of budget surpluses. A significant part of the large CBI revenues was prudently saved, reducing public debt below the regional debt target of 60 percent of GDP and supporting accumulation of large government deposits.”
The Minister of Finance must apologize to the country and to the hard working professionals in Government who manage our country’s finances. He should honour his commitment to pay frontline workers their 2 months’ salary, to provide the CBI dividend to our citizens, refrain from hurting the poor and vulnerable by unceremoniously removing them from the STEP and PAP PROGRAMMES until the economy fully rebounds from the pandemic.
I call for truth and honesty at all times and NOT just when expedient or to make cheap political points.
May it please you Madam Speaker.
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