St. Kitts and Nevis prepare for tough times

12 January 2002 12:00am

BASSETERRE._ St. Kitts and Nevis has prepared for tough times in the new year, with a budget which Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas says took into account the uncertainties of the global economic situation.

The EC$357.7 million (US$132.29) budget package presented last month envisaged a lessening in government expenditure.

Dr. Douglas, in detailing the package, warned Kittitians and Nevisians of the possibility of higher taxes.

"...Although we have seriously curtailed the rate of growth of expenditure, the level of service that government continues to provide to the society at large suggests that our people should be

called upon to make a bigger contribution to the development process," he said.

A global economic slowdown and a drop in American travel abroad have made the St. Kitts and Nevis authorities more cautious, expecting serious impact here by the fallout.

However, the year 2001 had started well for the government. In January, it secured an EC$39 million (US$14.4) million loan from First Citizens Bank of Trinidad and Tobago to finance capital

projects for 2001.

Whether on not the projects earmarked would help remove what Dr. Douglas called "pockets of poverty" remains unclear, but in November the government received a report assessing the poverty situation in the twin-island federation from KAIRI Consultants Limited of Trinidad and Tobago.

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