St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Addresses 2024 Budget Speech 

Honourable Dr Terrance Drew, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, presented a detailed analysis of the nation’s fiscal performance and outlined future economic plans, in his 2024 Budget Address. 

2024 Budget Address 

The central theme of the 2024 budget speech is: Marching Forward on the Journey to a Sustainable Island State. 

The budget address took place on 13 December 2023 and focused on the Government’s mandate of transforming into a sustainable island state. 

The Prime Minister outlined the key pillars to create a sustainable island state : 

  1. Water Security 
  2. Energy Transition 
  3. Food Security 
  4. Sustainable Industry 
  5. Sustainable Settlements 
  6. Circular Economy 
  7. Social Protection 

The focus of the 2024 budget placed emphasis on these pillars to pave the way for the sustainable development of St Kitts and Nevis. 

St Kitts and Nevis’ Accolades in 2023

Honourable Dr Drew acknowledged various achievements and international recognition that his ministry received, placing St Kitts and Nevis on the global map. 

Temporary work has been initiated at the airport as an immediate measure while preparing for the comprehensive rehabilitation project. 

The Fiscal Landscape of St Kitts and Nevis

Honourable Dr Drew delved into the 2022 fiscal landscape, emphasising challenges and achievements, with a particular focus on debt management and economic recovery. 

Revenue and Grants for 2022-2023

Addressing the fiscal performance, the Prime Minister reported a deficit of US$99.2 million for the Overall Balance in the past year, with a Primary Balance deficit of US$82.9 million.  

Total Revenue and Grants amounted to EC$1.12 billion, comprising Recurrent Revenue of EC$1.1 billion and Grants totalling EC$14.0 million. 

St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme 

The Prime Minister highlighted the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme’s remarkable contribution, exceeding budget expectations by 54.9 per cent.  

Honourable Dr Drew encouraged the media and locals to uphold the CBI Programme, as the CBI Programmes remains an essential element in St Kitts and Nevis’ sustainable economic development. 

Government Expenditure

Honourable Dr Drew detailed that the 2022 expenditure was higher than budgeted.  

This increase was attributed to various government initiatives, other contributing factors included income support programmes and a CBI Dividend payment. 

St Kitts and Nevis Debt Situation 

Honourable Dr Drew noted a decrease in the Total Public Sector Debt. It amounted to EC$1.6 billion or 60.2 per cent of GDP by the end of 2022. 

This marked a decline of EC$6.5 million in the debt stock and an 8.9 per cent point decrease in the Debt-to-GDP ratio.  

Honourable Dr Drew attributed this reduction to the expansion in economic activity for 2022 compared to 2021. 

Providing further insights, Honourable Dr Drew revealed that 40 per cent of the debt was contracted by the Federal Government.  

Honourable Dr Drew’s message conveyed confidence in the Federation’s economic strategies, emphasising its commitment to fiscal responsibility and sustainable growth. 

St Kitts and Nevis Pension Plan for 2024

Honourable Dr Drew announced the imminent launch of a ground-breaking Contributory Pension Plan, scheduled to become operational in January 2024. 

Honourable Dr Drew highlighted the government’s unwavering dedication to enhancing the welfare and financial security of public sector employees through the introduction of the new Contributory Pension Plan. 

The initiative aims to benefit Government Auxiliary Employees and those employed by the government since 18 May 2012. 

Strategic Measure for Financial Stability

The Contributory Pension Plan is strategically designed to establish a secure and sustainable pension system for government employees.  

Its implementation is envisioned as a crucial step in ensuring the financial stability of public sector retirees, contributing significantly to their post-retirement well-being. 

St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party Administration

Honourable Dr Drew provided historical context, emphasising the pivotal role played by the St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party Administration in 2012.  

The passage of the Pensions (Amendment) Act laid the groundwork for the Contributory Pension Plan, reflecting the government’s foresight in benefiting Government Auxiliary Employees and various categories of government workers. 

Government Commitment to Local Citizens

Honourable Dr Drew reiterated the Government’s steadfast commitment to enhancing the lives of its citizens.  

He expressed confidence that the Contributory Pension Plan would play a pivotal role in securing a prosperous future for public sector employees, demonstrating the government’s dedication to long-term financial well-being. 

Improvement of Minimum Wage for Civil Servants from 2024

Effective 1 January 2024, the minimum wage will rise from EC$9 per hour or EC$360.00 per week to EC$10.75 per hour or EC$430.00 per week, reflecting the government’s commitment to improving the financial well-being of minimum wage earners. 

A significant announcement included an eight per cent general salary increase for all civil servants and pensioners, effective 1 January 2024. 

The decision to increase the minimum wage resulted from recommendations by the National Minimum Wage Advisory Committee.  

Headed by Ambassador Sam Condor, the committee diligently reviewed the minimum wage. It conducted consultations with officials in both the public and private sectors, as well as workforce representatives. 

Honourable Dr Drew assured the public of an additional increase on 1 July 2025, taking the hourly rate to EC$12.50 and the weekly rate to EC$500.00.  

The economic benefit of a higher minimum wage empowers workers to support themselves and their families, contributing to community spending.  

Christmas Bonuses for Civil Servants

To further show appreciation, a special Christmas Bonus was introduced for civil servants and Government Auxiliary Workers (GAEs). This includes Pensioners and STEP workers. 

Civil servants and GAEs will receive a Christmas Bonus equivalent to 50 per cent of their salary on 21 December 2023. 

Ground-breaking Workers’ Bonus Initiative 

Honourable Drew extended the generosity beyond the civil service, introducing a historic “Workers’ Bonus” initiative for non-civil servants. 

Non-civil servants will receive a bonus of EC$500.00 during December. 

The bonus will be disbursed through the Saint Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board. It marks a historic move in the Federation and the Caribbean. 

The Workers’ Bonus is the first of its kind in the region, directly disbursed by the Government to non-civil servants. 

Honourable Dr Drew emphasised the appreciation for the invaluable contributions of civil servants to the government service. 

This, in turn, stimulates local businesses, fostering a cycle of growth, increased production, and economic stability. 

Acknowledging Private Sector Resilience

Prime Minister Drew acknowledged the resilience and dedication of individuals in the private sector, recognising their substantial financial challenges. 

Expressing Gratitude through Financial Relief

The Workers’ Bonus initiative serves as an expression of gratitude for the dedication and resilience demonstrated by private sector workers during challenging times. 

The government’s move is a landmark initiative aimed at providing financial relief to those outside the civil service.