To provide sustainable economic and fiscal policies: high quality programs and activities to accompany a prudent regulatory framework that supports a vibrant, resilient economy which offers opportunities for the improvement of the standard of living and well-being of the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Ministry’s vision is to enhance confidence in the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis by creating a sound and sustainable fiscal environment. The Ministry considers responsible fiscal policy as one of its main objectives since responsible fiscal policies secure the resources necessary to maintain and enhance the delivery of key public services and also strengthens the Ministry’s goals to ensure that the costs of public services are not passed on unjustly to future generations. Public confidence is further strengthened by the demonstration of appropriate management of government finances. The Ministry places critical emphasis on improving the competitiveness of St. Kitts and Nevis in order to create the enabling environment for sustained growth and development to take place.
According to the Saint Christopher and Nevis (Mutual Exchange of Information on Taxation Matters) Act, 2009, the Financial Secretary is the Tax Co-operation Authority (Competent Authority) for the purpose of exchange of information on taxation matters between the Federation of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis and other jurisdictions. The Competent Authority is responsible for:
i. Executing requests for information for tax purposes;
ii. Ensuring compliance with TIEAs and DTCs
iii. Advising the Minister of Finance on matters relating to any proposals or agreements for the provision of information in tax matters; and
iv. Making determinations as to any costs and the apportionment of such costs relating to or arising from requests for information.
- To strengthen Public Financial Management
- To reduce Public Sector debt to a sustainable level
- To strengthen the management of Government’s debt
- To establish conditions for sustained economic growth
- To ensure compliance with international standards on tax transparency and exchange of information
- To achieve a Primary Balance Surplus of 0.8% of GDP
- To improve the medium-term orientation of the budget
Prime Minister’s Message
During the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact our lives here in St. Kitts and Nevis. Notwithstanding the many challenges, we have managed the crisis well and achieved success in keeping the ship of State buoyant. In 2022, we will focus on pushing forward with our objective to build a stronger, safer future for all citizens and residents living here in the Federation. The 2022 Estimates will continue its sterling contribution in helping the Government to advance the mandates given by the people. The Ministry of Finance would therefore play an essential role in continuing to prudently manage the fiscal affairs of the Government and to provide strong policy advice.
In support of the work of the Ministry, the 2022 Estimates highlight the proposed resources to be utilized by the Ministry for the implementation of various programs, projects, and other activities central to fulfilling its mandate. The Ministry of Finance will continue to be actively engaged with the various Line Ministries to sustain the efforts of the Government to effect positive change through investment in our people and critical infrastructure. Such investments along with the policy stance of the Government would help to put St. Kitts and Nevis back on track. The Ministry’s dedication towards the strengthening of public financial management, fiscal prudence
and upholding of international standards is unwavering and remains a key focus for the upcoming fiscal year.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) publication, World Economic Outlook October 2021 issue, predicts growth in global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 5.9 percent and 4.9 percent in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Nationally, a 0.5 percent GDP growth is expected by the end of 2021 while a GDP growth rate of 11.3 percent is projected for 2022. Over the medium term, the economy is projected to grow by an average annual rate of 7.1 percent. In 2022, growth is expected to be driven by increased activities in such Sectors as Hotels and Restaurants, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Construction, and Financial Services. Based on the Revenue and Expenditure plans being proposed for the Government in 2022, we are projecting a Recurrent Account Surplus of $169.5 million, an Overall Surplus of $4.0 million and a Primary Surplus of $21.8 million. The Government is aware of some of the major risks to the economic and fiscal forecasts and is therefore prepared to implement any necessary measures to mitigate these risks as far as possible.
The Total Public Sector Debt of St. Kitts and Nevis was $1,609.4 million at end of September 2021. Compared to the corresponding period in 2020, this represented a decrease of $3.6 million or 0.2 percent. The reduction in the debt stock was attributed to a $14.7 million or 2.2 percent decrease in Central Government’s debt. The Ministry of Finance continues to spearhead the implementation of the Debt Management Strategy which has been successfully implemented over the last several years. The implementation of this Strategy has achieved very positive results for the country having previously achieved the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s (ECCB’s) debt to GDP target of 60 percent ahead of the deadline to do so. Even though the impact of the pandemic has disrupted this achievement, the Government is set to get back on track by 2023 when we hope to achieve a debt to GDP ratio of 59.1 percent.
Throughout 2021, the Ministry of Finance rose to the challenge of managing the Government’s finances in spite of the COVID-19 environment that continued to negatively impact economic activity and the collection of tax revenues. Based on the advice of the Ministry, the Government implemented a second Stimulus package which provided an important lifeline for thousands of our citizens and residents who were unemployed due to the impact of the pandemic here in the Federation.
The implementation of our Stimulus Packages came at a great cost to the Government but, we believe it was the right thing to do, to invest in our people and our economic future. In 2022, the
Government will continue to be vigilant and proactive in the management of the Coronavirus within our borders and the fiscal affairs of our beloved country.
The Strategic Plan for the Ministry of Finance is aligned with the Constitution, the Finance Administration Act, the Tax Administration and Procedures Act, the Customs and Excise Act and all other relevant legislations and policies of the Government. I take this opportunity to thank the staff of the Ministry of Finance, including the Treasury Department, the Inland Revenue Department, Customs and Excise Department and Financial Intelligence Unit for their continued hard work, commitment and dedication without which the successes achieved in 2021 would not have been possible.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance