ST KITTS – Civil servants welcome government’s decision to pay Christmas bonus

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Prime Minister Timothy Harris

Praises continue to pour in for the government’s decision to pay a 13-month salary, otherwise known as a double salary, to all civil servants of the Federal and Nevis Island Administration this month.

Pensioners, Government Auxiliary Employees (GAEs), Skills Training and Empowerment Programme (STEP) employees and workers at all Statutory Corporations will also receive this highly anticipated bonus ahead of this year’s Christmas celebrations.

This is the second consecutive year that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will award its civil workers with a double salary.

An official statement issued on Thursday, November 30, 2017, said, “The Federal Cabinet took account of the many challenges still being experienced by several households post-Hurricanes Irma and Maria and of the Government’s continuing efforts to bring relief to persons.”

The fiscal performance of the Federal Government was also taken into consideration in determining the payout of the extra month’s salary.

“Up to September of this year, the fiscal accounts reflected a surplus on the recurrent account, the overall account and the primary account. All economic indicators also point to robust growth for 2018. Several capital projects are expected to come on stream and various private developments are anticipated,” the statement continued.

The Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister spoke to a number of civil servants who applauded the Government’s prudent fiscal management, which led to the payment of the 13-month salary.

Eric Browne of the Department of Agriculture said this extra salary would go a long way in helping some of those individuals affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria repair and renovate their homes.

“Persons suffered different degrees of devastation from the hurricanes, and so the double [salary] would actually help them get back to where they were or advance them even further. Also, persons look forward to this time of the year to purchase certain things and this would help to offset it,” Browne said, while also encouraging recipients of this extra salary to spend wisely and save where necessary.

STEP Employee, Jamal Huggins commended the Team Unity Government for ensuring that trainees under the Skills Training and Empowerment Programme are included in the payment of the double salary. Mr. Huggins added, “I think this is something we as workers are indeed thankful for, particularly during this time of the year. I would also like to personally commend the Prime Minister and his Cabinet of Ministers for the hard work they have been doing in such a short time in office.”

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Timothy Harris took to his official Twitter page to record his appreciation to those who have reached out to him to express their gratitude for the double salary.

Dr. Harris said, “I appreciate the hundreds who personally, and sent by telephone, WhatsApp, or email their ‘Thank you’ for our decision to pay a double salary. It is an honour to serve the people of #StKittsNevis.”

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