During a press conference last week, the Prime Minister noted that the government currently supports the payroll of 6,400 persons and has spent over $115 million in 2021 on monthly paid employees, Government Auxiliary Employees and pensioners. Additionally, $21 million went to the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP), an initiative funded by the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme that provides qualifying St Kitts and Nevis citizens employment opportunities.
He added that the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP), another CBI sponsored initiative that provides a monthly stipend to low-income households, distributed $13.4 million to families in the previous five months. Since the commencement of PAP in December 2018, a total amount of $70.3 million was processed in PAP aid.
"Thankfully, in St Kitts and Nevis, our citizens and residents displaced by COVID-19 have access to a range of some 20 social safety net supports including food vouchers; school meal programme; Poverty Alleviation Programme; support services for foster children; medical assistance programme distinct and apart from the free access to health care at all of our community centres for young people and for the elderly including access to dental services free of cost in St Christopher and Nevis; assistance with school uniforms, books and examination fees paid for by this Government even in the context of a most dangerous pandemic that has turned even the most powerful country upside down," Prime Minister Harris said.
Navigating the economic constraints of COVID-19 has been especially difficult for small countries like St Kitts and Nevis. However, the generous support of vetted foreign investors through the CBI programme helps national development and fiscal management in the nation.
In 1984, St Kitts and Nevis became the first in the world to launch its CBI programme, enabling successful applicants to gain its citizenship, meaning a chance to travel freely to nearly 160 destinations and a Plan B in times of crisis. Those who contribute to the programme's Sustainable Growth Fund can not only live, work and study in their new home but feel satisfaction in being associated with a nation that supports its population.
The fund option is the fastest and most straightforward route to St Kitts and Nevis citizenship. It is the only path that offers a limited time discount in which families of up to four can gain citizenship for $150,000 rather than the previous $195,000. This accounts for a $45,000 price cut.