By Ken Richards
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis has suffered because of the civil service salary issue in Charlestown last week, according to local activist Richard Caines.
Speaking on his organization, Operation Rescue’s radio programme on Tuesday, the former finance minister posed what he considers an important question: “This non-payment of salaries to civil servants and other workers in Nevis, it begs the question, do we have a state of St Kitts and Nevis”.
According to Caines, “One set of rules cannot apply to St Kitts and another set to Nevis.”
“This cannot be right,” he told WINN FM.
Nevis Island Administration (NIA) cheques to pay Nevis’ public workers were not cashed by the National Bank on Wednesday April 23, prompting Premier Vance Amory to issue a public apology in a radio address, while his deputy Mark Brantley criticized the bank for that action.
The matter was said to be tied to the level of overdraft the NIA currently has, along with a bank request for the administration to turn over lands to the bank under the country’s land for debt swap, a measure both the premier and his deputy have been criticizing in their capacity as opposition MPs in the federal parliament in Basseterre.
Caines also called for proper Nevisian representation on the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation – SIDF. Noting that the foundation gets its funds from selling the federation’s passports, Caines argued that the smaller partner in the country should be treated more fairly in relation to the SIDF and the funds it generates.
The Operation Rescue official wants to see the representation on the SIDF Board dealt with in a similar fashion to what obtains in terms of the parliamentary federal arrangement. Caines’ Operation Rescue colleague Dwyer Astaphan said there is one Nevis representative on the board of the national bank, who was put on the board during the time of the rule of the former NIA administration, and that efforts by the current Amory-led NIA government to replace that individual have been ignored.
Republished with permission of West Indies News Network