(Photo Caption: Don Anderson)
The Unity government in St. Kitts and Nevis headed by Dr. Timothy Harris has got off to an excellent start according to a recent national survey conducted in September by Don Anderson and his team of researchers from Market Research Services Limited in Jamaica. A total of 428 persons aged 18 years and over were interviewed across all 11 constituencies in St. Kitts and Nevis over the period September 11 to September 18 2015.
The key findings of the survey pointed to the following
· There is a high level of national awareness of a number of actions that have been taken by the government since assuming office some 8 months ago. These include the removal of VAT from food items and from funeral expenses, as well as the provision of budgetary support for Nevis.
· 84% are very aware of the removal of VAT from food items, 71% very aware of the removal of VAT from funeral expenses and 57% very aware of the provision made by the government to support the budget of Nevis.
· Over and above these good awareness levels, however there is also very strong support for each of these decisions, with over 80% of those aware in each case, indicating that they support these decisions. This is an acknowledgement that these actions are very much in line with how people feel the government should be performing and indeed is indicative of a recognition that the government is carrying out its responsibilities in the interest of the majority of the country.
· The people are also generally supportive of a number of other actions that have either already been taken by the government or are being contemplated. These include
· Retroactive payment of monies owed to sugar workers since 2005 with 84% supporting this decision.
· 61% support the proposed rebuilding of a school in Basseterre to replace the old abandoned one
And 55% supported the appointment of Mt. Tapley Seaton to the post of Governor General
There was also very strong support for the consideration being given to making Sir Kennedy Simmonds a national hero with over 71% indicating they are in favour of this proposal.
In general, the survey also shows that the Unity government headed by Dr. Timothy Harris is at this time positively perceived by a significant number of persons in St. Kitts and Nevis, with 68% giving it a positive rating for its performance. This represents a good start for the new government and a strong platform from which to continue to address the concerns and issues affecting the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Note: Don Anderson is one of the Caribbean’s most highly respected market research professionals and political pollster having been the only pollster to accurately predict the outcome of the 2002, 2007 and 2011 national elections in Jamaica, the Grenada elections of 2013, the Antigua and Barbuda elections of 2014 and the St. Kitts and Nevis elections in 2015. He is widely used by both political parties in Jamaica and knowingly so, as well as both TVJ and CVM TV, a tribute to his strong reputation for accuracy, reliability, credibility and confidentiality. He was for 32 years senior vice president of the Jamaica Olympic Association and was Jamaica’s head of delegation to the last five Olympic Games.