SKNLP Leader, Dr. Terrance Drew: Labour was key in “breaking the back of poverty” in SKN

Comrades and friends of the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) gathered a Manhattan Gardens, Lime Kiln on Sunday to participate in the organisation’s 92nd annual National Conference. 

In a rousing address, the Leader of the SKNLP, Dr. Terrance Drew noted that many of the privileges enjoyed across the country today originate from the Labour party’s long fight for the rights of all the nation’s people.

According to Dr. Drew, as part of its goal to lift the working class out of poverty, it was the Labour Party that ensured that every citizen would have access to land ownership.

“One of the ways…that we can break the back of poverty is by land ownership. Let us remember that it was the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party that brought land reform to St. Kitts and Nevis, making it possible for our people to be land owners here in our own country. We must never forget that,” said Dr. Drew.

He also noted that some of the institutions which offer social protections for the elderly, vulnerable and ill, were the result of the work of the Labour Party. 

Specifically, he mentioned the organisation which has now evolved into the Social Security Board. He noted that it only exists today because of the persistence of the Labour Party as it was strongly resisted in some quarters at its inception. 

“Let us remember that it’s the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party that brought Social Security to St. Kitts and Nevis. 

“The other day…I heard somebody say Labour Party did not bring Social Security. Man that thing bun me bad…because when you read the history of when Social Security was being introduced, there were those on the other side who bashed it. It was the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party, under the leadership of our first national hero [Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw], who brought Social Security that all of us enjoy here in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Dr. Drew continued, however, that one of the greatest contributions to the nation by the SKNLP was that of ensuring that all its people had access to education. This he said, has remained a leading cause championed by the party to this day. 

“It was the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party that brought you comprehensive secondary education. Since in the [1960s], the children of cane cutters, domestic workers, the unemployed, the downtrodden, the forgotten, had the opportunity to get a secondary education here and it’s because of the work of the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party, and that is why it was no qualm for me when I said Fitzroy Bryant College must be free because the foundation for free education has been set since in the 1960s,” said Drew. 

Under the leadership of former prime minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas, universal early education was introduced making St. Kitts and Nevis the only OECS nation to offer free universal education available from preschool to high school. 

This was enhanced when Labour returned to office in 2022 under the leadership of Dr. Drew who enhanced opportunities for preschoolers in order to set a solid foundation for their future education. 

“This is why it was no qualm when we said to give mothers more money for their children who going to preschool because they must have access to education from the time they’re born all the way till they transition. That is what the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party is about,” the SKNLP leader proclaimed. 


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