The Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Terrance Drew-led administration has made an announcement about introducing several economic initiatives to bring significant relief to the consumers, along with a way to relieve financial pressures on importers and businesses as well as promoting greater economic activity within the Federation.
It is to be noted that, the steps include concessions on school supplies until September 30, 2023, the reduction of corporate income tax from 33% to 25% and unincorporated business tax from 4% to 2% until December 31, 2023. Moreover, the government has also capped freight charges for 20-foot and 40-foot, dry food and cold storage containers at the 2019 pre-COVID rates.
While speaking at the press conference along with the Cabinet Minister, taken place on Thursday, PM Dr Terrance Drew added that, “it is important that consumers feel the benefits of these strategic relief measures at the stores.”
During the address, PM Drew said that, “Customs and Excise Department is ready to put things in place for ensuring that the savings are passed on to parents, guardians and so forth. That doesn’t happen overnight but in quick order… we will start to see that. And what we have said to the Department of Consumer Affairs as well, and Consumer Affairs is up to it, is that they are going to check the prices.”
PM Drew also encouraged consumers to be vigilant by keeping a check on the prices of goods and to report to the Department of Consumer Affairs when prices appears to be out of range.
He added that, “We need that surveillance as well. We need to hear from you. Consumer Affairs is willing to hear from you so that we can properly surveil.”
A task force, headed by the Cabinet Secretary Dr Marcus Natta, convened a meeting on Wednesday, July 12 at the Customs and Excise Department Conference Room for discussing matters pertaining to the cost of living in St Kitts and Nevis. Representative of important food suppliers and traders have attended that meeting.
PM Drew said that, “Our traders, importers as well as business owners are on board as this is not something that would affect them negatively. As a matter of fact, it might impact them positively because more people might buy things as the prices go down.”
The government of St Kitts and Nevis has also extended the temporary reduction in the Excise Tax from $2.25 per gallon to $0.95 per gallon until December 31,2023.