November 15, 2007
Nevisians received word on the performance of the island’s economy, when Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Joseph Parry, announced that the finances were safe and doing well. He made the announcement at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly in Charlestown on Wednesday November 14, 2007, ahead of the 2008 Budget presentation in December.
Mr. Parry said he had received information from the Ministry of Finance that the island’s finances from its current account position had shown growth for the period January to October 2007, as compared to the corresponding period in 2006.
“Madame President, if we looked at the current expenditure for the two periods in question, January 2006 to October 2006, the expenditure was $83.89million. For this year 2007, from January to October the expenditure is $84.34 million, a difference of $449, 852. In other words we have spent half a million dollars more this year for that period than we did for last year. I must also report Madame President, for the same period when we looked at the revenue collection in this island, we had $80, 115,653 collected last year January to October. This year we have collected $85, 684,161, a difference of $5,568, 508.“I must also make the point Madame President, if you look at the revenue and expenditure for this year that you will see from a Current Account position and let me stress that from a Current Account position, we have collected more than we have spent. We have collected about a million more than we have spent and there are two good months still to come November and December of this year,” he said.
Mr. Parry said the decision to make the information available to the people of Nevis was two fold: – to reassure them that their finances were being administered in good order and in their interest and also to dispel critics who tried to create instability citing that Nevis’ finances were in disorder.
In a analysis of the contributing factors responsible for the economy’s growth, the Finance Minister pointed to increases in the collection revenue in the areas of Customs Consumption Tax, Service Charge and Import Duties also from the Hotel Room and Restaurant and Income Taxes, Business and Occupational Licenses; the Supply Office and the Offshore Financial Services.
“Madame President, I would like to do a little further analysis and look at some of the revenue items and bring the information to the attention of the country for example: Consumption Taxes (Customs) the collection for this year for the same period we are examining, 2006 $12.5 million; for this period this year $14.19million. You have an increase of $1.7 million. Water rates Madame President, last year 2006, $3.5million this year $3.2million. My comment there is to encourage the people of Nevis to make a greater effort to pay their water dues. In fact the World Bank personnel came here and reminded us, that there was need for more serious efforts to collect the water rates and dues that were owing to the government and it has been reflected here in that the collection for water last year was higher than this year.
“Madame President Customs Service Charge, last year it was $4.5milion this year it is $5.1 million up by $641,000. Madame President, in terms of Import Duty, from $7.3million it is now up to $7.7 million; Hotel Room and Restaurant Tax up from $8.9 million to $9.6 million; Income Tax Madame President, from $2.1 million up to $2.4 million; Licenses (Businesses and Occupation), from $579,000 to $1million. Supply Office from $2.1 to $2.3million; Offshore Financial Services from $9million to $9.8million. Stamp Duty showed a decline from $12million to $10.3million,” he explained.
Notwithstanding, Mr. Parry said though he was unable to give data with regard to the employment figures on the island, the figures indicated that business was moving in an upward direction.
He said the Administration, at the moment was unable to access accurate statistical data about employment because the figures were misleading in the absence of statistical capacity
“Here you have quite clearly Madame President, indicators in that, you have an upward trend in Consumption Taxes for Customs; you have an upward trend in Hotel Room and Restaurant Tax; financial services, business licenses Madame President and that is a clear indication that this economy is growing and has grown since July of last year.
“It is very important that we not only state it but we substantiate it with information acquired from the Ministry of Finance, which I do believe is accurate and respected by all in this Honourable House and the people of Nevis Madame President. So Madame President, I will simply end by saying that the finances are safe the finances are doing well the country of Nevis is doing well,” he said.