Higher Taxes For St. Kitts – Nevis
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
October 27, 2010 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas hopes that the Chamber of Industry and Commerce will speak to the Ministry of Finance if it has concerns about the November 1st introduction of the value Added Tax (VAT).
During his weekly radio programme on Tuesday, Prime Minister Douglas said he has become aware of a press conference on Tuesday.
“I am hoping that the architects and the leadership of the Chamber would find it necessary and appropriate and pertinent to at least speak to the Ministry of Finance, if it has a problem because we cannot have a conversation through the media. We have to have a conversation with each other, not through the media. If there are issues I believe that the Chamber in this country is sufficiently mature that it would bring its concerns to the ministry appropriately if there are misgivings,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He expressed surprise that up to last week, several members of the Chamber were saying and reporting to us in the Tax Reform Office, that they were ready.
“The Chamber president is being quoted to me yesterday (Monday) that last week a statement was made that they were ready and so yesterday’s (Monday) press conference were somewhat disappointing because from a state of being ready to a state of being unready. I cannot understand that at all,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who added: “Just Saturday night, I was at the 10th Annual Tourism Awards Banquet and several persons from the private sector told me that they were ready for the VAT.”
Reiterating that he is now hearing from a press conference called by the Chamber or supported by the Chamber on Monday that they are not ready, Dr. Douglas said he was waiting to hear “what is the state of the unreadiness, but at the moment the Government continues to prepare itself and wants to prepare our partners because the private sector is our partner in ensuring that the appropriate fiscal measures are introduced in the stabilisation of the national economy.”
E-mails expressing concerns sent to the programme were read by the Host, Ms. Wanda Connor.
“I listened to the Chamber Press Conference yesterday and I detect that the Chamber wants to control the government and the economy as they did during the PAM administration. Our people must not forget that PAM was only concerned about the big, big businesses. They cared not about the small businesses. If they did, they would not have given a license to operate to KFC. It showed they did not care about Gilleys, Redi Fried and Uncle T’s. No wonder PAM refused to give a license to Courts to operate just to protect TDC, Horsford and Singer – big supporters of the PAM.”
Another email stated: “PM, you are doing a good job. We are praying for you daily for God to give you good health, vision and protection.”
“PM, May God continue to bless you and guide you and give you continued vision to help the vast majority of the people of St Kitts and Nevis. I and hundreds and thousands of people are praying for you every day. The forces of massive evil including members of the Chamber are camped against you and will do all in their power to bring you and your Government down so that they can go back to the days of the business people preventing the small business man from growing,” a third e-mail stated.