Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. The Hon. Timothy Harris

By Loshaun Dixon

 Basseterre, St. Kitts-The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is expecting that  an extra $30 million will be pumped in the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis in December following the government’s announcement that all civil servants, auxiliary workers and pensioners will receive a double salary for that month as well as other concessions to the wider Federation.

Giving an address to the Nation on Saturday evening Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris announced that Cabinet made a decision that all workers on the Federal Government and The Nevis Island Administration payroll would be paid an extra month’s salary.

“This represents a 13 months’ salary or an 8.3% bonus to government employees and pensioners. This pay-out will benefit not only federal employees and pensioners but also those on the pay roll of the Nevis Island Administration.”

Dr.  Harris also encouraged all entities in the public and private sectors to make a special effort to deliver a gratuitous payment to their employees in December.

“As the principle beneficiaries of consumer expenditure, we hope that our private sector firms will do more than the normal pay for their employees. We urge those who are receiving extra to show a little more kindness during the yuletide season and we caution all to spend wisely and avoid waste.”

The Prime Minister added that the bonuses is to boost economic activity and provide relief to lower and middle income families.

“We estimate that potentially 30 million dollars will be pumped into the economy as a consequence of this bonus by the government .The multiplier effect of this sum will be significant at this time of the year.”

However the generosities of the government will extend beyond the payment of an extra month’s salary in December with the Minister of Finance also announcing duty free concessions on imported products for from December 9th.

“Gift packages of food stuff will be allowed free of duties and taxes for the first 400 pounds starting from the 9th and going to the 31st of December 2016. Another important concession which we make is that travellers will receive a duty free allowance of EC$540 or US$200 off the CIF value.”

He also announced a concession has been designed for restaurateurs.

“I am pleased to announce to all our stand alone restaurant operators that the government has approved an extension of duty free concessions which are applicable every five years. These concessions apply to the following purchase, the purchase of food and wine, restaurant equipment, cutlery and glassware.

“I should note that the normal vat rate of 17 percent and customs service charge at 6 percent are payable on the importation of equipment, cutlery, cookery and glassware. Interested restaurant operators are asked to contact SKIPA on the third floor of the cable building on Cayon Street, Basseterre, Dr. Harris disclosed.”

Dr. Harris also reminded that Reduced VAT Day is set for December 16 and declared it as an opportunity for people to receive a boost for the purchase of essential goods and services