The sale of St. Kitts-Nevis citizenship is the number one income earner for the twin island Federation. The Citizenship by Investment Program earned over $200 million in 2012, far surpassing any of the established sectors of the economy. While tax revenues fell in 2012, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas said the success of the Citizenship by Investment Program “continued to have a positive impact on Non-Tax Revenue which was the primary contributor to the strong fiscal performance for 2012″. ” The main driver of investment activity has been the Citizenship by Investment Program,”he said in the 2013 budget in December. Overall, the economy contracted by 0.9% in 2012, PM Douglas said. Pointing out the underperformance in tax revenue PM Douglas said it amounted to $314.6 million, $2.3 million (0.7%) below the 2011 level and $12.7 million (3.9%) less than the 2012 estimates. “Taxes on income continued its downward trend where collection for 2012 were 5.2 million or 7% less than the previous year. Looking at revenue from corporate income tax was 1.5% below the estimate and 8.8% less than the amount collected in 2011. Taxes on domestic goods and consumption were also lower than the previous year…mainly on account of the reduction in revenue from the Value Added Tax (VAT). So we have an issue with our tax revenue,”he said. Taxes on International Trade and Transactions, although they exceeded what was collected in 2011, also fell below the budget. The underperformance of taxes, he said, was a matter of concern and an area they would keep an eye on. Dr. Douglas revealed that St. Kitts-Nevis citizenship was an increasingly popular commodity and the Citizenship by Investment Unit was allotted an additional $13mil in this year’s budget. “Our Citizenship by Investment Program is considered to be one of the best programs of its kind anywhere in the world and one that is becoming increasingly popular. As a result of the increasing number of applications, an additional $13 million has been provided to the Citizenship by Investment Unit…It is noteworthy that the performance of the Citizenship by Investment Program has exceeded our wildest expectations,”he said. Dr. Douglas, who is also Minister of Finance, expects to earn even more from citizenship sales in 2014. Budget estimates for 2014 project $328.7 million in Non-Tax Revenue. Meanwhile Opposition parliamentarians continue to sound the alarm about the inherent dangers of “wholesaling citizenship and passports”. They fear the integrity of our travel document has already been jeopardized by recent scandals and there will be greater fallout in the international community if undesirable persons who purchased St. Kitts-Nevis passports commit crimes in the US, Canada and Europe. “It cannot be that the main industry of St. Kitts and Nevis is the sale of passports,’said Unity Team leader and former Minister of Finance in the Douglas administration, Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris.