by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew says he and the Premier of Nevis, Hon. Mark Brantley continues seeking a resolution to the questions of equity between the sister isles.
According to Prime Minister Drew at the press conference on January 18, the budgetary arrangement of EC$5 million dollars per month, an equivalent of EC$60 million dollars per year for the island of Nevis, continues, but a committee, which will include external experts, will be organised to assist with the general relationship matters between St. Kitts and Nevis.
“What existed with respect to the St. Kitts – Nevis arrangement was, there was what you call budgetary support of what I think is EC$5 million per month. That still continues. However, in speaking to the Premier, he and I met very early in the term and we had decided that we are going to put a committee together. That committee would look at matters of the relationship of St. Kitts and Nevis, the revenue sharing arrangement.
“As you know, the constitution speaks to the revenue that you get through tax; it doesn’t speak to non-taxable revenue, such as the CBI programme. So, that committee is being put together. Just recently, I spoke to the Premier again and he said, once he has given his throne speech, that- that will sit to ensure that the committee comes together.”
The leader further notified the public that the Federation would seek professional, external advice to assist the committee in formulating a resolution.
“We’re going to seek external help from the experts who understand the relationship in a Federation, between the entities and how better arrangement can be strengthened. So, we are not just going to look at it from the revenue standpoint or the sharing of revenues, but we are going to look at the Constitution and seek help in terms of how that should be done.”
Following the formation of the committee, its members will be announced to the country, said Dr. Drew.
Leading up to the August 2022 National Assembly Elections in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Premier of Nevis – Hon. Mark Brantley repeatedly made calls for a “fair share” of revenue for Nevis. The matter was one of the main issues contributing to the breakdown of the Team Unity Government led by former Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris.