Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 01, 2021 (SKNIS): The 2021 Reduced VAT Rate Days that were scheduled for December 16 and 18 have now been changed to December 17 and 18 as announced by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during National Assembly on Wednesday, December 01.
The change, according to Prime Minister Harris, was made based on recommendations from the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC).
“The Cabinet has approved the revised dates provided by the Chamber to Friday 17th and Saturday 18th as the new dates when consumers will benefit in a major reduction in the applicable VAT Rate which, hitherto, and still remains today 17 percent,” said the Finance Minister. “But for the purpose of what we described as the reduced VAT Rate five (5) percent will apply on merchandise.”
Prime Minister Harris explained that the revised dates are as a result of the influx of cruise ship passengers expected on Thursday, December 16.
“One of the reasons why the Chamber has advanced [the new dates] was that they were concerned that on the previous days they had proposed, the 16th, we will have a record or a large number of cruise ships docked in Basseterre and that we will have an overflow of thousands of cruise passengers on December 16th that, of course, will not provide for the greatest efficiency in terms of our people moving to and fro to execute business on the 16th,” said Prime Minister Harris. “Accordingly, the Chamber has proposed December 17 and on that date, we are expecting a lower cruise traffic to be experienced.”
Dr. Harris said that consultations were held with the High Command of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) as to the revised dates.
The finance minister encouraged the general public to be fiscally prudent.
“I hope that persons will spend well and wisely on those two days and that they will focus on what is necessary and what they really need because while we are coming out of the shadow of the Pandemic we are not yet there and we, therefore, have to be careful how we spend and alter our spending patterns where necessary to bring some relief to ourselves,” he said.
According to Prime Minister Harris, the change indicates that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is responsive to the concerns of economic partners.