BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 13, 2023 (SKNIS) – The Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew-led Administration recently introduced several economic measures to bring significant relief to consumers, as well as to relieve financial pressures on importers and businesses and promote greater economic activity in the Federation.
The measures include concessions on school supplies until September 30, 2023, the reduction of corporate income tax from 33% to 25% and unincorporated business tax from 4% to 2% until December 31, 2023. The Government has also capped freight charges for 20-foot and 40-foot, dry food and cold storage containers at the 2019 pre-COVID rates.
Speaking at Thursday’s (July 13) press conference with Cabinet Ministers, Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew said it is important that consumers feel the benefits of these significant relief measures at the stores.
“Customs [and Excise Department] is ready to put things in place to make sure that the savings are passed on to parents, guardians and so forth. That doesn’t happen overnight but in quick order … we will start to see that. And what we have said to [the Department of] Consumer Affairs as well, and Consumer Affairs is up to it, is that they are going to monitor the prices,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew said.
The prime minister also encouraged consumers to be vigilant by monitoring the prices of goods and to report to the Department of Consumer Affairs when prices appear to be out of range.
“We need that surveillance as well. We need to hear from you. Consumer Affairs is willing to hear from you so that we can properly surveil,” Dr. Drew said.
A task force, headed by Cabinet Secretary Dr. Marcus Natta, convened a meeting on Wednesday, July 12 at the Customs and Excise Department Conference Room to discuss matters pertaining to the cost of living in St. Kitts and Nevis. Representatives of major food suppliers and traders attended that meeting.
“Our traders, importers and business owners are on board because this is not something that would affect them negatively. As a matter of fact, it might impact them positively because more people might buy more things as the prices go down,” the prime minister said.
The Government has also extended the temporary reduction in the Excise Tax from $2.25 per gallon to $0.95 per gallon until December 31, 2023.