Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 5, 2015 (SKNIS): Citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis can look forward to a 2016 Budget without any new taxes. The Cabinet of Ministers, along with Permanent Secretaries, is presently engaged in high level discussions with Ministry of Finance officials in preparation for the 2016 Budget.
In an interview with the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS) Director- General, Lesroy Williams, the Financial Secretary, Mrs. Hilary Hazel, said that the 2016 Budget will be based on two main tenets.
“As promised by Prime Minister Harris, the 2016 Budget will be based on two premises. One, that there would be no new taxes and secondly, we would not entertain a deficit Budget. Fiscal responsibility and fiscal discipline would be two of the main guiding factors in terms of the discussions on the Budget.”
The Financial Secretary said that the Government “would also maintain its core mandate to provide and deliver services to the people.”
She said that based on discussions so far, safety and security must be deemed as an area of priority in the allocation of funds in the 2016 Budget. She also disclosed that “there has been increased focus on the health sector. There have been discussions on the water situation and what we can do with the resources that we have to make sure we bring relief in as short a time as possible.”
Mrs. Hazel also explained that the Government is expected to make a large payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2016. She said that provisions will be made for this payment in the Budget.
Discussions on the 2016 Budget convened on November 4, and continued on November 5, 2015.