Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 24, 2015 (SKNIS)—The vastly improved working relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis is one of the highlights of the eight month old Government of National Unity, said Nevis Premier Honourable Vance Amory.
A guest on “Working for You,” the Government’s weekly radio programme, Premier Amory applauded the efforts of the Government of National Unity that ensures that St. Kitts and Nevis gets a fair share of the proceeds of the Citizenship- by- Investment programme. He reminisced that in the mid-1990s when this matter was brought up with the Federal Government, it was “bluntly and flatly denied.” On the contrary, the premier suggested that the Government of National Unity is looking favorably at this matter.
The premier also listed the removal of VAT from food, medicines and funeral expenses as one of the major accomplishments of the Government of National Unity despite concerns being raised by some technocrats including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that this would have an impact on government revenues.
“It makes no sense that the Government continues to tax the people and tax them into poverty. If people are poor, they become disgruntled. If people have a bit more money to spend on the necessities of life, food, shelter, rent—those kinds of things, medicines, then they will certainly be happier because they will be able to satisfy their own simple needs for life,” Premier Amory said.
He added that he does not think the fallout from the VAT removal is as dramatic as some pundits are suggesting.
“I think the cumulative effect, as we go through the next years…we (will) see people spend more in an economy which is consumer based. This will have a great positive effect on the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis and the people,” Premier Amory said.
The premier also listed the payment to displaced sugar workers by the Government of National Unity and efforts to clean up the Citizenship- by- Investment programme among the accomplishments of the Government.
In addressing the importance of earning the trust of the public, the premier said the nation has to move on from what he referred to as dictatorship by the ballot box; a direction he said St. Kitts and Nevis was heading to, hinting to the multiple electoral problems encountered in the general elections earlier this year. This Government, he notes, in moving forward, has a role to play in directing the affairs of the people, getting rid of nepotism and issues that can lead to corruption.
“Whatever we do in Government for and behalf of the people must be done in a way which the people understand, it is transparent; they can see the process, because if the process is good and clear, the people, I think will buy into it and be part of it,” Premier Amory said.
He suggested that even if people are not in favour of a certain policy of the Government, the people would support it if they understand why it is being implemented.
“I subscribe…to the new paradigm, the new approaches of transparency; good governance so that we rid ourselves of the stigma which has been applied to St. Kitts and Nevis in the years prior to a change in government,” Amory said. “What we are doing and have done for the last eight months is to show to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and the people of the world that we are serious about government; we are serious about providing good, transparent government in this day and age for the benefit of the people.”