Honourable Marsha Henderson Shows Support for the Housing and Social Development Levy (Amendment) Bill of 2024.

Honourable Marsha Henderson

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): During her presentation in the National Assembly on February 22, 2024, Minister of Labour, the Honourable Marsha Henderson, supported the Housing and Social Development Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2024, which is a BILL to amend the Housing and Social Development Levy Act, Cap. 20.21 and for related matters.

“The Act we propose to be amended in Section three (3), subsection two (2), subparagraph A, to read, in the case of an employee whose wages are up to $23,400 or $450 per week, that there be zero (0) per cent deduction by the employee and three (3) per cent by the employer in respects of the wages and the employer pays to the employee,” Minister Henderson said.

She continued, “What we are proposing is that there be zero (0) deduction which is an exemption … for persons who make minimum wage.”

The labour minister noted that this initiative is one of the steps that the government is taking on the road to achieving a sustainable island state.

“We feel by exempting this category of workers from the payment of the Housing and Social Development Levy, that these people would be able to attain and earn a decent and livable wage and, of course, therefore, prevent them from falling into poverty,” said Minister Henderson.

She emphasized that extending the exemption to the vulnerable demographic is crucial in mitigating what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) identifies as income disparity. She reiterated that, “Income inequality and poverty will rise if the purchasing power of the lowest paid workers are not maintained.”

The Bill, which subsequently passed, was moved through the Honourable House by Prime Minister, Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, who also has responsibility for Social Security.

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