Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 28, 2015 (SKNIS): The Government of National Unity has fulfilled a number of goals after taking up office in February of 2015. The commitments made and kept by the Government have been felt and appreciated by many nationals.
In his Budget rebuttal on Monday, December 21, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, said “We removed VAT on food, medicine and funeral expenses (for) 365 days a year. We care for the poor people who could hardly afford to eat and we brought relief to them. We cared for the poor who could not get their prescriptions filled and we appreciated that the burden of 17 percent VAT on the prescriptions was unconscionable because it came between the patient and his/her medicine and by extension his/her recovery.”
Prime Minister Harris drew reference to a poll that was carried out by Don Anderson, a leading pollster in the Caribbean.
It showed that the poll concluded 84 percent of those surveyed are very aware of the removal of VAT from food items, whilst 71 percent are aware of the removal of VAT from funeral expenses and 57 percent are aware of the provision made by the Government to support the budget of Nevis.
“Over and above these good awareness levels, however, there is also very strong support for each of these decisions with over 80 percent of those aware indicating that they support these decisions,” he said. “This is an acknowledgement that these actions are very much in line with how people feel the government should be performing and indeed is indicative of a recognition that the government is carrying out its responsibilities in the interest of the majority of the country”.
Other successes of the Government include the $16 million payout to former sugar workers, $20 million budgetary support given to the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), $1 million grant to Dominica for disaster recovery, and the hosting of top regional sporting tournaments which were the CARIFTA and CPL Games.