Published 4 December 2017
Buckie Got It, St. Kitts and Nevis News Source
ANOTHER TAX-FREE BUDGET EXPECTED ON BUDGET DAY
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honorable Timothy Harris, will deliver his third budget as Prime Minister of the federation on Wednesday December 6th 2017 at the parliament chambers. Dr Harris, who holds a PhD in accounting, from McGill University in Canada, has demonstrated over the years that he is the right person to charter the course of the country’s economy.
The President of the Bankers and Financial Services Association, Mr. Gordon Julien, the Country Manager of Scotia bank St. Kitts and Nevis, commended the Government for the direction it was taking the economy. In recognition of the consultative approach taken by the government, Mr. Julien said, “A lot of the economic indicators that we are seeing are moving in the right direction, and as such I also want to commend the Government for having this consultation in preparation for the Budget.”
One of the areas the Scotia Bank financial guru was extremely pleased with was the Government’s efforts to address modern day challenges faced by the financial sector, particularly as it relates to the issue of de-risking. “De-risking” refers to financial institutions closing the accounts of clients perceived as high risk for money laundering or terrorist financing abuse, namely money service businesses, nonprofit organizations, correspondent banks, and foreign embassies.
The Team Unity administration under Dr. Harris’s leadership has consistently presented surplus budgets in 2015 and 2016 with no new taxes, and according to Prime Minister Harris, his Government has got the momentum to deliver yet another surplus budget in 2017. As a result of these surplus budgets, the per capita income for St. Kitts and Nevis is showing a stark difference and grew from US $15,739 in 2014 to US $16,978 in 2016, moving from a position of fourth highest in the region to being the second highest in 2016.