Basseterre, St.Kitts(November 19th 2016):- THE pockets of civil servants of the Federation would be much fuller this Christmas/Carnival Season as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Timothy Harris has announced that a double salary would be paid.
During an Address to the Nation on Saturday evening November 19, 2016 Dr. Harris stated “We appreciate that 2016 so far has been a very good one for us. We have been an above average performer not just in the OECS, CARICOM, ECLAC, but in the wide world. All three of our fiscal accounts: recurrent, overall and primary accounts have been in surplus from January to October. We are gratified by this excellent performance of our fiscal house. We credit this to the satisfaction of economic actors in the policies of the peoples Team Unity Government. We are committed to ensure that all share in the economic fortunes of our country.
Cabinet in its deliberation on Friday determined that the following will be offered to government employees in December this year:
An extra month’s salary to all civil servants, auxiliary workers, and pensioners on the government payroll. This represents a thirteen month salary or an 8.3% bonus to government employees and pensioners. This payout will benefit not only federal employees and pensioners but also those on the payroll of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA),” said Dr. Harris
PM Harris also announced that Residents of St. Kitts and Nevis, specifically non-commercial importers and travelers, will receive duty free allowances on “food stuff” and non-commercial imports.
“Gift packages of food stuff will be allowed free of duties and taxes for the first 400lbs From the 9th to 31st December 2016,” stated Minister of Finance Dr. Harris
PM Harris continued “Travelers can receive a duty free allowance of EC$540(US200) off the CIF value. This too will run from 9th to 31st December 2016.”
Concessions for Restaurateurs’ were also announced by Prime Minister Harris during his address.
“I am pleased to announce to all of our Stand Alone Restaurant Operators that Government has approved an extension of duty-free concessions, which are applicable every five years. These concessions apply to the following purchases:
- Food and wine, Restaurant Equipment, Cutlery, Crockery & Glassware
I should note that the normal VAT at 17% and Customs Service Charge at 6% are payable on the importation of equipment, cutlery, crockery and glassware. Interested restaurant operators are asked to contact SKIPA on the 3rd Floor of the Cable Building on Cayon Street, Basseterre,” stated PM Harris
It was also announced that there will be an extra Public Holiday during the Christmas/Carnival Season. December 27th was declared a public Holiday. With Christmas Day falling on a Sunday and Boxing Day on a Monday the Cabinet decided to follow the legislation and declare Tuesday 27th December as a public holiday.
PM Harris announced “I now draw your attention to the fact that in keeping with section 2 of the Public Holidays Act Cap 23.23, December 26thand 27th, 2016 are consecutive public holidays. The relevant section of the Act notes that:“…if Christmas Day fallson a Sunday, then the next following Monday (Boxing Day) and Tuesday shall be public holidays.”
This is the first time in a long time that a double salary has been given that was not under the shadow of a pending elections.