BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 15, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC) stands ready to work closely with the Team Unity Government as it gets ready to roll out its plans and projects outlined in the National Budget for the 2022 Financial Year to put the country and the economy back on track.
That assurance was given by the President of the Chamber, Mrs. Giselle Matthews on Tuesday, December 14 following the Budget presentation by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
“I think overall it was a very healthy Budget and an ambitious Budget but I think one that can be achieved if we continue along this road,” Mrs. Matthews said.
Chamber President Matthews said of particular importance to the CIC and its members is the continuation of the tax breaks announced by the honourable Prime Minister.
She said, “As Chamber president, I would say firstly that we look forward to and anticipate a positive outcome in 2022 and a reignition of the economic growth for businesses, so we look forward to working and collaborating with the Government in that respect. Obviously, no new taxes is always good news. Business persons always like a tax-free budget obviously but with that we are working and looking forward to continued efforts with the corporate tax, and we do welcome the extension of that tax break continuing in 2022 for unincorporated persons along with corporate tax.”
The Chamber president said she is also pleased with the emphasis being placed on the advancement of health and education in the upcoming year, highlighted by increased budgetary allocations to both ministries.
She added, “It is critically important that we invest in our young people as they are our future, and our education system, as you can see, is being put on the front burner and this is encouraging. Also, with health being given a healthy budget considering the last two years or 18 months, the imperative has been to keep the people of this country as safe as possible. And going forward, seeing the potential arrival of an MRI to facilitate diagnostics locally is extremely encouraging and very much a step in the right direction and is something that is welcomed by our Chamber because a healthy community means a healthy economy.”
Mrs. Matthews said the Government’s transition towards a digital economy is a much welcomed initiative and one that the business community looks forward to working on with the administration.
“I think the private sector stands ready as a partner to support and attract investments in technology innovation, the adoption of renewable energy solutions, expanding our manufacturing sector, and so we are excited and happy to explore any sort of incentives in those areas of reform,” she said.
The Chamber president also lauded the Government on its plan to establish a Supply Chain Disruptions Committee to monitor and address short-term supply issues as they emerge in the Federation. This comes as the pandemic has disrupted almost every aspect of the global supply chain and has resulted in shortages and increased prices for many items.