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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, November 10, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis will, this year, enjoy two Discounted VAT Rate Days slated for Thursday, December 16 and Saturday, December 18, 2021.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during today’s (November 10) Sitting of the National Assembly.
“I am pleased to announce that my Government, in furtherance of our commitment to bring relief to the citizens and residents of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and after discussions with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, has established Thursday 16th and Saturday 18th December 2021, as the Reduced VAT Rate Days,” Prime Minister Harris said.
In light of this, the Government also made the prudent decision to pay all government employees earlier in December to ensure that they can take full advantage of the discounted VAT Days.
Dr. Harris said, “I have instructed the Accountant General to take the necessary measures to bring forward the date for the payment of salaries to all public officers in December, wages to all Government Auxiliary Employees (GAEs) and, of course, the monthly pension to all government pensioners. The date for the payment of the salaries, wages and pensions for December has been brought forward to Wednesday the 15th December 2021. In other words, we are paying early so that all Government employees can have the opportunity to participate fully in the two VAT Days.”
The prime minister said his Government anticipates that the VAT rate reduction days will drive consumer sales and lead to improved economic activity during December, while at the same time allowing customers to enjoy more affordable goods.
“We urge the Chamber membership and the wider business community to provide their customers with special bargains and discounts, not only on the two VAT discount days, but for the rest of December so that more of our people can have a more enjoyable Christmas, notwithstanding the shadow of COVID-19,” said Finance Minister
Moreover, the honourable prime minister indicated that weekly wages for the 2,830 employers of the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) will also be paid on Wednesday, December 15.
He added, “To ensure our approach is inclusive, I have instructed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development and the Accountant General to bring forward the date for the payment of about five thousand-plus beneficiaries under my Government’s Poverty Alleviation Program (PAP) from the 30th December 2021 to the Wednesday 15th December 2021.”
The two Discounted VAT Rate Days will significantly complement the other initiatives announced by Prime Minister Harris on the most recent edition of Leadership Matters on November 02.
These include the allowance of the first 500 pounds of gift packages of foodstuff free of duties and taxes. This allowance runs from as early as November 15, 2021, until February 28, 2022. Additionally, travellers will receive free allowance on goods valued at EC $540 or US $200 off the CIF value for the entire month of December.