Brantley raises revenue sharing concern for Nevis

According to the opposition leader, the Douglas administration has received funding from sources such as the Citizenship by Investment programme and international grants of approximately $1billion over an eight-year span.

Speaking on his regular radio programme, ‘On the Mark’, Brantley alleged that neither the people of the Nevis nor his administration received funds from the Federal Government.

“From 2006 to 2013, from passport processing fees and international aid, the Denzil Douglas administration received close to EC$1 billion,” Brantley said.  

During this period, he claimed that the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) was in government on Nevis, and they were in close relations with the St. Kitts based Federal Government.

“When they profess their close relationship with Dr. Douglas and Labour, even that love affair could not lead Dr. Douglas to do the right thing and treat the people of Nevis like equal citizens of this country,” Brantley stated.

Commenting on the recently signed Nevis Accord, Brantley said the document points to equitable sharing of revenues based on the population count. He said that presently the Nevis population stands at one third of the entire tally of persons living on both islands.

On that basis, he pointed out that one third of the resources would be dispersed to Nevis, which would include passport processing fees. This was not the case under the previous NRP administration.

“Whilst the government of Joseph Parry was encouraged to rack up the debt, passport monies were flowing into Basseterre. Aid money was flowing into Basseterre, and they were using that to pay down the debt in St. Kitts. The consequence, therefore, is that by the time we got into government in 2014, the bucket bottom had already fallen out,” the deputy premier explained.

As a consequence, he said they were forced to do repairs and lead the island forward using very limited resources.

Brantley suggested that in its present format, revenues from CBI based real estate transactions do not benefit Nevis, giving as an example the sale of villas at the Four Seasons.

“Imagine, under the Citizenship by Investment programme, people come here and buy at the Four Seasons, Obrien Hamilton Villas or anything to do with development in Nevis, and at US$35,000, I am told for head of the household, and US$15,000 for every dependent… everything goes to the federal government,” Brantley explained.

Revenue sharing has been a contentious issue for years between the Federal Government and the Nevis Island Administration, a matter that the political alliance Team Unity, involving the CCM led NIA, has pledged to settle should they win the upcoming general elections.








 

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