Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. Denzil Douglas during a public meeting in Central Basseterre last December, said that the opposition coalition Team Unity planned to “re-introduce personal income tax” as a replacement for the complete removal of Value Added Tax (VAT).
“So when those people like Dr. Timothy… come and tell you that they’re going to remove VAT, tell them Douglas say they plan to re-introduce personal income tax on the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
The prime minister, who on that occasion urged constituents to not be fooled by politicians, said that the opposition “has no new ideas,” adding that the removal of taxes is also “not a new idea”.
“We are talking about making fundamental changes by introducing fundamental policies that will move our country upward and forward,” Douglas said.
But Dr. Harris told MiyVue.com that it was the People Action Movement (PAM), “when they were in power from 1980 -1984” that completely removed personal income taxes from the Federation.
“Let’s make it very clear. Team Unity’s role is to enable a competitive economic environment. In our view, the idea of reintroducing personal income tax would not help,” stated Dr. Harris.
Harris pointed out that because the taxation (income tax) was removed in the 80’s, the trilateral party has no intentions of “going back to the past”, adding that Dr. Douglas’ exemption of taxes from several items was an idea stolen from Team Unity.
“Dr. Douglas is out of ideas. He is an old fashion leader now… So he can’t be creative enough. I am also not surprised that he doesn’t understand what a low tax jurisdiction should look like,” Harris said.
He added that reintroducing taxes on the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is not in keeping with the concept of the alliance’s future “low tax jurisdiction” initiative.
“He was the one who said the removal of VAT could not be done. But look he has been forced to copy that idea. He has stolen the idea in broad day light and made a mess of it,” Dr. Harris said.