Douglas said on Tuesday, that he recognized that he made a mistake and he wishes to withdraw the statement, especially after being informed by the VAT office, that by error, chalk was indeed being charged for VAT.
Dr. Douglas said that after being informed of the matter, he was withdrawing his statement because it was an erroneous one.
But Douglas remained defiant, making it clear that he does not see a reason for him to make an apology as he has already cleared the matter up in the House and to the nation.
It was very unfortunate that Richards was absent from parliament at the time the statement was withdrawn, said Douglas. He went on to suggest that it was Richards’ problem, as he should have been present.
The Prime Minister also stated that he will not repeat his statement in the next sitting of parliament and that it is time to leave this issue and move on.
Richards, who is the Parliamentary Representative for Sandy Point, in the western part of the island, a few weeks ago, demanded that the Prime Minister apologise to him, for calling him, (Richards), a liar in the National Assembly. Douglas used the occasion of the Assembly meeting to accuse the opposition member of lying, and referred to him, several times, as a liar, over remarks that government was charging Value Added Tax on an essential item like chalk.
Though Richards’ opposition colleague, Senator Vincent Byron provided proof, via an actual receipt from a local store, indicating that 17% VAT was charged on the item, Douglas and
other members on the government benches continued to ridicule the opposition members. Now however, it has been proven that indeed VAT was being charged, thus Richards’ request for an apology.
Given the deplorable state of the political culture in St. Kitts and Nevis however, and the obvious dislike for each other, on a personal and political basis, the public is not surprised that the effort would not be made to address the matter in a spirit of cordiality.