Those were the words uttered by Dr. Denzil Douglas, during his opening remarks on his weekly programme, ‘Ask the Prime Minister, on Tuesday 10th January, 2012, when he unveiled a Building Materials Incentive Programme which will be introduced by the Ministry of Finance this year.
Dr. Douglas explained, “In order to both stimulate the economy, as well expand the unprecedented program of home ownership, we have unveiled a Building Material Investment Programme specifically to aid those who are interested in home building.”
Prime Minister Douglas who is also the Minister of Finance stated that government will remove all duties and Customs Service’s Charges from up to Ec $400,000, for private home building supplies purchased by any citizen throughout all of 2012.
“The idea of a home grown stimulus package is important to us. The potential savings can be quite considerable and this tax relief applies whether the building supplies are purchased locally or imported independently,” said the Minister of Finance.
The public is therefore advised that this initiative is from the Ministry of Finance and all applications must be submitted to that ministry, said the Prime Minister.
He added that the application forms can be downloaded at coupm.com.
The initiative comes at a time when the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis has been severely impacted with some companies reducing their work force, while others have closed permanently. Even those that remain in operation have been finding great difficulty to continue under the heavy financial burdens being carried.
Most sectors of the economy are said to be down, in terms of performance and it was only on Monday 9th January, 2012, that one major company involved in the construction sector, (CONTEC), laid off over a dozen employees, citing a loss of business in that sector. Another two companies, Electrofab and Tropical Call Centre have also announced that they have had to lay off hundreds of workers (collectively).
Government’s new program is therefore intended to help stimulate more activity in the construction sub sector, which has always been one of the key pillars of economic activity