Will Personal Income Tax be Re-Introduced?

Recently, the People’s Action Movement (PAM) issued a press release indicating that employees of the Prime Minister’s ministry “are reporting that official instructions have been issued with regard to studying the introduction of personal income tax in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

The release further suggested that, “There is even a proposed date of March 2011 as the possible time to when this new tax could be operationalized.”

Member of Parliament on the Opposition Benches, Eugene Hamilton, in the same release, expressed his concern with such a move, indicating that he is totally against the re-introduction of that tax citing that …

During a town hall meeting held on Tuesday, 25th January, 2011 Dr. Douglas indicated that the government has no intention “in the near future” to reintroduce personal income tax.

We have no intention; we have had no discussion in recent times or in the near future to reintroduce personal income tax.”

The Finance Minister however noted that, “If that were ever to happen”, processes of “profound consultation with the people of St. Kitts and Nevis” would be conducted. “At the moment” however, “there is nothing of that kind.”

Addressing what he described as an “unfortunate” situation, Dr. Douglas chided MP Hamilton for misinforming and deceiving the populace.

 

“It is unfortunate that the Honourable Eugene Hamilton can get into the media and into the news only by misinformation and by deception. There is no truth whatsoever, from our end, that there is any reintroduction of personal income tax.

“…I am the Prime Minister, I am the Minister of Finance, I don’t know where the Honourable Eugene Hamilton is getting that information from. What I know specifically is that this is the week when PAM received its fourth consecutive electoral defeat and so PAM, if you would follow their press releases for the whole of last week and this week,…are practicing what I want to describe as the politics of diversion, in order to take people’s minds off their incompetence and their continues rejection by the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

As a result, Dr. Douglas explained, the People’s Action Movement (PAM) has “resorted to the practice of deception and also misinformation. So they are deliberately putting information out there to deceive people, to misinform people, as part of their strategy of diversion.

The federation’s political leader warned the populace to “not be fooled” by PAM’s tactics. “The government has always been very open in its policies, especially when it comes to the economy,” he said.


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