Consumers have to be careful how they spend

Minister Harris

St. Kitts, Jan 16 2011 – From all reports recessionary effects are still affecting us in the Caribbean including St Kitts and Nevis. Additionally the fiscal measures, in particular the introduction of VAT, electricity increases and increases in social levy will impact upon the purchasing power of consumers. On one hand the cost of items is trending upwards in the post VAT era and disposable incomes will be less with the increases in Social Levy.

“Consumers then, will have to make do with less resources.

In such a situation consumers who are better at managing their monies, quick at adjusting their consumption patterns, who innovate and change, will cope better than those for whom the opposite holds” so says Minister of Consumer Affairs, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris.

Dr Harris calls on consumers be more selective about what they purchase, to shop around for bargains and where possible substitute branded products for a much cheaper brand. We pay more for branded items than for items of lesser premium brand and the nutritional content may be equal to what the superior brand carries. In this context, substitution is a pragmatic response in these times of austerity.

Dr Harris said consumers need to spend wisely and carefully in 2011. Where possible, consumers are being encouraged to make their background gardens as productive as possible. Homegrown herbs and thymes, limes, oranges, vegetables, etc can significantly reduce the regular food bill. I would encourage more people to grow fruits and vegetables and consume more of what they grow” said Senior Minister who also carries the portfolio of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs.

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