Discussion on VAT will be on two distinct levels, says Financial Secretary

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas and Financial Secretary, Mrs. Janet Harris

ST. KITTS, APRIL 22, 2010 (CUOPM) – Financial Secretary, Mrs. Janet Harris says discussion with the general public on the Value Added Tax (VAT) will be on two distinct levels.

Briefing the Cabinet of Ministers on Monday, Mrs. Harris said the discussion will be on associated policy issues, and among other things, helping to educate the public about the significant advantages of the VAT.

Admittedly, this process has started but it needs to be expanded and formally rolled out and the wider public needs to be engaged on the technical matters surrounding the implementation of VAT, taking into account the various interest groups in the country.

The Ministry of Finance will work with other ministries and other stakeholders to craft the relevant programmes of public education.

Much of the discussion was generated through the presentation of a White Paper prepared by the Ministry of Finance, which provides a significant level of detail about the Value-Added Tax.

Minister of Information, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty said Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas at Monday’s Cabinet Meeting, summarized the presentation commending the Ministry officials for their excellent work leading towards the implementation of VAT and emphasizing that the implementation of the VAT is in harmony with the eight-point stabilisation and growth programme for the Eastern Caribbean States agreed to in September of last year.

“This programme, he reminded, is geared towards setting St. Kitts and Nevis on a stronger path for growth, development and economic stability. Prime Minister Douglas, in reflecting upon the fact that so many other countries have already implemented the VAT, concluded that St. Kitts and Nevis must not be left out from the important tax reforms that are occurring in the Region, and insisted that implementation timelines as outlined are critical if we are to derive the benefits of these reforms,” said Minister Carty.

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