Nevis Premier presents tax-free budget

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis, Dec. 1, CMC – The Premier of Nevis, Vance Amory, on Wednesday presented a EC$263.3 million tax-free budget when he delivered the 2017 budget of the Nevis Island Administration at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly.

Under the theme – “A Revitalization of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship for Economic Success,”

Amory pointed to an increase of 22.42 percent in the 2017 budget over that of 2016, which is driven mainly by the Administration’s capital investment budget.

The Ministries of Finance and Communications received the largest chunks with $82.3million and $39.7million allocations respectively, which represents 35 and 16.8 percent of the overall budget.

Regarding no additional taxes, Amory said the Administration believes that excessive taxation serves as a deterrent to increased economic growth and prosperity. He said it is also the duty of every Administration, to sustain growth in the economy by expanding economic activities in a way that creates opportunities for its people.

“We must continue to create good quality jobs and expand opportunities for entrepreneurial development, in an effort to improve the livelihood and standard of living of our people,” he said.

The Finance Minister noted that $157.29 million of the budget was allocated to recurrent spending, which represents a 66.57 percent of the total projected budget expenditure.

Concerning collections, Amory said the Administration is projecting to collect $140.26 million in Recurrent Revenue, with the amount of $105.12 million to be generated from tax revenue. Non-tax revenue will contribute to the remaining $35.14 million.

When compared to the projected Recurrent Expenditure of $157.23 million, he said there is a deficit of $16.97 million, which will be covered by the ongoing monthly transfers of $2.5 million from the Federal Government, as part of Nevis’ fair share of revenue from the processing fees under the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme.

However, the Premier said in spite of the projections, there will be very strict tax collections in 2017.

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