Premier Amory presents $236.3 million tax-free budget

Vance Amory
Vance Amory

Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance Hon. Vance Amory, presented the Nevis Island Administration’s $236.3 million tax-free budget, when he delivered the 2017 Budget Address in just over two hours, at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly on November 30, 2016. The theme is “A Revitalization of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship for Economic Success.”

Mr. Amory said that there is an increase of 22.42 percent in the 2017 budget over that of 2016 which is driven mainly by the Administration’s formidable 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, Mr. 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.
 
With regard to collections, Mr. Amory stated that 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 noted that in spite of the projections, there will be very strict tax collections in 2017.
 
“It is also expected, that the Inland Revenue Department will concentrate on bringing all properties into the tax net to maximize our revenue collection.
 
“This Administration expects every citizen to pay their fair share of taxes, as we endeavour to provide the best service in education, health and public utilities for all at a reasonable cost,” he said.
 
In the area of Capital Expenditure, $79.01 million is allocated to capital expansion, a 33.44 percent of total projected expenditure. It represents a 120 percent increase when compared to the capital allocation of the 2016 fiscal period.
 
Mr. Amory, explained that the increase in the capital budget, symbolises the determination of the NIA to undertake a number of capital investment projects that are ready for implementation, for which funding has already been identified.
 
He said the Administration will take a strong approach in the ongoing development of the island and seek to establish public/private partnerships in the process.
 
The new projects along with ongoing ones, he said, form part of the Administration’s infrastructural development programme and underscores the NIA’s commitment towards the continued future development of the island and provide employment for the people of Nevis.
 
Funding for the capital expenditure programme will come from a $2.0 million loan disbursement from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for the Water Enhancement Project and committed disbursements from the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund (SIDF).
 
In addition, the Administration will seek loan funding from other local financial entities at concessionary rates that will not exceed four percent per annum, to complete funding for those programmes.
 
Mr. Amory, also stated that the projected Recurrent Revenue for 2017 is $140.26 million which represents a 0.58 percent increase over that projected for the fiscal year 2016.
 
He said the projected recurrent spending of $157.29 million, represents a 5.61 percent increase over that of 2016. Salaries and wages account for 48.2 percent; debt servicing 19.45 percent and retiring benefits 5.14 percent, with the remaining amounts allocated to the procurement of goods and services.
 

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10 Comments

  1. Confusius
    December 1, 2016

    According to our Minister of Trade “vat is the backbone of our economy” but his boss disagrees and now says that it is his CBI program that is the goose that lays the golden eggs. One of his best known sycophants even says it is that boss himself, who is that goose! For his sake I hope not. He should be aware that in all the versions of the goose that lays the golden eggs, that bird is killed because of greed. The real morale of that fable? Greed kills!

  2. Tjebe fort
    December 1, 2016

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating! Well, they have christmas pudding ins St. Kitts and Nevis and we have salt to suck. Merry Christmas.

  3. December 1, 2016

    Mr. Amory you are a visionary as we Leeward Islanders are.

  4. Vaffanculo_PM
    December 1, 2016

    Nevis we ready to trade 7 ministers in the DLP including skerrit for one Vance Amory to develop Dominica. :-D

  5. Practical
    December 1, 2016

    We need to see this kind of leadership in Dominica.

    • Arte El Labore
      December 1, 2016

      Practical, if you can’t see all the hard work Pm Skerrit is doing for Dominica you my friend are a tippecal useless nasty workers supporter, you guys could bark like dogs but LINTON and his gang will never get their hands on our taxpayers money, so put that in you all pipe and smoke it.

  6. December 1, 2016

    I wish people would stop referring to budgets that don’t contain a tax increase as “tax free”. Tax free is when you actually keep all of your hard-earned money, not when you merely don’t lose more of it than the year before.

  7. Malgraysa
    December 1, 2016

    “Dominica has unsustainable debt levels, which have largely resulted from inadequate fiscal management”.
    No further comment necessary.

    World Bank document PAD 659, 2 April 2014 ( project appraisal report Dominica)m, accessible on line.
    Note: this report was made before tropical storm Erika hit us

    • CRIME STOPPERZ
      December 1, 2016

      that is why de moron keeping dominica in an unrepaired deplorable state so foreign donors will feel the sympathy for us and give money while he spend 18 million on a bridge

    • Frelance
      December 1, 2016

      Dominica is not a real country least you forget

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