Our world is changing. To what extent is still uncertain as we continue to grapple with the ongoing social and economic effects of a devastating global COVID-19 pandemic. The St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party recognizes that COVID-19 has forever changed our national outlook and we must forge a new path to concertedly adapt in order to build resilience and provide better opportunities for a brighter future.
Drawing from the lessons of COVID -19 Labour will introduce a COVID-19 Reset Package that will ensure that the rights of workers are protected and that the unemployed and students are provided with the assistance to allow them to survive and thrive. In the first 6 months in office, a new LABOUR Administration will:
Worker’s Rights and Protection
- Provide a gratuitous payment to all workers who were dismissed for not taking a COVID-19 vaccine
- Raise the national minimum wage to EC$500 weekly
- Introduce an Industrial Court and enhance Workplace Health and Safety protections
- Extend for another 6 months the Covid-Relief Income Support in the amount of EC$1,500 per month for unemployed persons.
- The income support mechanism will then be replaced by a permanent Unemployment Insurance Facility in the amount EC$750 dollars.
- Reduce student loan interest rates at the Development Bank from 9% to 5%
- Provide debt relief to relieve the burden of Student loans under a new Youth Rising Higher programme.
Cost of Living:
- Stimulate the Construction Sector by offering to all citizens of the Federation the following entitlement for new construction or renovation projects up to EC$500,000:
- VAT free on all materials and furnishings;
- Duty-Free on all materials and furnishings
- 0% down payment for mortgages offered by indigenous financial institutions
- Reduce the VAT rate from 17% to 13%
- Eliminate all VAT on taxes
- Extend the full discounted VAT 2-day package not just at Christmas but to three times a year – Easter, Summer and Christmas
- Implement a $1,000 credit for electricity consumption by all households
- For vehicle purchases, VAT will be exempt on the first EC$50,000, with VAT at the standard 13 per cent charged thereafter;
- Barrels/E-container or D-containers of foodstuff up to 400 pounds in weight will be allowed free of duty and taxes, and travellers and non-commercial importers will receive a duty-free allowance of EC$540 or US$200 off the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of goods.
Stimulus Plan for Small Businesses:
- Reduce payroll taxes for small and medium-sized businesses of up to 20 employees.
- Implement a “START FROM ZERO” (Zero hassle. Zero duty. Zero application or application fees)tax package to stimulate our small businesses that will include:
- Duty-free vehicle for all small business start-ups.
- Duty free on all equipment and furniture for all start-ups within the first year until the business is fully operationalized.
- Establish a Ministry of Small Businesses to give small businesses a voice and equip them with all the tools necessary to survive and thrive in a competitive environment.
- Reduction of the Unincorporated Small Business Tax by increasing the tax-exempt threshold from EC$6,000 to EC$12,000 for all service providers and $37,500 to $50,000 for all retailers.
- Make automatic to all registered and producing farmers and fishermen a duty-free concession on seeds, agricultural inputs, vehicles, boats insecticides, pesticides, tools and agricultural implements.