26th September, 2017
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (KYSS) – Unfortunate.
That one word summed up Opposition Leader, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas’, feelings about the St. Kitts and Nevis government’s decision to drastically slash the contribution required for investors to attain economic citizenship of the federation.
Addressing the recent announcement by Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, of the decision to cut CBI rates by a whopping fifty percent, Dr. Douglas remarked that the timing of this decision is unfortunate.
This was a direct reference to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, category five storms which recently wreaked havoc in the region and particularly in neighbouring Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica, both of which rely heavily on their own CBI programmes for revenue.
With humanitarian efforts now targeted at rebuilding these nations and restoring normalcy to the lives of the persons affected most by the storms, Dr. Douglas says the move was a “low blow” and added that now is not the time increase CBI competition with the devastated nations.
Condemnation of the move by the Dr. Harris-led St. Kitts and Nevis government has come not only from states within the region but from respected regional and international CBI consultants including Antigua and Barbuda’s former High Commissioner to London, Ambassador Sir Ronald Saunders.
The backlash from the decision to undercut CBI rates so drastically in this time of regional and international solidarity with the hurricane ravaged nations, continued Douglas, will be further damage to St. Kitts and Nevis’ reputation.
Dr. Douglas believes too, that the decision to lower CBI rates is even more eyebrow raising given Dr. Harris and his colleagues opposition to the management and structure of the St. Kitts and Nevis CBI programme prior to the last elections.