Key Points From The St. Kitts – Nevis Cabinet Briefings
September 19, 2009 will mark the 26th Anniversary of Independence of the Federation. Cabinet reflected on the celebrations for our 25th Anniversary and all that our Federation has achieved over the last quarter century. Central to the discussions were reflections on the current challenges that face the Federation and the critical role that all segments of society should play in stemming violence among young people, in particular.
Cabinet gave final approval of the theme for this year’s Independence Celebrations, ” Embracing Our Youth Today for a Brighter Tomorrow.” Events slated for this year’s celebration include:
“¢ Cultural and Gala Night
“¢ National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving State Service
“¢ Announcement of National Awards
“¢ Community Flag Raising Ceremonies
“¢ Wreath Laying Ceremony at the RLB Community Park, St. Pauls
“¢ Prime Minister’s Lecture Series
“¢ Schools’ Patriotic Programme and Treat
“¢ Ceremonial Parade
“¢ Mothers’ Union Breakfast
“¢ Governor General’s Reception
“¢ Community Block Parties
More information on these and other events will be made available in the media in due course.
The Cabinet of Ministers takes this opportunity to wish all citizens, home and abroad, and all residents of our Federation a safe and fulfilling Independence season, and calls upon the entire nation to reflect upon and pursue this year’s theme for our National Independence.
Tax Information Exchange Agreements
On July 13, 2009 Cabinet approved the negotiation of Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA) between our Federation and a number of countries from the OECD ““ Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, including The Netherlands. As a follow-up to that decision, a delegation from The Netherlands visited the Federation in August and negotiated the specific text that will form that basis for the agreements.
The draft agreement between our Federation and the OECD countries is consistent with the St. Christopher and Nevis (Mutual Exchange of Information on Taxation) Act of 2009.
Recently, governments of Aruba and The Netherlands Antilles contacted the government of St. Kitts and Nevis with a view to having separate Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA) installed. At its meeting of August 24, Cabinet approved the commencement of negotiations with both territories for TIEAs. These TIEAs will count as two additional agreements to those to be signed with the OECD countries.
September 11, 2009 has been proposed for the signing of the TIEAs in the Hague, The Netherlands, in advance of the next G-20 summit due September 20. The signing of these agreements represents an important step in the fulfillment of the Federation’s commitments to the wider global community.
Small Business Assistance
Cabinet reviewed the recent reports of the fiscal situation for the first quarter of 2009 and reflected on how government’s direct support to small businesses through tax concessions and its land distribution policy had helped to keep the economy buoyant despite the setbacks in the global economy. Cabinet pledged to continue to give even greater support to small businesses conscious of the fact that small businesses represent a cornerstones of our national economy.
In view of the above, Cabinet approved requests by three small businesses for assistance by way of tax concessions. These small businesses are service-oriented and manufacturing businesses with significant potential for growth and spin-offs in the local economy.
Requests for land for two small businesses were also approved. This decision is consistent with government’s policy to support the establishment of small businesses and to make land available to small local entrepreneurs for business development.