Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 18, (ZIZ Newsroom): Workers in St. Kitts and Nevis who contribute to Social Security will soon be getting an Independence bonus of one thousand dollars.
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew made the announcement in the Monday morning sitting of Parliament, saying it is the government’s way of saying thank you to the nation’s workforce.
“We want to say thank you,” he said. “And as a token of our appreciation, Madam Speaker, this administration has decided that for all of our workers who are registered with Social Security, as Independence 40 Reset, we have done all of that for them. We now are saying to them ‘Thank you’ and we will deposit $1,000 for each of our workers.”
He said the bonus is part of what’s being called Independence 40 Reset, a series of initiatives which aim to give financial relief in various areas.
Prime Minister Drew said one initiative will assist persons who’ve been struggling to pay their electricity and water bills and have been disconnected.
“All those who have been disconnected will be reconnected. We are giving you a new day. So we are taking immediate action when it comes to that,” he said.
“However, Madam Speaker, we encourage all of our people… while we encourage you to consider this deferring payment plan by SKELEC and the Water Services department as something welcoming and it gives you a fresh outlook on things, we are asking you to also be responsible.”
He also had some good news for homeowners with outstanding mortgage balances.
“Your government is eliminating all national housing cooperation penalties and resetting outstanding mortgages, mortgage balances to the principal amount for delinquent accounts,” he said.
The Prime Minister said first time homeowners who are sourcing construction material will also be receiving some assistance.
“There will be no import duty, no custom service charge and reduced VAT from 17% to 13% for first time home owners. And for renovations and repairs, the same benefits will apply until December 31st, 2024,” he said.
Persons paying off for their homes will also be getting some relief as the prime minister announced a reduction in interest rates, from 12 to 6 percent annually, the removal of interest on payments, an extension in the period for application of new interest rates, an extension of the period for making deposits on land, and new terms of payment by direct deposits.
He said the government will also proceed with the regularization of lands assigned to persons in 20223 by analyzing each development.