As a result of the lobbying of Nevis Premier Mark Brantley for the island to get its fair share of proceeds from the Citizenship by Investment Program, the federal government has approved a 50% increase in the annual allotment.
Nevis will now get EC$ 45 million annually from CBI monies.
But Premier Brantley, NIA Minister of Finance says the issue is still very live and subject to further deliberation. Whatever final decision is reached on the annual allotment, the Premier wants the revenue sharing arrangement to be legislated.
“The Prime Minister has indicated in his budget that we used to get $30 million per annum and that that will now be increased to $45 million. Whether or not that is a fair share of proceeds we’ll have to examine on the basis of what those proceeds are. Once we know how much CB is bringing into the country then we’ll have a better understanding, a better sense; but it is a start.
“The Prime Minister and I certainly have had ongoing discussions to put a team in place to regularize these matters rather than leaving them simply to the will of Cabinet. We feel that these are matters that need to be regularized so whatever the next government may look like in St. Kitts or Nevis down the line that those governments should have a clear guideline concretized in law as to what those arrangements are…to ensure that Nevis does get its fair share.”
He said the people of Nevis could look forward to the additional budgetary support, which he says will be used to deal with the exigencies of government, such as health care, infrastructure and education, and also to pay down debt.
The initial $30 million for the NIA was negotiated when the coalition Team Unity took Office in 2015. The monthly disbursement of $2.5 million is a share of the processing fees from the CBI program and not part of the $150, 000 lump sum paid for each St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship.