BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - PERMANENT SECRETARY in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty said the proposed changes to several categories of matter from Work Permits to Drivers Permits are still with Cabinet and not yet implemented.
Frustration and disgust swirled around the Federation on Monday (Jan. 4) when a leaked proposal made its rounds on social media with the proposed changes that saw steep increases across the board for matters coming under the purview of the National Security Ministry.
Petty indicated that the fees were part of proposals made by the Ministry of National Security during the St. Kitts & Nevis Budget Estimates process in preparation for the 2021 Budget.
The proposal saw significant increases, including Dog Licenses, which currently stands at $2.50 and would jump to $100; Reserved Parking based on the numbers would be $1,000; while Traffic Offence Tickets will move from $150 to $250; and Speeding from $250 to $350.
One area of contention was a receipt that purportedly shows someone being charged EC$1,000 for renewal of a firearm license up from EC$350.
“All of the proposed fees and charges for various licenses and government permits are still before the Cabinet for a determination. The charging of new fees by the Police for processing renewal of firearms licences was inadvertently implemented as this too would require a submission to Cabinet for approval.
“Some of the proposals, if accepted by the Cabinet, will require legislative amendments. Schedules of fees and charges would also be gazetted in the usual course,” Petty added.
In a statement issued yesterday (Jan. 5), the PS explained that some of the proposals, if accepted by the Cabinet, would require legislative amendments.
Those being the “Schedules of fees and charges would also be gazetted in the usual course”.
He reiterated that “none of the proposals advanced by the Ministry constitutes any new taxes or any increase in taxes”.
However, the PS noted that “the focus is on fees and charges for various services offered by the Ministry to better align them with the cost of delivering such services to the general public in an efficient manner”.
Against that backdrop, he described the leaking of the document to social media as “quite unfortunate, irresponsible and malicious”.