PM HARRIS CALLS ON LANDLORDS AND EMPLOYERS TO BE GENEROUS TO TENANTS AND EMPLOYEES AT THIS TIME OF HARDSHIP

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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, April 28, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – On the Saturday, April 25th edition of WINNFM’s Inside the News programme, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris reiterated his appeal for landlords to be sensitize to the present situations of their tenants whose earnings, like those of many citizens and residents across St. Kitts and Nevis, are being impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Harris used the radio appearance to urge landlords to suspend or reduce payments of rent and lease for a period to assist residential and commercial tenants at this time of crisis.

“We have appealed to the landlords, and we want more of the landlords to show sympathy to the situation that their tenants are experiencing and to give some easement on the rent and on the lease payments, whether they are for commercial properties at Port Zante or in Frigate Bay, please landlords show some compassion as part of the national sacrifice,” pleaded Dr. Harris.

Prime Minister Harris noted that several landlords and property owners with mortgages are already receiving some benefits from banks, such as moratorium on principal and interest for 6 months, and as such is urging landlords and property owners to provide similar relief to those who are renting or leasing their properties.

Furthermore, the honourable prime minister made a clarion call for employers to also be sensitive and not act too quickly in terminating their employees.

“Persons who are working with you every day, doing their best for you, you can’t as soon as the rough weather comes turn your back on them,” Prime Minister Harris stated.

Part of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis’ comprehensive $120 million stimulus package made provisions specifically for businesses that retained all or most of their employees.

The stimulus package provides for a tax incentive for businesses that retain at least 75 percent of their employees. Such businesses will see an almost 25 percent reduction in the corporate income tax rate, from 33 percent to 25 percent, for April to June 2020.  Additionally, there will be a 50 percent reduction in the unincorporated business tax rate, from 4.0 percent to 2.0 percent, for the period April to June 2020.