Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Osmond Petty (SKNIS photo)

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (Friday 8th January 2021) – Members of the public have learnt that police have accidentally charged new fees for processing the renewal of firearms licences.

Such information was publicised when the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Osmond Petty, in a statement on Tuesday 6th January 2021, spoke about a discussion document presented to Cabinet that was leaked in social media relating to some 2021 budget estimates as he labelled the action causing such as being “unfortunate, irresponsible, and malicious.”

“The Ministry of National Security has been made aware that certain proposals made by the Ministry during the St. Kitts & Nevis Budget Estimates process in preparation for the 2021 Budget are being circulated in the public domain via social media channels,” Petty said.
He added: “The budgetary process affords the various Ministries the opportunity to examine expenditure and revenue measures for the upcoming year. During the Estimates meetings, each Ministry would normally submit to the Cabinet its proposals and recommendations.  This year’s process was no different.”

Petty highlighted that 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.”
According to him, some of the proposals, if accepted by the Cabinet, will require legislative amendments whilst noting that schedules of fees and charges would also be gazetted in the usual course.
Furthermore, he stated that none of the proposals advanced by the Ministry constitutes any new taxes or any increase in taxes.
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.

Petty, in commenting on the leak situation, urged the public to look to official government sources for accurate information.
“It is quite unfortunate, irresponsible, and malicious, for a discussion document that was presented to Cabinet as part of the budgetary process to be leaked in social media. The Ministry continues to urge the Public to look to official government sources for accurate information.”