Mr. Amory made the comment when he delivered the Budget Address in almost three hours, at the Nevis Island Assembly on April 26, 2013. He explained that the NIA was expecting to collect an increase in revenue of 5.58 percent over that of 2012.
“The 2013 fiscal year is anticipated to produce total revenue and grants of $131.32 million. Of course this total recurrent revenue projection is $123.02 million; a growth of 5.58 percent when compared to actual current revenue collected in 2012.
“The Budget is a fiscally neutral one as I am of the view that increasing taxes further at this time can jeopardise economic activity,” he said.
According to the Finance Minister, the Ministry of Finance is expected to collect revenue of $112.62 million; the Customs Department $38.56 million and the Inland Revenue Department $54.32 million.
The Social Service Levy is expected to have a positive impact on taxes on income and profits which are likely to slightly expand over that of 2012 would account for the collections at the Inland Revenue.
“The budget for these Income Taxes is $13.75 million of 11.18 percent of Recurrent Revenue. Additionally, taxes on domestic goods and services have a budget of $53.01 million with a Value Added Tax estimate of $16.99 million,” he said.
Mr. Amory added that the Customs Department would collect $38.56 million in accordance with the estimates for 2013 and Taxes in International Trade and Transactions $22.93 million would benefit from a slightly higher level of Import Duties in 2013.
“An anticipated increase in construction is expected to create this higher import levels ensuring increases in VAT and other import related taxes at the Department,” he said.
Non-tax revenue was projected at $30.34 million for the 2013 period while the revenue projected for the Financial Services Department stands at $12.18 million.
The Finance Minister explained that the Department in collaboration with the Legal Department was expected to reform the legislative infrastructure which governed the operation of Financial Services on Nevis and as a result, a number of key legislation would be amended in the 2013 and 2014 period. It is expected that the move would boost new business and lead to increased revenue as the year unfolded.