by Clive Bacchus
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Ministry of National Security has confirmed reports that the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force recently increased the fees for renewing firearm licenses, but says those increases were unauthorized.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Osmond Petty, in a public statement, said the firearm license increase was not authorized and was among a host of recommendations that were before the Cabinet.
“The charging of new fees by the Police for processing renewal of firearms licenses was inadvertently implemented as this too would require submission to Cabinet for approval,” Mr. Petty said.
Leaked documents circulated on social media claimed that the firearm license fee was increased from EC$350 to EC$1000.
The documents online purported to show increases in other fees.
Mr. Petty said all of the proposed fees and charges for various licenses and government permits are still before the Cabinet for determination.
“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,” he affirmed.
“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.”
Mr. Petty declared that none of the proposals advanced by the Ministry constitutes any new taxes or any increase in taxes.
He asserted 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 public in an efficient manner.
“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,” Mr. Petty concluded.