Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNSOURCE)- The Federation witnessed a momentous
announcement today as Prime Minister, Dr. Hon. Terrance Drew unveiled the
Independence 40 Reset program, aimed at providing much-needed financial
relief to citizens burdened with arrears.
The comprehensive plan encompasses resetting electrical, water, housing,
and land arrears while introducing measures to ease the mortgage burden
on homeowners and stimulate the construction industry. This initiative is
poised to bring immediate relief and support economic recovery within the
“So Madame Speaker that is why we want to give the people a reset so
when you got to sleep tonight, that high electricity bill off your mind, when
you got to sleep tonight that water bill off your mind……. We are seeking to
alleviate the mental and psychology stress that our people have been going
through post Covid 19,” Prime Minister Drew said during the September 18 th
sitting of Parliament.
Under the Independence 40 Reset, all residential customers currently
disconnected due to electrical arrears will be promptly reconnected. This
means that families who have been deprived of essential services will once
again have access to electricity, ensuring improved living conditions and
enhanced opportunities for education, employment, and overall well-being.
Recognizing the fundamental importance of water, the government has also
included a provision for the reconnection of all citizens currently
experiencing water arrears.
“So Madame Speaker, no more darkness, no more house without water, all
will be reconnected,” the Prime Minister said.
The “Independence 40 Reset” program takes a significant step forward in
addressing the housing needs of citizens burdened with arrears. To alleviate
the financial strain, the government will eliminate all penalties imposed by
the National Housing Corporation (NHC). In addition, outstanding mortgages
will be reset to the principal account, providing individuals and families with
a fresh start towards secure homeownership.
“So, all the penalties that persons might have had on their house mortgage at
NHC that will be removed,” Dr. Drew said.
To further support homeowners, the government has implemented a freeze
on mortgage interest for customers who have been timely with their
payments for the past six months. The freeze will remain in effect until
March 2024, providing a much-needed respite amid ongoing economic
In addition to the previous measures, the Independence 40 Reset program
also includes initiatives aimed at supporting landowners. Interest rates on
residential lands will be significantly reduced, lowering them from 12%
annually to 6%. Furthermore, there will be no interest charged on land
allocated from 1998 to 2022, offering substantial relief to landowners
burdened by high interest costs.
To encourage new landowners, the program also extends interest rate
waivers from 2 years to 3 years after land allotment. Additionally, there will
be an extended deposit period of 6 months without interest for new
landowners, allowing them more time to gather resources and plan their
The Independence 40 Reset program also includes exemptions for import
duty and Custom Service Charge (CSC) on building materials.
As the program takes effect, citizens within the country eagerly anticipate
the positive impact the Independence 40 Reset will have on their lives, while
collectively looking forward to a brighter and more promising future