SKN PULSE, Sunday 10 April, 2016 – Nevis is at a stand still, the economy is at its lowest ebb and some how Nevisians are expected to rise. The sale of the Four Seasons Resort has brought about serious debate across the landscape of Nevis. The discussions center around the Economic Impact, Closure, Elections, Deductions from the Retirement Fund and Renovations.
Having been in existence in Nevis for 25 years, the Four Seasons Resort contributes approximately sixty five percent (65%) to the Nevisian economy and currently employs over 600 plus workers. Over the years, natural disasters have affected the hotel negatively thus causing major repairs, setbacks and layoffs.
Today, uncertainty looms as Nevisians are unclear of the true picture as it relates to the future of the Four Seasons Resort, be it closure – partial or total. Such were the sentiments expressed by MP in the Federal Parliament, Hon. Patrice Nisbett and MP in The Nevis Island Assembly, Hon. Robelto Hector during their weekly interactive program, On Target with host, Mr. Cozier.
The opposition members while they welcomed the investment made by the new owners and supported the idea of a face lift for the hotel expressed that the government should be clear as to what would happen to the Four Seasons Resort and not seek to play partisan politics and have persons in limbo.
Coupled with that, MP Nisbett voiced his opinions on the Retirement Fund for employees, as it is alleged that the Nevis Island Administration is seeking to dip into the fund and take a ten percent (10%) cut. The retirement plan consist of monies invested upon by the employees. Nisbett outlined that the required deductions Social Services Levy and Social Security would have been paid and therefore the Retirement Fund has nothing to do with the NIA. Moreover, he opined that the Government has no legal authority to make such a move and reminded citizens that they can always seek legal redress.
“The date of closure must not hinge on the date of elections.”
Bearing this in mind, the rationale behind the Government’s alleged request to have the hotel hold off on repairs is that the ruling governing party does not want laid off and unhappy Nevisian employees to influence the vote and otherwise vote against them. Thus, winning an election before the closure of the Four Seasons Resort and then having the lay – offs take effect seems like a ploy the government intend to adopt. Such an occurrence would cause further disaster to an almost dead economy; clearly illustrating a mantra of callousness which is often associated with the Cocerned Citizens Movement.