Member of Parliament George Pantophlet has submitted a letter with some proposals to Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams as Head of the Council of Ministers.In said letter he made suggestions on how to address the 2011 Budget deficit of some Ang. 45 million. He is of the firm opinion that the government owned companies such as Gebe N.V., The Harbor Group of Companies and the Juliana Airport should collectively contribute at least Ang. 55 million to government coffers.
If such is not possible then the companies must present audited financial statements as proof of this. Some might wonder why the additional Ang. 10 million but this could serve as a buffer in the event of unforeseen situations. He also proposed that since these companies are 100% owned by government, some of the shares can be sold to interested companies or persons and these monies be applied to the eradication of the deficit. The turnover tax ordinance that was increased from 3 to 5% can be reversed and set again at 3%. In addition to this government should look into the possibility of reducing the turn over tax further if it is proven that the proposals produces the required results of not only a Balanced Budget but one with a surplus. Remember a member of the Second Chamber said that St. Maarten did not have an economical problem but one of managing. Another option is the funds from the 7 or 8 CD’s (time deposits or fixed deposits) these can also be used to address the Budget deficit problem. I don’t know if any penalties can be incurred when doing this exercise but I am sure government knows the answer to this question. And finally if I am not mistaken the Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT) had said that the projected income from back taxes was unrealistic and it had to be reduced, hence my suggestion that the collection of back taxes be eliminated providing they are prior to the year 2006. One can only imagine the possibilities if people are afforded the opportunity to have more buying and investment power.