Member of Parliament George Pantophlet sees 2013 as a year where we can make positive strides. The headlines appearing on the front page of the daily herald "Government to save over Naf. 300, 000 on insurance of Government vehicles" is one such stride. It is one of the concerted efforts being made to minimize government expenditures. He is also an ardent supporter of the Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt efforts in trying to secure the much needed Naf 40,000,000 that was supposed to be paid to St. Maarten by the Netherlands in connection with debts to creditors of the former Netherlands Antilles.
He believes that these funds are still available. What will also be an important factor is the matter of tax compliance. It will be prudent for the businesses or individuals who don’t comply to take the initiative by contacting the receiver’s office and see what arrangements can be made with regards to outstanding taxes. In the same vein he encourages the receiver’s to be realistic and balanced in their approach. He understands that the ordinance on the collection of taxes prescribes the manner in which taxes are to be collected. But the approach by the receiver should not be detrimental to the organization or individual. Another important and key stride that must be made is increasing the spending or buying power of the people of St. Maarten. He places the emphasis for achieving this on the cooperation of all. He would also like to see the establishing of the Consumer Protection Agency. It will play a vital role in protecting our consumers on St. Maarten and also our good name when it comes to visitors to our country. The Member of Parliament says that as difficult as 2012 was we must have a positive mindset for 2013. What we think affects what we do. As a man thinks in his heart so is he. The Member of Parliament said he is a proponent of establishing closer business relations with the region and the Latin American countries who have fared well during the global crisis. The issues mentioned are some of those that he will be pursuing this year. Let us face 2013 head on and make positive strides.