Press statement by MP James questions whether potential job losses loomin wholesale sector


Are their potential Job Losses in Wholesale Sector with Increase in ToT on Alcohol & Tobacco Products

It is clear that the Honourable Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt, is experiencing difficulty in presenting a balanced budget for 2013. The Minister also needs to explain what potential consequences that we can expect in the Wholesale Sector with the proposed increase in Turn over Tax (ToT) on Alcohol and Tobacco products.


I can recall back in early December the honourable Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt told the people that he closed the budget deficit of Naf.29 million by increasing compliance that is expected to bring in approximately Naf.20 million.

Another Naf.15-20 million will be generated after increasing the Turn over Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco products. Government at that time was also looking at increasing casino fees to generate another Naf.7.5 million.

The Minister stated back in December that the wholesalers had drafted a report for him on how the increase in the ToT will be implemented and documented. The Committee for Financial Supervision CFT in its preliminary advice in December had concerns about how this Naf.20 million would be raised.

The UP parliamentary faction is concerned that there may be a potential for job losses or a reduction in wages, and would like the Minister to provide clarity.

The UP faction would also like a copy of the assumption used as by the Minister to come with his figures, as well as would also like a copy of the wholesalers report to see if the report points out any consequences for the people of Sint Maarten.

The Minister of Finance also stated that while Government is increasing revenues, it is also decreasing expenditures by 10 per cent on material costs. This is rather interesting, because the 2012 budget was Naf. 432.5 million and Tuitt’s Budget is Naf.476 million, or over Naf.43 million more.

The Minister in the past use to use the term "voodoo economics," so my question to the Minister is for him to explain how his claim to reduce the budget by 10 per cent, while in essence the budget has been increased by at least 10 per cent!

Jules James

United People’s (UP) Party, Member of Parliament, Member of the Permanent Committee of Finance