Yesterday was a dramatic day.
Those of you who watched Parliament TV, witnessed the people’s representative go on and on, in different directions – thank you POR for suggesting a salary cut; sure, RED is right, we should all be farming vegetables. Not weed.
What they ALL had in common was the holier–than–thou tone of voice, as if they are morally and intellectually superior to their peers, in Aruba they call it arrogance, they arrogantly lectured us, pitching us against them, we were stupid, we were wasteful, they were here to fix it.
The fix suggested a 1,3 billion deficit and a 1,6 billion budget for financial needs on an island of 120.000 residents, resulting in a 104% ratio of debt to GDP.
(WHY DON’T YOU JUST GIVE US THE MONEY, AND LET US DO OUR OWN THING? Maybe it is time to consider giving us a stipend, no paper work, no strings attached, a universal basic income?? It will be much cheaper in the long run)
Two things stood out:
A: The MinLabor elaborated on his original promise to supplement income up to Awg 950 for each person unemployed
He finally published the conditions.
The responsibility will totally fall on the private sector.
No signs of belt tightening on GOA’s side.
Basically Employers must pay employees a full salary in March 2020, they have to present an action plan for how the company will address the financial effects of the COVID-19 crisis, and they need to prove that they will first make all efforts to reduce work hours partially, prior to reducing hours to zero. IF above is not complied with, the employee (earning less than AFL 950) is NOT eligible for FASE and the employer is still liable for full salaries.
If above is complied with, some help is forthcoming.
This tune was completely different than the initial generous announcement.
This ministerial dreamed-up course of action will never happen, with no money going into businesses to pay employees. How does a hotel pay for example, 350-600 people, if rooms and restaurants are empty? How can a small businesses carry such suggested burden? It can’t.
GOA has for years crushed entrepreneurs with suffocating rules, regulations, and over taxation, and is still attempting the same trick now.
Same old same old is not the solution.
The adorable, know-all MinFec then presented her budget with GDP tragically taking a 44% nose dive; and the utopian surplus of 46 million turning into a deficit of 1.3 billion, that’s 1,300 million, with financial need pegged at 1.6 billion, or 1,600 million, with the country’s debt, against GDP sky rocketing from 73.1% to 104%.
She said there was no other plan, warning her audience not to ask for options B, or C, and that parliament MUST ratify the budget, no matter how flawed, because without a budget we cannot borrow any money in capital market.
She added that cuts will be made in the public sector, but those have to be executed ‘responsibly.’
When it comes to the public sector you want to exercise caution, and as far as the private sector is concerned you let it rip??
In response, the private sector came up with a fantastic list of suggestions, a plan of cuts for the government payroll. The letter, dispatched yesterday afternoon, signed by AHATA, ATIA, KVK and many more, is published on my blog.
The pressure is mounting, GOA has to take inventory, make real STRUCTURAL CUTS.
Suggestions from this morning: Sell assets, Arubus, Serlimar, Postkantoor, even LOTTO, our national lottery, it must be worth something to someone with deep pockets.