Economist Ben Marapin who usually shies away from the media, piped up this week signaling distress with our economy.
He made a few good points:
He wanted to see significant STRUCTURAL changes, not just cosmetic ones, in the handling of our public finances.
In that respect he sees no difference between the current and the past government, they both continued to treat public finances recklessly.
According to Marapin, the cake is big enough for us all, we could all be successful and thrive, if our resources would be more efficiently used. If productivity increases, we could personally make more money, and our GDP would grow….
But…the moment GOA shrinks its personnel, it seems like a signal to our politicians to hire more people, and we end up with the same inflated, money-wasting bureaucracy, having spent fortunes on paying employees off, and sending them home.
He also totally nixed the ‘refinery’ concept. Our refinery stopped being one, years ago, he says, when it turned into 100-year-old rust bucket, it might perhaps be useful as an ‘upgrader,’ mixing heavy Orinoco gold into naphtha, to be further refined elsewhere, but he doesn’t see any real initiatives in that direction.
The 2020 challenges are huge, and the outlook is grim, he concludes.
AHATA, the Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association, ATIA, the Aruba Trade & Industry Association, KvK, the Chamber of Commerce, and ATSA, the Aruba Timeshare Association held a joint press conference in which they expressed their concerns about the total lack of communication between the public and private sector.
It is not a secret that GOA is working on phase two of a four-pronged tax reform, with zero input from their main stakeholder, the private sector.
Representative of our business community were also totally taken by surprise by a news item, published in the media in which the MinFEC apparently announced that the Foreign Exchange Tax will be increased by 0.6%, from 1.3% in 2019, 1.9% in 2020. The MinFEC mentioned that this tax is being introduced instead of sugar tax, that drew such vocal opposition.
The private sector considers this move detrimental to our economy, as this is not just a tax levied on the rich and famous changing their florins into dollars, this will affect every single person. The banana importer, and the gasoline purveyor, whatever is paid in dollars and imported, will now be more expensive, which means EVERYTHING.
With prices going up, our money falls short, inflation appears, we demand a raise, the merchants hike prices up to stay in the game, and the poor consumer suffers, without GOA cutting anything from its budget, with ZERO effort to reduce expenses and structurally change the way our resources are treated.
Note: The pubic, has not yet received any official notification of this tax decision, we only read about it in a credible news story, which demonstrates fatal lack of transparency on behalf of GOA, and a chronic breakdown in communications.
#cutexpenses #reduceoverhead #takeyourhandoutofmypocket