Thus Spoke Gradus = Gradus Na Palabra

Accounting Hocus Pocus

We were told last week by the College Aruba financieel toezich, CAft, our financial supervisory team, that our financial situation continues to be precarious and worrisome, because initially we reported an additional need of 269M for 2020, and now apparently our needs amount to 519M, till the end of the year.

Why? Because of accounting hocus pocus, where debts remain off the book until due. Or at least that’s how I understand it.

The pouting official, berating MinFec for being one week late with her report is Raymond Gradus, our disappointed financial supervisor.

He reminded us that we Op de Pof Leven, we live on borrowed money, and he asked GOA to avoid ‘Setbacks’ in tax collection and demanded a ‘Policy Plan to Reduce Personnel Costs.’

This guy is serious.

Gradus reminded GOA that only 6 of its 23 NGOs partially complied with the reduction of payroll expenses, the agreed upon 12.5% salary cut.

A day following the Gardus communication, CBA hastily announced, they have complied, and for the sake of transparency reported on their salary withholdings. Everything is relative you know, they made 26M in 2019, and withheld the 12.5% as mandated, in 2020, which ain‘t much.

In Aruba NO ONE voiced anything about that before, only Gradus. These NGOs dragging their heels, together with GOA’s bill of 4M which it presents to the taxpayer every day, are causing loss of buying power and investment opportunities, in our community.

Why are we only listening/hearing an outsider, Gradus, why does he have to point to these lost opportunities?

Many locals have been saying this for 30 years but to no avail, that is the systemic failure of Aruba. Nobody dares to stand up to the bullies of MEP and AVP.

If the Rekenkamer in the Netherlands states something, they listen and ACT.

if the Raad van Advies in the Netherlands says something, they listen and ACT.

If parliament in the Netherlands calls on ministers, they quiver and shake in their boots and are happy if they can keep their jobs, post showdown.

In Aruba these instruments of supervision are ignored. Why have them then? How much waste is acceptable? We could do away with all these internal supervision organs, because no one listens to them, anyway.

Hellen, you can now retire from RvA, I bet you won’t even miss it. Come and have coffee with me.

Our people, are the same, they waste money they got without working for it – notice the line for shabby overpriced X-mas trees. If they worked hard to earn the cash, they would not waste it.

I listened to parliament this week, they talked about solidarity again, how 5M per month were shared with FASE, salary subsidies, medium & small business subsidies, in a self-congratulatory tone, how good this was, what an accomplishment!!!!

Shockingly the voice on the radio continued, they even had the balls to suggest those subsidies will continue into the first 6 months of 2021. The speaker was so pleased with himself, he went on and on, beaming.

He didn’t say one peeps about GOA’s cost cutting efforts. Nada.

Isn’t parliament supposed to say that it is shameful for GOA to spend so much money for zero return? Isn’t that exactly what they get paid for, Awg 14.000 florin per person x 17months + overbriugging toelage + full pension + azv-plus??   

The island is getting poorer, further away from the breakeven point, and parliament is self-congratulatory about living on borrowed funds!

Borrowing billions to sustain the current government, and the social network operations as if the economy will rebound soon, is simply irresponsible. Without any sense of urgency, the Netherlands and GOA have let 9 months pass without ANY significant reductions in the way we live and do business. It looks like we are not waiting for the ocean to rise and sink our island, we’re doing it ourselves, financially.

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December 09, 2020
Rona Coster