Editorial: “Dat doet pijn”

POSTED: 09/29/11 1:48 PM

The statement Dat doet pijn (It hurts) is something is a statement that all Dutch politicians and the Queen have used to describe how the world economy has impacted the Dutch government’s budget for 2012. We state today with absolute certainty that Government of St. Maarten is screaming “Dat doet pijn” when it announces, through the Finance Minister that the 2012 budget will be 10 million guilders less than that of 2011.

One could have sensed that things weren’t great when Governor drs Eugene Holiday told the nation that 2012 was going to be rough. But most people likely expected that things in government would stay the same, not that government’s financial position will be eroded, and there’d be a possibility of reduced service.

Wednesday’s revelation also brings back to the forefront the need for government to continue finding realistic ways to raise revenue and drastically decrease costs. The methods for doing either one, obviously is not easy, but it will require looking square in the mirror and making some hard choices. Some subsidies may have to be cut and a real effort made to collect outstanding taxes. With three months left in the year the Finance should also put its best and brightest to work on brushing some of the previously contemplated fees – condo tax and environmental levy – and crafting them into laws that will take effect come January 2012. No one can say it can’t be done, considering it took only roughly two months to write the amendment to raise the turnover tax from three percent to five percent.

So yes, it is a painful time, but pain generally leads people to finding solutions to stop the hurt.

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