Hints of higher premium to pay for pension increase

POSTED: 08/1/11 1:31 PM

St. Maarten – United People’s (UP) Party faction leader Romain Laville has revealed that a greater contribution from workers and cutting out the taxes people pay on their pensions are the core elements of his proposal for higher pensions for retired people and their beneficiaries. The revelation was made during Sunday’s For the Record with Eddie Williams on Radio Soualiga 99.9 Choice F.M.

Laville announced he’d be tabling the motion on July 27, but had stayed away from stating how the increase would be funded. On Sunday’s live program Williams pressed him on the matter and though Laville said it was not as “cut and dry” as increasing premiums he did state that money would be deducted from salaries.

“We have to ask: how much are we willing to invest in our grandparents? I don’t think there’s anyone out there who would say I would not want to pay more – even if it’s just 1 percent – to help their grandparents, or parents or aunts or uncles. So yes money will be deducted from salaries but the contribution will be a reasonable amount,” Laville said.

Pressed further he added, “What I also want is that what they receive as pension income is tax free so they take home a gross amount. No more taxes should come from pension but all other income will be taxed. It’s only a few guilders that the government will lose.”

Laville stressed Sunday that he’s already consulted the Minister of Finance and the Deputy Prime Minister about the proposal and revealed it was partially based on information from the Central Bureau of Statistics. He’s also revealed that he’s now waiting for two figures from the Department of Labor before he puts final touches on the proposal.

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