MP Maurice Lake: “Be realistic about improving the economy”

POSTED: 08/31/16 4:10 PM

GREAT BAY – “We got to be realistic about improving our local economy. It is not that difficult.

Over the years, government main issues were financial management of the different ministries were they overspent and implemented other revenue generating measures,” independent MP Maurice Lake said in a press statement last night about the country’s financial position.

“St. Maarten is at a crossroad, so the government needs to make firm decisions in the general interest. I would advise Minister Gibson to form a think tank committee of local business persons who love St. Maarten with some tax experts and ordinary persons in the community and come up with a realistic strategic plan to improve our financial position,” the MP stated, adding that entrepreneurs are the ones who are hurting right now. “The government cannot kill the goose that lays the golden eggs to save our economy. Government has to enforce better economic control on businesses but also create incentives to stimulate local entrepreneurs.”

Lake says there is a need to address tax reform and to lower the profit tax and to present realistic financial statistics to the businesses and the people. “When are the Chamber of Commerce, Census Office and the Statistics Department going to link together under one database and present one set of statistical information? When will government get all government owned companies to pay their concession fees by law? And when will government control the unregistered businesses, collect outstanding water rights and long lease land from businesses that haven’t paid for years?”

Once the government puts these revenue generating measures into place and follows up on collecting their outstanding, we can balance the budget two times, Lake pointed out. “We need to get our input from the local business people, ordinary people who are suffering and from tax experts to move our stagnant economy forward.”

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