Opinion: More of this …

POSTED: 10/25/11 2:19 PM

Dear Editor,

Here we are, one year into being self governing (to some extent), while there are many people that claim that we are worse off I still prefer this status over the other status. My reason is that now everything that government does or doesn’t do, there is only one place to put the blame. If you don’t like what is going on now you have your vote in three years, if you do like what is going on you have the same choice.

The St. Maarten song is in the news right now, and many people have made their opinions clear. It seems like the minister of culture doesn’t like the song as an anthem and one of her staff made it clear that he for sure doesn’t. However, as a minister you don’t always get to do what you like as you are suppose to do what is good for the island or in some cases what the people want. I personally don’t have a problem with most of the St. Maarten song but I don’t like the part that portrays Columbus as a hero. Left to me we would combine the St. Maarten Song and Lino’s St. Maarten is my Home to make the anthem.

It seems that St. Maarten has lost out on millions because of bad administration. That administration happened during the tenure of our current minister of finance but no one in government seems to have noticed this. Somebody should have to answer for this mistake; a full investigation is necessary not so much to punish anyone (which should happen) but more importantly to prevent bad administration in the future.
I am happy that government is listening to advice from the public. I noticed that the minister of economic affairs has decided to place cash registers at all supermarkets as we advised on the radio. This is a good first step but we need to put these in all stores run by Indian Merchants, Arab Merchants and basically all stores in St. Maarten. That way we can lower the income and profit tax to a flat rate and implement a sales tax or value added tax (vat) that would simplify the tax system and spread the tax burden over the 70% that doesn’t pay anything right now.

On the post office, why is it that all services from NPNA were not transferred to PSS? Isn’t that what was done with most all departments? In my opinion it is a conflict of interest for former NPNA employees to start a business that will take over the profit making business from NPNA and leave PSS with the part losing money. Government should step in and make sure this does not continue and stop all the long talking. It doesn’t take much vision to realize that without the profit making services PSS will fail in the near future.

On tourism, I disagree with the minister of tourism that we need to build two major hotels. St. Maarten is a small island and there needs to be a shift to activities for tourist instead of places to stay. The hotels here have already mentioned that we need to fill the current rooms before building new ones. A water park in the Point Blanche area and other family oriented activities is needed. Sun, sand and sea just doesn’t cut it anymore. Casinos are nice but more family oriented activities tend to be more sustainable.

On traffic, sooner or later someone will have to make the decision to implement a proper public transportation system. Entrepreneurs running our public transportation system can no longer serve the general interest of the public. There are several ways to implement this but I prefer a public private partnership using 100 or so of the current local bus drivers. Government will also have to make it more expensive to drive. There are several ways to do this, gasoline taxes, raising road tax, charging for parking in commercial areas etc. I too don’t like any of those ideas but we have to look at the bigger picture.
All resources are limited, even money, that’s why we have so much problems in St. Maarten right now. Too few people have too much resources (money) leaving too little for the rest of us. Government has to make provisions to share resources (you can tell I am a liberal) because I simply think that by nature man is greedy and will not share unless forced to. It is only fair that those well off contribute more to society but I don’t feel that our current tax system is fair to high earners and businesses. The unfair and complicated tax system is why so many ‘cheat’ on taxes and ‘hide’ their true income. To simplify it will make it fairer and harder to hide.

Kendall Dupersoy

Did you like this? Share it:
Opinion: More of this … by

Comments are closed.