Published On: Mon, Jan 7th, 2013

Road Fund vociferates against ‘liquidation’ 33 million

WILLEMSTAD – The institution Road Fund Curaçao (SWC) protests vigorously against the government’s intention to cut the institution with as much as 33.3 million guilders compared to the budget of 2012. In a letter dated January 2nd the institution wrote that this measure came about without consultation and that it more or less comes down to ‘liquidation’ of the SWC. The draft budget for 2013 will be discussed in a Central Committee of the Parliament on Monday. The SWC stated it was surprised to learn the details of this budget on the future of the Road Fund. According to the policy budget 2013, the institution will only have 1.4 million guilders at its disposal this year. According to the long-term budget, this amount will become less in the coming years. The SWC believe this is an unrealistic cut back.

Projects at risk

The institution pointed out it’s impossible to resurface roads up to 72 kilometers in total – in 2013 as per the agenda – with 1.4 million guilders. Furthermore, the population will query the discount on the contribution of the revenues from the road tax to the Road Fund, considering the current plans to increase the road tax in the near future. Other projects will also be at risk, such as street lighting amounting to 4.8 million guilders per year; the major repairs on the Juliana Bridge planned in 2013; the completion of infrastructural work on traffic circles at Hamelbergweg, Julianadorp and those under construction on Weg Naar Fuik and Bonamweg; the crumbling viaduct in Scharloo and the planned traffic circle in Sòrsaka, where a new shopping center is to spring up.

Undesirable

The Note of Finances with the draft budget for 2013 refers to a recent audit by government accountant SOAB at the SWC. This audit reports there are presumably several undesirable situations within the Institution Road Fund Curaçao and that these are mainly due to the lack of supervision by the Ministry of Finance on the spending of the means deposited in the fund. Due to the findings of the report the government will discontinue depositing means in the SWC as from the service year 2013. All road infrastructures will be covered at the expense of the Capital Service and be subjected to prior supervision by the Ministry of Finance. Furthermore, an appeal will be made on the capital market for the financing of the infrastructure on the island.

The SWC repudiates arguments from the government to cut drastically in its budget for 2013. Not transferring the revenues from the road tax to the institution conflicts with the articles of association of the SWC and the arguments of the Island Council to have founded the SWC. The institution stated it is aware of the fact that Curaçao is to balance its budget but a drastic cut in the revenues from the road tax will only lead to more problems regarding road maintenance. The SWC calls on the government to reconsider the cut back of 33.3 million guilders and to provide clarity on the future of the institution.

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