Published On: Wed, Nov 26th, 2014

Opposition party MAN on National Budget of Curaçao

MANWILLEMSTAD - Parliament has approved the budget for the year 2015 during one week of intense discussions. What the government said is that plans are to stimulate economic growth on the island. This has to be accomplished by investing in projects and tax adjustments. The government predicts that the economy will grow by 1.5 percent in 2015 and that 1500 jobs will be added. To be honest, our Party MAN doesn’t believe it, because last year they predicted an economic growth of 0.5 this year, but the Minister of Economy told us in Parliament that instead of a growth, we will get a decline of 0.3 in 2014.

The economic growth of 1.5 percent is stated in the Memorandum of Finance in the draft budget 2015. During handling in the Central Committee of Parliament, there were questions from us and other opposition parties, on this high growth range. The Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten for example, assumes a growth rate of only 0.5 percent.

As part of this small community, MAN has never experienced such a bad economic situation, besides the very poor social conditions a high percentage of our community has to live and survive under. We don’t blame it all on the local government, but it has to do with the fact that the world crisis has struck us too. Saying this doesn’t mean the government is doing a good job, but the contrary, this government is not coming with creative new ideas how to attract new and fresh investments from abroad. Loans from our local market will not improve or boost the economy. What we need is fresh money from abroad, more productivity, and also the elimination of the red tape. We have to become more efficient in dealing with investors and a more service-minded community.

On the other hand, this government has cut on both private consumption and investment companies by taking wrong measures or decisions. The economy can only pick up if confidence is returning. Banks and investors have no confidence in the near future, so do the general public. The key word for now is CONFIDENCE and MAN hopes that the government can work to establish it back. Otherwise 2015 will be worse.

The Budget passed in Parliament with 11 votes pro and 10 against, including us. MAN can approve the budget of some individual ministers for their own ministries, but the total package, we can’t approve, because of what we have stated above. We as opposition together with others made our concerns clear to the government.

Parliament has approved adjustments and changes we made, as opposed to the national budget. Our party is proud of representing our community and its concerns during the handling of the national budget of Curacao in 2015.

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