NAF 7M less in Government expenditures.
PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Finance Richard Gibson Sr. in response to a question posed by SMN News regarding the recent comments made by the chairman of the CFT board Age Bakker with regards to the shortfall in the 2016 budget as was predicted.
Minister Gibson said that Bakker made those statements after he received the quarterly report from St. Maarten sent to them based on the revenues the country generated for the first three months of year. The Minister said that the report showed that St. Maarten is running behind by NAF 14M compared to 2015. He said what the CFT did not see as yet is what has been collected for the second quarter, mainly during the fourth and fifth month of the year where there has been a substantial increase over the income compared to the previous year. He said he is of the opinion that the shortfall showed in the first quarter came from sort of delay when it comes to persons making their payments, thus they are catching up when it comes to the projections.
Further the Minister of Finance stated that the projected expenditures for 2016 has been NAF7M less than the projection. Gibson said that even though there are some serious decline stemming from economic activities, from a budget point of view, there is no reason for anyone to panic further he does have good reason to believe that at the end of the road St. Maarten will reach the projected revenues in the 2016 budget and there will not be any deficit as a result of not being able to collect sufficient revenues.
Minister Gibson also made clear that does not mean that there are no problems, however, he did say that there is a strange phenomenon, namely the Turn over Tax income has reduced considerably, while there is an increase in wage taxes considerably, even though the two do not go hand in hand, since it is two opposing directions which they have to figure out, because if one has less income they will definitely not hire more people however, if there is more wage taxes are collected it means that more people were hired. The Minister further explained that they do need to take more time to further access the figures in order to make a definitive conclusion as to what is taking place with the economy of St. Maarten.