Saturday , November 26 2022

Stolte and Executive Council highlight new fiscal measures

A joint briefing by Dutch Government Representative Wilbert Stolte and the Executive Council on Tuesday highlighted the fiscal and social measures taken during the Caribbean Netherlands Week, held in October, in The Hague. Stolte emphasized that State Secretary of Finance Frank Weekers had made provision for a number of fiscal measures to lower taxes for businesses and increase the purchasing power of citizens in the Caribbean Netherlands. He expected this to be reflected in a lowering in ABB Spending Tax on the expanded list of products, which will be exempted from this tax from January 1, 2013.

When asked how they plan to ensure that the prices of basic consumer products which will be exempted from ABB will indeed be lowered by January 1, 2013, Commissioners Bruce Zagers and Chris Johnson said that Bonaire already has a system in place. This system could also be used in Saba in a more simplified manner. KPMG will be approached to assist the islands with setting up a unified system and in monitoring its implementation for at least the first six months. Other methods to control prices will include the implementation of island ordinances and the advertising of a price list for basic products which are exempted from ABB.

Stolte explained that the responsibility for price policy lies with the local authorities. He also emphasized that businesses have the main responsibility to lower prices on ABB-tax exempted products. He appealed to citizens and the media to monitor the prices in stores in keeping with the new tax relief measures.

When asked in what other areas besides the ABB reduction consumers would be able to improve their purchasing power, the Government Representative said that several measures in the area of social allowances will also be introduced in January 2013. The extraordinary benefits (bijzondere bijstand or onderstand in Dutch) will be broadened and there will be an increase of the extra allowance for fully and permanently disabled persons.

Commissioner Zagers said a meeting was held with Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot- Williams last week to discuss the double taxation on products exported from St. Maarten to Saba. He said this issue was “an ongoing matter.”

Commissioner Johnson said that during the Caribbean Netherlands Week it was also decided to lower the excise on gasoline with US $0.10. There is no excise on diesel. Johnson said this was the first time ever consumers will be receiving a relief on the gasoline price. In the old system the highest decrease would be estimated at NAf. 0.05. The Executive Council said they were open to Stolte’s proposal for a budgeting programme to teach consumers how to spend their money more wisely.

During the press conference, Stolte also highlighted the results of the Perception Study Caribbean Netherlands, which showed that citizens of Bonaire, Statia and Saba are more pleased with the services of the Dutch Government than they were one year ago. Government Representative Stolte visited Saba Monday and Tuesday as part of his regular consultations with the Executive Council. He also travelled to St. Eustatius for meetings with the Executive Council, and will join the Statia Day celebrations on Friday.

Stolte will be visiting Saba again in December, for follow-up meetings and for the Saba Day celebrations on December 7.

Source: “The Daily Herald” 2012-11-14

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4 comments

  1. Worth repeating:

    Other methods to control prices will include the implementation of island ordinances and the advertising of a price list for basic products which are exempted from ABB. (When is that going to happen???)

    Stolte explained that the responsibility for price policy lies with the local authorities (hmmmm). He also emphasized that businesses have the main responsibility to lower prices on ABB-tax exempted products (again, hmmmmm). He appealed to citizens and the media to monitor the prices in stores in keeping with the new tax relief measures (I’ve got my BB charged and ready! Now, who do I report to when I’m done with the monitoring?)

    Commissioner Zagers said a meeting was held with Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot- Williams last week to discuss the double taxation on products exported from St. Maarten to Saba. He said this issue was “an ongoing matter.” (how long is this ongoing matter going to go on????)

    Commissioner Johnson said that during the Caribbean Netherlands Week it was also decided to lower the excise on gasoline with US $0.10. There is no excise on diesel (why?). Johnson said this was the first time ever consumers will be receiving a relief on the gasoline price (why did it take so long?) In the old system the highest decrease would be estimated at NAf. 0.05. (aren’t we lucky?!!)

    The Executive Council said they were open to Stolte’s proposal for a budgeting programme to teach consumers how to spend their money more wisely. (let me know when they have a class for pensioners on how to budget on a restricted income).

  2. Kathy, we have a department of Economic Affaires (or something of that name) with a director. I presume that Mr. Dave Levenstone will be delighted to provide you with answers to your questions.

  3. Please check also the SBA (Saba Business Association) facebook page. I always try to publish all relevant information in time. The new exemption of 6% ABB for items like fruits, vegetables, dairy products and maybe others will be in effect on January 01, 2012 (flour, potatoes, rice, bread, and water are already exempt). As far as I know from the supermarket owners they can adjust their prices (after the exemption of the products) directly in the computer. The only really dangerous problem right now is the new asycuda system from the customs. If this doesn’t get adjusted in the right way, lowering of prices will be difficult, since on one side they go down and on the other side they go up. The SMA and SBA as well as the Exco have objected and I’m still hopeful that there will be a decent solution to the problem. We have send a press release today. Please check the papers and Sabanews.nl tomorrow or the day after. We hope they will publish it soon.

  4. Informative, retentive and Non sequiturs are surely abound.

    I was the first person from Fenham to use two plastic sledges as skis on the Town Moor hill in a blizzard, it was a great moment, triumphant & courageous to say the least. My folly however was rewarded by a head injury, that I worry, lest I shall never truly recover from.

    That said ,and topic on mind, I’m more concerned at this point about private citizens who are working three jobs to balance their budget. And not so much concerned by those who are orating to justify their means.

    Since this has escalated into a forum of gripe and discord, I have a burning question of it’s denizens.

    The last thing I remember at the bottom of the Town Moor hill in 1979, before my cranium was smacked quite rightfully against the rock, (that was cunningly disguised as a snowman (gotta love the Geordies, god bless ’em)) was how can you solve the Rubik’s cube without the use of a screwdriver and a hammer?

    Inquiring minds need to know.