Published On: Sat, Jun 19th, 2021

MP Buncamper: “Tax collection goes from one extreme to the other”

PHILIPSBURG — “Does the government presently have a policy to handle the outstanding tax collection seeing the pandemic we are in, or are we bullying taxpayers into paying or losing their property?” This is one of 38 questions MP Claudius Buncamper posed to Finance Minister Ardwell Irion during last week’s central committee meeting about the draft 2021 budget.

Buncamper also questions the logic of sending out “so many automated tax assessments that we all know are not correct.” He suggests having someone review these assessments before they are sent, rather than spending a lot of efforts and money on paper, ink and postage.

Buncamper notes that successive governments have taken a laid back approach to tax compliance. “Maybe that was because of understaffing, or not having the right staff, or knowing that the data is compromised. But is it reasonable to go from one extreme to the other, whereby tax officials refuse to make arrangements with tax payers and rather auction their property instead of seeking solutions that suit all parties?”

MP Buncamper wants to know how much of the liquidity support is being used to pay salaries and why vacation allowances are not paid, “while we have noticed that other entities that are subsidized by the government are paying.”

Furthermore, Buncamper asks whether the 10 percent contribution to pension premiums political office holders will have to pay are part of their current 25 percent salary cut.

The increase of the salary ceiling for SVZ-insurance from 5,640 to 10,000 guilders also caught the MP’s attention. “How many more of the working population will then become SZV-members? Which risk will be mitigated by doing this adjustment for the healthcare funds?”

The airport has saddled up the government with 218.1 million guilders in loans, with about 182 million at 4.5 percent, Buncamper notes. “What does this mean for our borrowing capacity seeing that the country is guaranteeing these loans?”

Buncamper is not happy that the airport does not pay a concession fee. “The airport does not pay the government one red cent. In 2012 the government extended the concession by 15 years to safeguard their Moody rating. Why is the government not reviewing the concession agreement to ensure that the airport pays its fair share for the concession?”

The Bureau Telecommunication and Post (BTP) also gets criticized. “Why is their concession so low, when in reality all funds should be turned over to the government after expenses? Or did that change?”

Buncamper notes that the budget projects a 10 percent increase in revenue from turnover tax and wage tax.”How does this correlate to the 3 percent increase of the economy?”

Lastly, the MP asks whether the projected income of $52 million from home porting has been incorporated in the budget. “If not, why not?”

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