Published On: Thu, Jul 26th, 2018

SHTA: Private Sector asks “Why Not?”

Philipsburg - Capital of Dutch St. Maarten

At this point focus needs to be on a way forward. The struggle between the private sector and the public sector needs to stop, and cooperation should be the way forward.

So why not, at this point have some real democratic participation. Now, after 10 months, with our 3rd COM post Irma. It is time to let the private sector and the population have some real input. Allow everyone the opportunity to contribute their time and expertise. We don’t need foreign consultants and foreign politicians to tell us what to do.

Together, with government, the private sector can set some guidelines, let the private sector revamp our taxes and levies and present it to government who will then implement it. This will create an environment where business can flourish and everybody can benefit.

At this point we know what needs to get done. Relief for the taxpayers. Improvement of the business climate. A multi annual-year plan and vision. Equitable sustainable economic growth. The visualization and effecting of a bright and prosperous future.

In a few weeks time a new structure can be formulated and the numbers tested, it should not take too long to have this legislated and implementation can be set for January 1st, 2019. The budget is delayed anyway, so why not incorporate restructured taxes. If not now it won’t happen until the next budget cycle. The private sector cannot afford to wait that long.

We’ve tried it government’s way and the results are remain unsettling. By allowing the private sector to take control of the economic aspects, government will have the time to focus on its core tasks. Proper administration, health, and the environment.

Why not start working on improving the situation together, now, dividing the relief pie to maximum benefit and making sure we come out better and stronger at the end of the process.

It’s been 10 months since Irma and 8 years since 10-10-10. All the plans that have been put forward to improve our economic lot are sitting in a drawer somewhere, ready to be dusted off, updated and adopted, while we languish in economic dire straits. Let’s get on with it. Let’s revel in opportunity instead of wallowing in misery and self-pity.

There is a lot of work to be done, so why not make space for everyone to contribute expertise, instead of keeping the private sector hamstrung and hogtied. Nobody knows more about running businesses than we do.

So, why not, at this point in time there isn’t much left to lose.