No support for budget from MP Tamara Leonard

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – United People’s (UP) party Member of Parliament (MP) Tamara Leonard says the draft 2016 budget will not have her support, because it has nothing to generate additional revenue to better the position of Government and by extension the people of St. Maarten.

“With way too many cuts within government departments and to vital organizations that depend on Government subsidies, this budget will only make the country struggle more. I know some people may say my non-support for the budget has to do with my party not being in government. This, however, is bigger than party. It is about the people of my country having to face austere measures due to no creativity or care by the present coalition,” Leonard said in a press statement on Thursday.

She questioned what’s happening with the simple move from direct to indirect taxes. “This is not rocket science. Such a move will put more money in our people’s pocket, broaden the tax base and rope in visitors to our country who pay very little for the use of our facilities.”

“Government has, instead of seeking solutions, taken a knife to subsidies. Carnival and the regatta are to events that bring visitors to our shores. Their budgets and those of many others vital to the social well-being of the country have suffered from cuts,” Leonard said.

Government can keep revenue in its coffers by changing the regulations that makes deposit for residence permits non-refundable, Leonard suggested. “This is a revenue source that should not be left untapped,” she said.

Source: 721 news No support for budget from MP Tamara Leonard