WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – Parliament has started discussing the draft budget for the year 2015. Central to this budget is the plans of the government to stimulate economic growth on the island. This has to be accomplished by investing in projects and tax cuts. The government predicts that the economy will grow by 1.5 percent in 2015 and that 1500 jobs will be added.
The economic growth of 1.5 percent is stated in the Memorandum of Finance in the draft budget 2015. During handling in the Central Committee of parliament, there were questions from the opposition parties on this high growth range. The Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) for example, assumes a growth rate of only 0.5 percent.
But in the note attached to the report of the budget, the government states that it assumes a higher growth and that “it has more current and complete information than the CBCS, particularly with regard to the status of investment projects in 2014 and the tax cuts for 2015”. The government sees no reason to revise its projections regarding economic growth.
In the government’s scenario for the coming year, they take into account 21 million in private investments, combined with 220 million in public investment and increase exports by tourist activities of four percent. The latter is based on the case of additional marketing activities that will be carried out at a possible increase in the total subsidy fund.
The effect of the above assumptions will have a positive effect on the demand side of the local economy. This implies that employment will increase substantially up to 1500 jobs. Rising employment has a significant upward effect on both private consumption and investment companies. “The government in this context takes into account a real increase of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 1.5 percent.
The figures in the report show that currently there are 2330 active job seekers on the island. The job center, the authority established by the government to mediate to help unemployed people into work, has helped a total of 65 people to find a job in the period of January to July 2014, according to the same report.