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Tuesday, May 30, 2006 

Tuesday 30 May 2006

Atia: Price control measures do not solve anything

ARUBA – The Aruban Association for Trade and Industry (Atia) concluded that the price control measures that the government has proclaimed do not solve anything; on the contrary, they produce an extremely negative effect on the tourism, the economy, and the society. Aruba prices herself out of the market.

According to Atia, it is about time that the government and the social partners sit down and talk and together come to a solution for the big- and still growing problems. Atia is of the opinion that the solution is not increasing the import tax on many products. “It is irresponsible to burden the community with more measures, without considering the micro- and macro economic consequences; especially now, after the price increases due to the increasing fuel prices.”

Atia admits that there are some external factors that influence the economy negatively. The Holloway-case plays an important part in this, but the government has to look at herself. The government apparatus is way too big. It is not the first time that this is being said.
The International Monetary Funds, the World Bank, the Central Bank of Aruba and a great deal of other independent local and international instances pointed this out at several occasions.

Atia says that the government expenses are way too high for such a small community like Aruba’s. You cannot go back on the consequences of this by introducing measures and by blaming others for the situation, neither by intimidating persons that are not in agreement with the policy. The only way to go back is to decrease the expenses, says Atia.

Atia is afraid that the proclaimed measures have disastrous consequences for the economy. “In addition to the alarming prognoses for this year’s tourism, this can influence the revenue of the government adversely on the long run.”

Not only the local population of Aruba will notice the price increases, but also the tourists. Clothing, jewelry, and watches are the most popular articles for the cruise tourists. Atia is afraid that they would buy these products in other cheaper islands where their ship go.
There are only two reasons why the government decided to increase the import tax on most of the products: the government has other priorities than the general interest, or the rulers do not have the capacity to take the right decision. In both cases, the result is extremely bad for Aruba.

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