This Technical Assistance report on Kingdom of the Netherlands—Aruba focuses on the mission undertaken to assist the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) in assessing and improving the national accounts. The CBS plans to recompile and disseminate the revised annual current price estimates by January 2020, and improved constant 2013 price estimates by June 2020. The mission and the Director of the CBS met with the Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Culture to discuss the rebased estimates and the 2020–2025 action plan. The budget, staffing, and data coordination plans of the CBS were also discussed. The Minister agreed to establishing formal data coordination agreements between the CBS and other government institutions, and on the need for the legislation and related reporting procedures to be strengthened. She also agreed to the 2020–2025 action plan to implement the Special Data Dissemination Standard for real-sector statistics, the need for benchmark and regular surveys, and to incrementally increasing the CBS budget and staffing, subject to Cabinet approval.
Over the last decade, Aruba has faced three recessions resulting in a public debt of approximately 90 percent of GDP. Its current budget deficit needs to be reduced and Aruba should close a fiscal gap of 1.5-2 percent of GDP over the next two to three years to return to a sustainable path. Earlier this year, the authorities have introduced a crisis package, mainly by increasing the turnover taxes. This temporary tax measure should be replaced by a tax reform that will modernize and simplify the current system.
The new tax system should not only raise more revenue, but also shift the tax burden away from income and profits toward consumption. The current system is not well equipped to make these changes. In replacing the crisis levy, the Government sees an opportunity to streamline the current tax system, modernize it, and make it more sustainable for the future needs of Aruba.
The net administrative budget for FY2017 has been set at US$1,072.5 million. After four years of zero real growth, the FY 2017 budget includes an increase of ½ percent in constant dollar terms to cover the institution’s rising IT and physical security costs, as well as a small adjustment for increases in the salary structure and in the costs of non-personnel expenses. The budget envelope also entails reallocation measures of 1.5 percent of resources and institution-wide savings to meet new high priority tasks and commitments to the membership. The FY2017 capital budget, set at US$60.5 million, provides financing for new capital projects for building facilities and IT.
This review reports on trends, developments, and issues in exchange rate arrangements and currency convertibility. This section presents a summary of the overall findings. Section II provides an overview of key trends and developments in exchange rate arrangements. Section III outlines key trends and developments in current and capital account restrictions. The present paper uses the existing methodology for the classification of exchange rate arrangements.