By: L.N. Reklai
September 24, 2017 (Koror, Palau) Palau Chamber of Commerce in a released statement states that proposal to increase Social Security contributions by 1% and remove the ceiling on remuneration will result in “severe” harm to the business community.
The letter indicates that some businesses may suffer drastic cutbacks, price hikes and even close businesses as result of this law.
The business group states that the timing of the implementation of this bill, which is slated for October 1st, has not given the businesses time to make necessary budget adjustments in order to “minimize the punitive damages” this bill will certainly cause businesses.
Furthermore, added with the expected increase in water, sewer and power rates, this additional cost will cause businesses to suffer drastic cut backs. This, asserts COC, will lead to “reduced consumer spending and higher consumer costs”.
Businesses may also suffer late charges and/or penalties from Social Security if they cannot afford the increase.
The letter also states that tourism is in decline and no adequate consideration was undertaken to evaluate market conditions before imposing such sudden costs on businesses. “When the government acts as an agent of instability, it hurts rather than helps business or the economy.”
Chamber of Commerce position statement seek not to increase SS tax or remove the ceiling on remuneration.
The bill passed both House and Senate and is now before President for his signature.