HANMI official: Cutting 3,000 CWs may shut down hotels, affect gov’t services

THE president of the Hotel Association of the Northern Marianas Islands said the reduction of 3,000 CW slots as announced by the U.S. government may result in the closure of some hotels and other businesses which will affect government revenue collections.

Gloria Cavanagh, who is also general manager of Mariana Resort & Spa and board chair of the Marianas Visitors Authority, said at least one hotel will lose half its nonresident workforce and may find it difficult to continue operations.

Also affected are tourism-related businesses, she said. “I have heard the possibility of closures and moving to another [jurisdiction] to conduct business.”

She added, “It is not difficult to imagine that a decrease of 3,000 workers plus families — could affect everyone: a 3,000-plus reduction in phone and other services; 3,000 households no longer paying CUC; 3,000-plus fewer consumers of goods and various services; 3,000-plus fewer tenants and taxpayers t in addition to the businesses and employers that will either close or downsize and no longer pay taxes or pay less, and so on, directly affecting the revenue that the government collects to pay for the salaries of its employees and the services the public expects.”

Cavanagh said “it was not too long ago that our government budget was less than 50 percent of what it is now: austerity days, late payments, states of emergency, rolling blackouts, pension crises, talk of mass layoffs and tax increases — that was just a few years ago.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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