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Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy at the Economic Recovery Conference at Champlain College

first_imgThank you, President Finney and Champlain College, for hosting us at this timely conference today.  We welcome this opportunity to offer Vermonters, Vermont businesses, and Vermont communities a chance to learn more about how they can take advantage of the recently passed federal economic recovery act.  And the more rapidly and effectively that Vermont puts these resources to work, the better we will be able to keep Vermonters working today, and the better we will be able to lay the groundwork for growing our economy for the jobs of tomorrow.   I d like to thank the Vermont Procurement and Technical Assistance Center and the Vermont Small Business Development Center for sponsoring and helping to organize this event.  For those of you who don t know about the great work these organizations do and the many other organizations represented at this conference today I really encourage you to take advantage of their superb knowledge and expertise about doing business in Vermont.  I also want to thank Governor Douglas, Legislative leaders, and so many Federal and State officials for being here today.  The Congressional Delegation worked closely with the Governor and the Legislature under the leadership of Senator Peter Shumlin and Speaker Shap Smith and with State agencies to make sure that the economic recovery plan is a good match for Vermont s job needs today and in the future. Vermonters are hurting today because of the economic and financial crises gripping the world.  We have a rising unemployment rate.  The State s budget, local municipal budgets and local school budgets are all stretched to the breaking point.  Our roads and bridges are strained and worn.  And hard-working families are struggling to put food on the table.  This really is one of the worst economic messes our country has seen since the Great Depression. As President Obama so clearly told the nation last week before a joint meeting of the Congress, rebuilding the foundation of a strong economy won t be easy.  It will take sacrifice, and it will take wise, concerted and sometimes courageous action.  And this economic recovery package is just one part of the solution.  We still have to stabilize our financial markets, our housing market, and consumer confidence in our overall economy.Some want these efforts to fail.  Worse yet, some pundits and even some politicians seem determined to try to make these efforts fail.  We cannot afford that kind of corrosive negativism in the best of times.  And when it comes to setting right an economy that has been going off keel for many years, this is anything but the best of times.  As for this Vermonter — and I think as for many, many Vermonters — I want this President and this country to succeed.  Some of the tools we need for economic recovery are in this legislative package, and the workshops where these tools will be put to work are right here in Vermont and in other states.  If Vermont gets a little head start on other states — that s OK by me.  This conference, which we re told is the first statewide conference of its kind, can help us jump off the starting block.   And I must say that the interest you have shown in being here is a sign that Vermonters are ready to lead the way back to economic vitality.  The economic recovery package is bold action taken by the Federal government to help put Americans back to work and we must be prepared to quickly and constructively take advantage of it. The package includes tax relief for working families and for businesses.  There are investments for broadband deployment, for job training, for electrical smart grids, for water and transportation infrastructure, for better schools, for housing, for first responders, for new energy sources, and for a whole host of other items that will help cushion pressures on the State budget, and for helping to lay the groundwork for a renewed and vibrant Vermont economy.In all, we expect Vermont will receive more than $700 million in direct federal funding under this economic recovery package, with hundreds of millions more coming to the State through competitive grant programs and tax reductions for individuals and businesses.President Obama has ordered Federal agencies to detail all of their economic recovery plans on the www.Recovery.gov(link is external) Website a site that I suggest you all bookmark on your computers.  According to the site, most of the Federal funding won t be released to states or noticed for competitive bidding until May.  But all of Washington has been impressed by the quick and competent way that formula grant funds already are flowing to the states, including millions of dollars to Vermont. Nevertheless, we hope that today s sessions will give you a sense of the breadth of opportunities available in the economic recovery package, will help you get a sense of how these resources will be directed, and will get you started thinking about ways your business, your organization, your municipality, or you yourself can take advantage of these opportunities.I ll caution you now — we probably won t have answers to all of your questions today.  As this bill goes into implementation it s impossible to know the details of everything.  My staff, the governor s staff, and our workshop panelists will do their best with the information they have available.  Most Federal and State agencies are still working on their rules and distribution plans right now, so please feel free to follow up with any of us in the weeks and months ahead. Again, thank you all for coming.  We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to be here today.  I hope you ll find this a worthwhile conference because the economic recovery package really is a unique opportunity to save and create jobs and to make life better here in Vermont. Thank you.last_img read more

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Six tech firms ready to collect VAT, Finance Ministry says

first_imgSix over-the-top (OTT) technology firms are ready to collect value-added tax (VAT) from consumers as the government ramps up collection efforts to fund the country’s fight against COVID-19, a government official said Thursday.Tax office chief Suryo Utomo said six OTT companies with “significant economic presence” would collect VAT from consumers in August, adding that the government was also in talks with several other firms to collect VAT.Suryo, however, declined to name the companies. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has repeatedly mentioned the government is targeting Netflix, Spotify and Zoom. “We will announce the firms that will collect VAT on digital goods and services in early July,” Suryo told reporters during a streamed news conference. Consumers who buy the platforms’ products or services will have to pay taxes starting Aug. 1, a month after the policy comes into effect on July 1, he added.Suryo said the six internet firms were preparing infrastructure to implement the government regulation, adding that the government would need to reach an agreement first before announcing the companies.The government is pressing ahead with collecting digital tax despite an announcement by the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) to investigate such policy, which the US said was aimed squarely at its technology giants.Read also: Indonesia defends digital tax policy despite US scrutiny However, the government has maintained that the VAT was not the subject of investigation by the US, which is focusing more on corporate income tax plans for technology companies, a topic of discussion led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).“We are trying to impose the VAT first as we’re still waiting for the OECD’s consensus on how to impose corporate tax to find a long-term solution,” said Suryo.The government has been struggling to collect more revenue to fund its cash-strapped budget as the COVID-19 pandemic hits almost all business sectors. Ministry data shows state revenue reached Rp 664.3 trillion (US$47.41 billion) as of May, down 9 percent year-on-year (yoy), as tax income dropped 10.8 percent yoy to Rp 444.6 trillion.Law No. 2/2020 stipulates that the government is able to charge VAT on taxable intangible goods and/or services sold through e-commerce platforms. It can also charge income tax or electronic transaction tax on e-commerce operated by foreign individuals or digital companies that have a significant economic presence.Netflix did not immediately respond to an inquiry by The Jakarta Post.Topics :last_img read more

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Petrofac wins well services deal with Siccar Point

first_imgPetrofac’s Engineering and Production Services (EPS) business has added to its well engineering portfolio with the award of a contract from an independent exploration and production company, Siccar Point Energy.The three-year agreement, which includes options to extend, is estimated to be worth up to $95 million over the term, Petrofac said on Monday.The contract includes provision of well operator and well engineering project management services including supply chain management, for Siccar Point’s operated assets West of Shetland. Under these terms, Petrofac will be responsible for all new well work and the ongoing integrity management of existing well stock.Petrofac will also deploy its well project management software WellAtlas, which supports the entire well management and delivery agenda.Commenting on the award, Nick Shorten, Managing Director for Petrofac Engineering and Production Services in the Western Hemisphere, said: “We are delighted to have secured this significant new scope with Siccar Point Energy and very much look forward to supporting them in successfully delivering their ambitious exploration, appraisal and development plans, safely and cost efficiently over the next three years.“This award builds on our existing track record for delivering Well Operator and Project Management services for clients across the globe, but specifically West of Shetland, where we have significant exploration, appraisal and development experience.”last_img read more

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