Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs and Finance Minister Ardwell Irion (both NA) are on a very important mission in the Netherlands (see Wednesday edition). They will be attending Friday’s meeting of the Kingdom Council of Ministers to discuss liquidity support for last year and even the year before.
The Dutch government was reportedly considering cancelling this financial assistance in the form of soft loans, even though certainly what remained over 2018 had already been approved. The fact that several conditions set for such were not met apparently plays a role.
These include still-pending pension reform and Parliament taking a pay cut as cabinet members did earlier. When it comes to the latter issue, an adopted motion asking government to include in the draft 2020 budget other ways to lower the elected representatives’ gross salaries and reduce the legislature’s expenditures was brought up by UD leader Sarah Wescot-Williams in the same newspaper.
Mind you, some of the questions she posed will no doubt also be asked in The Hague by Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops and possibly others. The answers received may to a large extent determine whether the liquidity support will continue to be given.
Rather than seeking further postponement of a decision as happened before, the St. Maarten ministers will hopefully be able to convince their Dutch counterparts of the local government’s resolve to comply with the requirements. This way, much-needed financial assistance for the local national treasury can perhaps resume based on good and serious intentions