Brison says Bloem’s advice ‘goes south’ suggesting VSA execute payroll support

  Brison says Bloem’s advice ‘goes south’  suggesting VSA execute payroll support

UP leader Rolando Brison.

 PHILIPSBURG--United People’s (UP) party leader Member of Parliament (MP) Rolando Brison is not in agreement with an advice from attorney-at-law Jairo Bloem to Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Richard Panneflek questioning the legality of Social and Health Insurances SZV being designated as the entity to manage the payroll support programme of government’s proposed St. Maarten Stimulus and Relief Plan (SSRP).

“I think it’s always a prerogative and a good one to use, for Ministers to make use of legal advice,” Brison told The Daily Herald on Tuesday. “But as we know, every legal opinion is that of the individuals giving said advice. I understand that other advices have been sought by various entities which has gone in to advising the government. However, this said advice concludes that the plan can be executed by national decree and that the Minister responsible is the Minister of VSA or a legal responsible person mandated. That conclusion has been met by the government based on the draft decree I have reviewed,” the UP Leader said.

“The advice, however, goes south in my opinion when it speaks of the Labour and Social Affairs Department executing this. I believe this department is already and will continue to be, inundated with labour disputes, social needs requests, food distributions and other items as prescribed by the EOC (Emergency Operations Center). SZV on the other hand has very low workload and has retained all its staff, thus is disposable to execute.”

Brison said it appears as though Bloem’s law firm was “not fully informed” that all ministers and MPs have already been briefed on the source of funds for this effort being government liquidity and as prescribed by the Dutch government. He alluded to a letter from State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops, who said the liquidity support is mainly meant to execute emergency measures of the autonomous countries to assist persons who lost their jobs and to make sure that people do not go hungry. The funding is not meant for paying civil servants or to cover government expenditures that are not related to COVID-19.

Bloem’s advice was in response to the draft National Decree which would authorise SZV to administer the payroll support programme. The draft decree was prepared by the Finance Ministry. According to Bloem, the draft decree does not fulfil the legal requirements to mandate SZV to execute the payroll support programme (see related story).

execute the payroll support programme (see related story).

The Daily Herald

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