UD MP Sarah Wescot-Williams.
PHILIPSBURG--The three opposition factions in Parliament have requested an urgent meeting of Parliament to hear from government regarding the St. Maarten Stimulus and Relief Plan (SSRP) payroll and unemployment programmes and the status of the liquidity assistance from the Netherlands.
Requesting the meeting were United Democrats (UD), United St. Maarten Party (US Party) and Party For Progress (PFP). “This matter has taken on more urgency, given the deadline of June 15 as communicated by State Secretary Raymond Knops, and the reliance on the second tranche of NAf. 29 million to fund the SSRP programmes,” it was stated in a press release on Tuesday.
In their letter to Chairperson of Parliament Rolando Brison, the three factions also mentioned a June 12 letter by Knops to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament confirming that Aruba and Curaçao had met the conditions and would be receiving the second half of the liquidity assistance in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. No mention is made of St. Maarten in this letter.
June 15 was also the date by which the country’s reform plans needed to be presented to the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT for evaluation.
Further in their letter, the factions said there seems to be much uncertainty with regard to the application of the conditions imposed by the Netherlands and that in their opinion, the public discourses have only fuelled this uncertainty, as many affected entities seem to be at a loss with the execution of these conditions.
“And then there is the very valid concern regarding the legality of the actions by government to enforce the conditions by the Netherlands, without parliamentary approval,” UD Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams said.
The factions also requested the presence of Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs and Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion at the meeting and said they looked forward to the meeting being convened as an urgent meeting of Parliament.