Press Release from National Alliance Senator George Pantophlet: Transfer of Task

The Federal Ordinance on the Transfer of Task of country the Netherlands Antilles to the Island Territories of St. Maarten and Curacao in light of their future status as countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands was handled and unanimously approved by Parliament on December 28, 2009. 

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National Alliance Senator George Pantophlet said that he reminded his colleagues in Parliament that for St. Maarten especially it has been 9 years 6 months and days. The National Alliance Senator also emphasized that the approval of the Ordinance is one thing but finances and personnel will be key. There is no doubt that we will need more personnel but the finances are equally important. The signing of the Ordinance does not mean that all tasks will be transferred as of January 1, 2010. Parliament can’t just decide what it will transfer and when it will transfer these tasks. Parliament can neither decide if we are ready or not. It is the island territory of St. Maarten who has to decide this. We know the discussions of financial nature that are presently taking place with regards to the funds generated on St. Maarten. Transferring the funds to pay for services already being carried out by central government is one thing but St. Maarten needs all its funds if it is to have a strong starting position. It is no public secret that St. Maarten transfers more in finances to the central government than it receives in services and it is only fair that the monies generated here remain on St. Maarten. Any additional costs that might be experienced after St. Maarten assumes certain tasks can be covered by the surplus that is now being sent to the Central Government. Trying to resolve this matter has been a continued and contentious point of discussion between the Island Government of St. Maarten and the central government. There must be continuity of services after the tasks now carried out by the Central Government are transferred to St. Maarten. The real work continues now.