Minister of Finance Shigemoto says Dutch MPs missing the point

Honourable Minister of Finance Hiro Shigemoto says Dutch Members of Parliament (MPs) are missing the point and added that he did not advocate for the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament to diminish supervision of the budgetary process of the country.


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Minister Shigemoto during the 2011 country budget discussion on Monday told Sint Maarten MPs in the Central Committee that the second approval from the Committee of Financial Supervision (CFT) takes away from Parliament’s role as the highest decision-making body in the country.

"The second approval by the CFT after the budget has been approved by parliament does not serve a purpose and is redundant. Are Dutch MPs saying that if something is found to be redundant that Sint Maarten should just be quiet and accept it and that the lines of communication across the Atlantic Ocean are closed to further dialogue?

"If so, then there is a serious democratic deficit within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and in particular on the European side of the Atlantic.

"I can understand if Parliament made a change to the budget, then it would have to go back to the CFT, but it makes no sense for a second approval without any changes and just adds to the bureaucratic process.

"Sint Maarten is not attempting to undermine the role of the CFT as suggested by some Dutch MPs. To the contrary, the Council of Ministers is working with the CFT and the Ministry of Finance is already busy with preparing the 2012 country budget. Dutch MPs need to better inform themselves about developments on the island and this would go a long way in the former having a better understanding about the government processes on the island.

"Laws are not written in stone that they cannot be adjusted or enhanced. The Dutch Parliament is always busy doing just that. My observations are based on first-hand experience since we achieved country status last October 10.

"If Sint Maarten wasn’t following the Financial Supervision Law, the CFT would not have rendered a positive advice and approved the country budget as it did. Dutch MPs are attempting to create an image that our country is trying to wiggle out of agreements made within the Kingdom, and this is far from the truth.

"Sint Maarten is fulfilling its obligations despite the challenges presented by the global economic situation while other countries including Holland have a multitude of mechanisms that they can implement to help eliminate the pain suffered by society or certain sectors.

"The Government of Sint Maarten will continue to work in the interests of the country and look at creating and developing opportunities for our people," Hon. Minister of Finance Hiro Shigemoto said on Thursday.