Member of Parliament George Pantophlet On The First half year report 2013

Member of Parliament George Pantophlet says that in reading the first half year report 2013 of Country Sint Maarten presented by Minister of Finance Martin Hassink begs him to make the following remarks observations and ask some questions.


The information provided in the introduction is nothing new as the statements have been made over and repeatedly with regards to the debt relief agreement with the Netherlands (In my opinion not completed where St. Maarten is concerned) not being allowed to accumulate debts again and so on. The table showing the ratio’s of deficits and public percentage of GDP from other Caribbean countries according to the Member of Parliament does not change St. Maarten’s reality that the country is not allowed to have a deficit. What is notable though is that in mentioning the European countries France which is the second largest economy in Europe was left out. Maybe this was an honest mistake. The Minister of Finance on the issue of Budget deficits also mentions in the report and he (the Member of Parliament) quotes:" What would have happened if St. Maarten was allowed to during the process of building up the organization to an acceptable public service level have budget deficits over a period of let’s say 4 years and reduce the budget deficits gradually to zero" end of quote. The Member of Parliament says we cannot deal with ifs but we have to face reality and the reality is that we must have a balanced Budget based on our constitution and of course the final accord signed November 2, 2006 which made room for the establishing of the Kingdom Consensus Law which brought the Committee for Financial Supervision into being. What the Member of Parliament hopes that the Minister of Finance can clarify, is why the contribution to the SZV is excluded from the expenses and what amount are we talking about? (The 18.2 million?), because if the estimates are between f 425 million and 435 million guilders we are talking about a difference of some 10 million guilders then his question would be will the excluded amount be placed on the 2014 Budget? The report also includes according to the Minister of Finance two major areas of concern. Cost control; specifically increasing personnel expenses and compliance. The Member of Parliament says that these concerns have been expressed for many years now. It is the action to address them that is lacking. The Minister of Finance mentions seven points to deal with personnel expenses such as no automatic price indexation compensation, adjustment pension plan, adjustment, no show no pay, sick pay arrangements in conformity with ZV/OV legislation, No automatic salary increases bur performance based increases and other. Which of these are new and the matter on the subsidies are not new. The report also mentions the companies that pay a yearly concession fee namely Gebe and the Harbour and the matter of the dividend policy. The Member of Parliament really hopes that this dividend policy situation will be solved once and for all. The report also talks about payment arrears for this reason the Member of Parliament would like to know to what do the payment arrears refer. In other words what are they for? This final statement is not mentioned in the 2013 half year report but he would like to remind government once again of the establishing of a casino gaming board and the Consumer Protection Agency. There must be control.