PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Leader of the United St. Maarten (US) party MP Frans Richardson on Monday night urged Prime Minister of St. Maarten William Marlin to finally “put to bed and shut up” Minister of Finance Richard Gibson who, according to Richardson, is “becoming rude and bold in this country.”
Richardson tore into Gibson during the USp’s public meeting on Monday night, chastising him for not taking care of workers in his places of business for many years, but quick to talk down colleague MP’s of the current coalition government. According to Richardson, Gibson recently degraded MP’s Silvio Matser and Maurice Lake. “Without those two you could not be a Minister, but you are out here degrading them. Enough is enough with you,” Richardson said.
He said Gibson and his habit of “talking down his nose” at people, acts as if he is “Mr. Fix It Alone”, failing to remember that it took all 8 of the MP’s supporting the current coalition to appoint him as Minister. “And it will take all of us (eg the people) to leave him on the outside.,” Richardson said.
“So I am calling on the Prime Minister, it’s time to shut him up. It’s time to put him to bed, he’s old. It’s time for him to go home. It’s a new dawn and it’s time for new leadership,” Richardson said.
The war of words between Gibson and the USp began when Gibson directly dismissed USp’s plans to implement a new tax model for indirect taxation. Gibson said such a model would never come to pass under “my watch”. That statement led to Richardson branding Gibson as out of touch with reality and in contradiction with a decision of the Council of Ministers to explore indirect taxation and an advice by the Social Economic Council to do the same.
Then on Monday when the national Alliance released its manifesto, that party, Gibson’s party, also came out for indirect taxation leaving Gibson and his “watch” standing alone.
On the announced Chinese Hotel Development Project, announced by Gibson at a town hall meeting with no additional information, MP Silvio Matser in particular has stressed that the development should not take place until it is clear that local contractors and workers will be involved in the project. This is a sentiment shared by many in the USp, especially the need for due diligence before anything is finalized.