I have a lot of confidence in the Minister of VROMI and the other Ministers to start working and executing priority projects and quick wins in 2016 with a tight budget in an open and transparent manner, and to provide a stable government structure for St. Maarten. May God continue to bless St. Maarten,” MP Maurice Lake concluded.
ST. PETERS, Sint Maarten – “I would like to wish the people of St. Maarten a Happy New Year. I have to say 2015 was a good learning experience for St. Maarten. St. Maarten is at a crossroad, so the decisions we make today will affect the next generation of tomorrow.
“That’s why I am looking to 2016 to take the issues affecting our local people to another level in an open and transparent manner to better serve the people of St. Maarten. I know it’s going to be a short challenging year with a lot of manmade obstacles to keep me back from achieving for the people, but that won’t keep a good man down,” Member of Parliament Maurice Lake said.
“Once I give it my best for 2016, and work along with the people, I believe the LORD will do the rest for his people.
I am a firm believer in my principles of Philippians Chapter 4:13, ‘I can do all things with Christ which strengthen me.’ I have set some goals and I can’t wait to execute them in the general interest of the people.
“I am not going to get in the old way of politics with tic for tac, planning against each other, or predicting like some of our leaders that I would never be elected again, but I am going to focus on the issues and come with a plan of action in an open and transparent manner. Last election, some of our leaders within taught the same that my team was all rookies and I wasn’t going to get elected.
I would like the people to judge me on the upcoming election in September 2016 based on my work, performance and accomplishments for the people.
“It’s high time we stop saying or working behind the scenes in self-interest and start being open with the people’s business and focus on providing a stable economy and putting our people first and creating work for them. Parliament and Government needs to start putting our people first, and focus and communicate better with our local people and bring priority projects, quick wins or laws that are going to empower our people for the betterment of the island.
“The Coalition of Eight main focus should be reform, balancing the draft Budget 2016, stimulating the Economy, creating jobs and developing a plan of action for the Crime situation.
“As an Independent MP, my main focus would be in 2016 on passing the amended initiative law to make the processing or application fee for residence permits non-refundable; recognizing the University of St. Martin by passing the draft tertiary ordinance and the study financing draft ordinance together with all fellow MPs and the Minister of Education; passing the draft harmonization law; and creating a Sint Maarten Development Bank that can issue soft loans for local entrepreneurs and young professionals. A bank of this nature should also be able to provide low interest loans for the aforementioned to purchase a house or start their own business. This would allow them to become their own boss by having their own business or own their own home. Assistance from the Central Bank will be sought with respect to the establishment of this bank.
“I set some goals as a Member of Parliament to at least amend or pass laws instead of just sitting and talking for an entire year in Parliament without any tangible results for the people. I already with the blessing of the former Minister of Finance abolished the expat law for the public sector where Government can save money. I also would like to abolish the property tax law which is not in the best interest of our local people. These existing laws are not in the best interest of our local people. There are so many other ways to generate income which I presented to the Minister of Finance to start collecting from other stakeholders who are not contributing to government coffers in order to be able to balance the budget.
“As a Member of Parliament, I will be working very closely with my coalition partners in Parliament and in the Council of Ministers to start executing priority projects in the best interest of the people. I also foresee GEBE and Cadaster taking up a leading role in taking St. Maarten to another level by addressing the issues affecting our people.
“GEBE must get into renewable energy, solar, etc. for the people of St. Maarten. The Waste to Energy Plant is another very urgent project that needs to be executed as soon as possible. GEBE has to start executing its investment plan. GEBE Management have to step up to the plate in these areas to better serve the people of St. Maarten.
“It’s high time now to start seeing results and effective leadership. GEBE needs to start investing back into our economy and our people by approving permanent relief for our senior citizens; constructing water tanks in the different districts; starting with the Fibre to the Homes project; executing the project for seniors where their regular bulbs are switched over to LED bulbs; and by providing a customer service branch in key districts.