SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – The College financieel toezicht (Cft) or the Committee of Financal Supervision for Curacao and Sint Maarten has officially sent a positive letter to Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Relations R. Knops concerning St. Maarten meeting the loan requirements for the payroll support program for the month June 2020, the cabinet of the minister of Finance disclosed on Friday evening in a statement. Sint Maarten is eligible for liquidity support for the period in which the country meets the conditions.
The liquidity support for the payroll support program for the month of June amounts to approximately two-thirds of the period from May 15th, 2020 until and including to June 30th, 2020 (being NAf 19.3 million of NAf 29 million).
The Social and Health Insurances Implementation Agency (SZV) is responsible for the implementation and administration of the Business Payroll Support program for the Sint Maarten Stimulus & Relief Plan (SSRP).
Cft confirmed in the letter that in addition to the internal audits by SOAB (Stichting Overheids Accountants Bureau) which the government anchored in laws that govern the Business Payroll Support and the Unemployment and Income Support programs, SZV has to make the administration available for an audit of the design and operation by an external auditor appointed by the Cft.
The loan would only be made available after Sint Maarten has met criteria such as:
A personal contribution of 20 percent from employees to the payroll support.
An adjustment of the current scale model for the Business Payroll Support to a one-to-one ratio with loss of turnover.
The Cft received the published Regulation payroll support for the month of June 2020 on July 15th, 2020. The conditions mentioned above have been incorporated into this Regulation. The Regulation, as demanded via the conditions, will enter into force on July 16th, 2020 and will go into retroactive effect from June 1st, 2020. Based on this, the Cft informed State Secretary Knops that in their opinion, Sint Maarten adequately implemented the payment conditions and is eligible for the loan support.
The delays in the continuation of the Business Payroll Program for June are regrettable, however the government’s intention to implement the new conditions as set by The Netherlands as of July 1st instead of June 1st was rejected by CFT and State secretary Knops.
In order to secure the second part of the second tranche of the loan from The Netherlands, St. Maarten was required to implement the abovementioned conditions as indicated or risk not receiving the funds. With this, as a consequence, the June Business Payroll Support was regrettably delayed.