Minister Gumbs assures civil servants that they will get their vacation allowance | SOUALIGA NEWSDAY

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The vacation allowance due to civil servants for 2024 will be paid on schedule, said Minister of Finance Marinka Gumbs.

“There is absolutely no question about that,” she stressed. However, she clarified that it is the 1% increase and 2% indexation, promised to the civil servants, that will be slightly delayed for the legal basis for these payments to be established.

“I can understand that for some people it might not have been totally clear what I explained before at the COM press briefing. I’d like to clarify that the only issue we are having is paying out the one percent increase and the two percent indexation right now,” said the minister.

There are two pending laws necessary to formalize the increase of the 1% vacation allowance and the 2% indexation, which are not yet finalized, said Minister Gumbs.

“The regular vacation allowance will be paid out as normally scheduled. However, although the one percent increase is in the 2024 budget, this budget does not become law until June 26, 2024. This means I cannot go ahead just yet and pay out this increase of one percent on June 15, 2024.

“In addition, the law amending the present vacation allowance to accommodate the one percent increase has not been enacted. Last I checked, it was still at the Council of Advice. After that, it has to be sent to parliament for approval. Is the process slow? Yes, it is. The government is doing everything possible to speed it up,” the minister added.

“I am appealing to everyone to please exercise some patience while the legal basis for the payment of the increase in vacation allowance and indexation is being completed. I am currently looking into the possibility of paying the one percent once the budget has been enacted,” said Minister Gumbs.

“The bottom line is that civil servants will get both the one percent increase of vacation allowance and the two percent indexation as soon as the laws are in place to allow the payment. This was communicated by former Prime Minister Jacobs in her letter to all civil servants dated February 5, 2024, when these increases were made known.

“Lastly, I wish to make it clear that the regular six percent vacation allowance will be paid as usual and on schedule,” Minister Gumbs concluded.