SMAPP – The Governing Program 2020-2024 will not eradicate the poverty! | SOUALIGA NEWSDAY

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – “Well finally yesterday September 23, 2020 in a press release the public is informed that the Governing Program of the NA-UP coalition is now available online on the government of SXM website. In one day we could not analyze this document which took this NA-UP governing coalition six (6) months to write,” the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform (SMAPP) said in a press statement.

“Our first scrutiny was to see what this NA-UP governing coalition have written that they will do to eradicate the poverty among the more than 13.000 poor and needy households in St Maarten!

First of all, let us look at the title of the document: “Stimulating Sustainable Economic Development and Prosperity”. Economic development after all those years have not provided the majority of the people in ST Maarten with “prosperity”, but with “poverty”! So the title is promising. What is this new type of economic development which brings prosperity the poor and needy households instead of poverty? We will analyze this paragraph about the new economic development and report to you our findings next week!

“The Subtitle is also promising: “A Place where EVERY DREAM CAN BE ACHIEVED.” What is the dream of the 13.000 poor and needy households?

  • To be out of poverty obviously!
  • To get affordable prices for all the goods and services they need for their household.
  • To see a decrease in the cost of living to at least the level the households have in Curacao
  • To have decent work and at least a living wage for all!
  • To have social protection, at least the same as is being provided in the Netherlands
  • To have affordable housing
  • “So, what are the proposals in this government program, which will realize all dreams of the over 60.000 registered persons in St Maarten and which answer at least the above-mentioned questions?

    “Since March 31st at various moments, the Windward Island Chamber of Labor Unions has requested a dialogue with the Council of Ministers, to reach to a consensus and an improved status of worker’s rights and human rights! But until now to no avail.

    “So most probably this governing program will not reflect the input of the unions, who are well represented in our Anti-Poverty Platform by their president Ms. Claire ELSHOT as our co-coordinator.

    “As Anti-Poverty Platform coordinators we have supported the affiliated organizations in their endeavors to improve the wellbeing of their members.

    “Eradication of poverty therefore should be priority number 1. Sustainable Development Goal nr 1 is NO POVERTY and sustainable development goal nr 2 is NO HUNGER. Well eradication of poverty, neither ZERO HUNGER is mentioned as an objective to be achieved in this governing program.

    “We looked up the word poverty in this governing program. Instead of the word poverty we counted the word prosperity in the governing program and found prosperity 52 times mentioned! What level of prosperity the NA-UP coalition has envisioned for the more than 13.000 poor and needy households?

    “The Chamber of Labor Unions will be requested to provide us with their comments on this governing program, that will determine for the coming 4 years, how the workers and their families in this society will be treated by our governing coalition! We will provide you with our analysis of this governing program next week!” SMAPP said in its statement.

    Source: Souliga Newsday