1. Cost of living in Sint Maarten is one of the highest in the Dutch Caribbean! Quality of products and services for an affordable price is still an issue for all consumers in Sint Maarten.
2. The Transparency International report concluded that more than 75% of the households in Sint Maarten live under the poverty line! . The poverty line was determined by comparing the reference budgets for Bonaire calculated by the Dutch NIBUD institute.
3. Even though the government of SXM has a maximum price control regulation for some 40 items, the merchants in Sint Maarten know how to bypass the system and have managed to jack up the prices here in Sint Maarten to an unaffordable height for the majority of the workers and their families in the last decades.
4. Although Parliamentarians have discussed that the minimum wage is not a livable wage and that the old age pensions are not sufficient for the elderly, none of them really seems to care and wants to protect the rights of the people as consumers in this society!!
5. Two years ago the co-coordinators of the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform took the initiative to propose to the Chamber of Labor Unions and to the NGO-umbrella organization SUNFED and the Seniors and Pensioners Association to encourage their members to become a member of the SINT MAARTEN CONSUMERS COALITION, and to also defend the rights of their members and their families as consumers in Sint Maarten.
6. Parliament and the government of Sint Maarten also have an obligation to protect the rights of the people here in Sint Maarten. Sint Maarten has already the institute of the Ombudsman of which the operational costs are financed. But that institute is only there to address complaints concerning the services from governmental ministries and departments and their employees, The Ombudsman does not handle complaints concerning government owned institutions (like GEBE, TELEM. etc) neither from private owned companies or institutions (merchants, stores, service providers)! Now more than ever the Sint Maarten Consumer Coalition must be facilitated to defend and protect the rights of the people, the consumers of Sint Maarten!
7. The Parliament and government of Sint Maarten should facilitate the day to day operations of the Sint Maarten Consumers Coalition initiative the same way as they support the Ombudsman institution. The Consumers Coalition should address the complaints of the consumers which by law cannot be dealt with by the Ombudsman.
8. The Consumers Coalition will give account to the members of the social organizations and the representatives of their boards. The Consumer Coalition is also willing to give account to Parliament of the issues addressed to protect the rights of all consumers in Sint Maarten if funding of the community is facilitated to the Consumers Coalition.
9. All Parliamentarians, the government and all political parties in Sint Maarten which have the rights of the people, the consumers of Sint Maarten at heart, should support this initiative and regulate and facilitate the operation of the Sint Maarten Consumers Coalition.
10. FOR COMPLAINTS CALL our volunteers Zita da Silva 5531050, Carl Duinkerk 5234252, Raymond Jessurun 5220925, or VISIT the SUNFED office Backstreet 148, from Mo- Fr from 9 am – 5 pm.
This is based upon the income statistics of the Census of 2011
Source: St. Martin News Network
For the protection of the rights of the consumers in St. Maarten.