MP Mercelina slams New General Hospital and calls for BIG legislation.

~ Lee has BIG legislation sitting on his desk since June 2017~

PHILIPSBURG:— MP Luc Mercelina lectured the Council of Ministers on Monday during the 2018 budget debate as to how they should present themselves when dealing with their Kingdom partners. MP Mercelina made clear that as a MP he should not feel threatened to vote on a budget for the country due to an ultimatum given by the Kingdom Council of Ministers.
In addressing Parliament MP Mercelina a medical doctor by profession slammed the Minister of VSA Emil Lee on the construction of the New General Hospital and who he believes should finance it. Mercelina said that a new hospital should be the burden of the Kingdom and not that of St. Maarten (constituent). Considering his background as a medical doctor Mercelina said that he would be one of the first persons who would want a new hospital for St. Maarten however, he feels that one project that would cost more than 50% of the country’s income cannot be justified by any financial science. He insisted that due to that the construction and costs of such a project must rests on the shoulder of the Kingdom and not a constituent such as St. Maarten that has an unbalanced budget with a deficit of over NAF200M and also a national debt of NAF.1.1B.
Mercelina also referred to the BIG legislation that has been sitting in Minister of VSA Emil Lee’s cabinet since June 2017. He said that the Government of St. Maarten must put a legislation in place that would regulate and control specialists (medical doctors) that comes to work on St. Maarten. He said that if such a legislation is put in place then proper medical specialists for other neighboring islands that understands St. Maarten’s culture will be able to work on St. Maarten. This he said will limit the referral of patients overseas. Mercelina said when that legislation is in place and medical referrals are reduced then SZV will safe monies from the NAF 35M that is spent annually on medical referrals.
The newly elected MP went to say that if he requests the Netherlands to produce a balance budget they would not be able provide such. Mercelina said that while he supports stricter border control he is doing so not in support of the Kingdom but rather to ensure that no more poverty stricken people enter St. Maarten. He said that Holland has 283 communes in the Netherlands and they cannot produce a budget for any of the entities. He asked why is he as a MP should present a balance budget for St. Maarten under pressure. He said its time St. Maarten to change their mindset. As such he asked the Kingdom to reinterpret at least one sentence where it states that all Dutch citizens are equal when dealing with its constituents. Mercelina said politicians on St. Maarten should not sit around the negotiation table as if they are begging the Kingdom for financial assistance in order not to violate human rights as prescribed in the Kingdom Charter. He made clear that the citizens of St. Maarten are equal Dutch citizens as those in the Netherlands. He said that he estimated damaged caused by Irma surpasses three billion guilders. He cautioned that the Prime Minister is constantly speaking about sustainability and he wants them to know that one can only discuss sustainability in countries where the budget is balanced not in St. Maarten that has a budget with a deficit of over NAF200M.
Mercilina aslo cautioned the government not to slim down the government apparatus as recommended by the Kingdom because St. Maarten does not have the same social system as in the Netherlands which would buffer the consequences. He said one of his recommendations to government is to put a freeze on hiring more civil servants since the expenses for civil servants surpass 50% of the country’s budget. He said he believes though that BZV premiums should be collected from civil servants because he is of the firm belief that civil servants should pay for their healthcare like the workers in the private sector.

Source: St. Martin News Network