Ministers will provide answers on Tuesday.
PHILIPSBURG:— Several members of the opposition in Parliament criticized the draft 2016 budget that is now being debated in parliament. MP Johan Janchi Leonard played started off his questions by trying to show how the elderly is struggling to survive with the pension they received. Leonard said he applied for a working documents for someone and he proposed to pay that person NAF 1,500 per month and instead of the department of labor telling him that he should try and find a local they asked how he expect anyone to live on that kind of monies. MP Leonard then asked a number questions pertaining to the garbage contracts that were issued in December. He said he wants to know how many companies submitted bids, and how many of those persons were give contracts. The MP further asked that the list of the garbage collection bidding and the names of the companies that were awarded contracts be given to Parliament.
Leonard said there is ‘melee” going around about everything one being that just prior to the contracts being awarded someone invested millions in purchasing garbage collection vehicles which he said was seen at the harbor. Leonard then asked about the subsidy that was cut for the justice academy.
MP Tamara Leonard also asked several questions regarding the budget, for her she said she wants to see more ways on how government plans to earn or collect more money (new income). She further stated that she once said in a press release that she would not support the budget but she also gave the reasons for making her statements.
MP Leona Marlin Romeo, attacked the amount of undocumented persons that are living on St. Maarten she said the figures at the Civil Registry is 20M less than that of which is at the department of statistics. Romeo Marlin said government has to find a way to close the gaps where people are allowed to bring in children of their relatives and enroll them in school. Marlin said she asked the same questions last year when the 2015 budget was debated and she did not get an answer, however, she is hopeful that the current Minister of General Affairs and Prime Minister could provide her with the answers she needs.
MP Franklin Meyers asked about the Regina Labega case and when would government take a decision on the matter pertaining to Labega. He asked about the FBO project at PJIAE and how far is government with renaming the country’s airport to the “Vance James Airport.” Meyers also asked government to provide him with any document that they have that would show that former Minister of Finance Hiro Shigemoto, MP Theodore Heyliger or himself signed off on to give AUC a tax right off.
The Government then asked that the meeting be adjourned until Tuesday in order for them to provide answers to the questions that were posed on Monday.
Source: St. Martin News Network Opposition MP posed several questions to Ministers as they criticize 2016 Budget.