Skeleton Budget with deficit approved by slim majority.

~Opposition rejected 2018 budget~

PHILIPSBURG:— The Members of Parliament from the current coalition UD/SMCP voted in a favor of the 2018 budget that have been deliberated in house of Parliament for the past two days. All MPs supporting the government supported the budget in order to meet the demands of the Kingdom Council who gave the Government a deadline to either approve the 2018 budget by May 8th or face an instruction.
The Members of Parliament from the opposition benches voted against the budget since they feel that the budget is not in the best interest of the people of St. Maarten.
MP Christopher Emmanuel who said earlier on Tuesday that he was willing to support the 2018 budget if he could get a guarantee from government that civil servants will not be affected by the 37 cuts the Minister of Finance is proposing. Emmanuel said that while he pleaded with the Council of Ministers for answers he could not get it thus he voted against. MP Ardwell also stated that he has been asking about the cuts since April 20th and only moments before the voting the government shared it with parliament. “We were given this information at a time when we could no longer discuss these cuts.” The MP said because the budget is not in St. Maarten and its people best interest he is obliged to vote against. MP Rolando Brison also expressed the same sentiments. He said cooperation is a two way street and he read all advices given by the council of advice who also gave a negative advice on the budget. Brison said because all advices are negative he could not support the budget.

Source: St. Martin News Network