2018 draft budget ‘stuck’ due to opinion differences

POND ISLAND–The progress of the 2018 draft budget is “kinda stuck” due to differences of opinion about the application of a section of the kingdom law on temporary financial supervision for the country.

Government has applied to the Dutch Government for a deviation from Article 25 of the law which states St. Maarten must present a balanced budget. This is currently not possible due to the expenses related to recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma.

Finance Minister Mike Ferrier said Wednesday, “There seems to be a difference of opinion in the application of Article 25 and that is being worked out” between the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT and the Kingdom Council of Ministers.

The draft 2018 budget with a deficit of NAf. 254 million (117 million euros) is already with CFT. That deficit totals 15 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Given the current financial situation, St. Maarten expects that the shortage of liquidity in 2018 is almost equal to the country’s deficit.

CFT Chairman Raymond Gradus said at a press conference in early February that it is “very important” for the draft budget to be adopted by Parliament by March 1, as CFT had advised in December 2017.

That deadline, of course, cannot be met by Government and Parliament.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/74182-2018-draft-budget-stuck-due-to-opinion-differences