PHILIPSBURG–Foreigners holding managing director’s licences will have to pay an annual fee of NAf. 9,000 should Parliament have its way.
The “pay to stay” motion instructing Government to explore the possibility of implementing such a fee was tabled in Parliament on Thursday evening in the debate on the draft 2017 budget by United St. Maarten Party (US Party) leader Member of Parliament (MP) Frans Richardson. MPs are set to vote on the motion today, Friday, but it will be up to Government to formulate the way forward and put forward a start date.
The motion that also calls for Government to implement a monthly fee for persons granted a temporary employment and residence permit in the categories of skilled workers, non-skilled workers and domestic workers. The motion did not affix a guilder amount for this monthly payment.
The motion also instructs Government to amend the budgets of the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (ECYS) based on the expected additional revenue.
TEATT should then channel the money to incentivize the small business sector and stimulate economic development in general.
Funds also should go to acculturation programmes via the University of St. Martin (USM). Temporary foreign employment and residence permit holders must take this St. Maarten “acculturation-integration” course as part of the requirements in obtaining and or maintaining said permits.
TEATT in collaboration with EYCS, based on the motion, should grant special short term entrepreneurs training scholarships to recipients identified by the Small Business and Economic Development committee.
The Ministry of Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI will also be entitled to funding to maintain, improve and construct low-income housing.
“The motion aimed at raising needed revenue for Government stemmed from the draft 2017 budget having very little room for investing in the development of the country’s economy and due to insufficient funds allocated to promoting tourism sector,” said Richardson.
Everyone should contribute to the development of St. Maarten, the MP said.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/62322-frans-presents-pay-to-stay-motion-for-foreign-directors