Govt. commits to paying off NAf. 91 million debt to SZV | THE DAILY HERALD

Finance Minister Perry Geerlings and SZV official Glen Carty during signing of letter of intent on Friday, August 23.

PHILIPSBURG–The government of St. Maarten has committed to paying off its approximately NAf. 91 million debt to Social and Health Insurances SZV.

Finance Minister Perry Geerlings and SZV Director Glen Carty signed a letter of intent on Friday, August 23, regarding the outstanding social and health insurances premiums that government owes SZV.

The letter of intent outlines a structured approach to address the payment of the outstanding amount of approximately NAf. 91 million accumulated by government over many years. Carty and Geerlings are eager to start this new chapter and permanently resolve the financial backlog, SZV said in a press release on Wednesday.

“While we have always had a good understanding with government regarding the repayment of the debt, we are now one step closer to a structural resolve. This agreement is good for the country, for the people of St. Maarten and their social and health insurances,” Carty said.

Government’s outstanding debt to SZV primarily includes premium contributions for its civil servants and “PP” cardholders, premium contributions for the unemployed under the sickness insurance ordinance and division of assets outstanding. As of December 31, 2018, the outstanding amount was recorded to be NAf. 91,622,287. While corrections may be applicable, both SZV and government will begin with the necessary planning to introduce feasible agreements on government’s payment plan.

“The government of St. Maarten intends to pay off its debts to SZV within reasonable means. We have been working on this for months and it was a complicated exercise,” Geerlings said.

“One of the major contributors to the debt has been our liquidity issue due to the annual deficits in our budget. The 2017 hurricanes are also contributors to the debt. The government of St. Maarten is close to complying with the Kingdom instruction of 2015, to settle the outstanding arrears. This letter of intent allows us to move forward based on realistic agreements that government can meet.”

Source: The Daily Herald