PHILIPSBURG–Finance Minister Ardwell Irion clarified in a press release on Friday that the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT only green-lit the country meeting the loan requirements for the June amendments to the business payroll support programme of the St. Maarten Stimulus and Relief Plan (SSRP). It was earlier reported that St. Maarten met the conditions for the total remaining liquidity support.
“The CFT has officially sent a positive letter to Dutch State Secretary [of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Raymond – Ed.] Knops concerning St. Maarten meeting the loan requirements for the payroll support programme for the month June 2020 … The liquidity support for the payroll support programme for the month of June amounts to approximately two-thirds of the [loan] period,” according to the press release.
Irion said this amounts to NAf. 19.3 million of the total remaining NAf. 29 million.
This part of the loan was to be made available after St. Maarten made changes to the business payroll support programme, such as a 20 per cent salary reduction from employees of businesses receiving support and a one-to-one ratio of payroll support to a business’ loss of income.
The CFT received a ministerial regulation with these changes on July 15, which was also the stipulated deadline for the changes. The regulation retroactively applied the changes as of June 1.
“Based on this, the CFT informed State Secretary Knops that, in their opinion, St. Maarten adequately implemented the payment conditions and is eligible for the loan support,” said Irion.
CFT said accounting company BDO will audit Social and Health Insurances SZV, which is the payroll support programme’s implementing agency. This is in addition to SZV’s audit by government accounting bureau SOAB.
“The delays in the continuation of the business payroll support programme for June are regrettable. However, the government’s intention to implement the new conditions as set by the Netherlands as of July 1 instead of June 1 was rejected by CFT and State secretary Knops,” said Irion.