PHILIPSBURG–Members of Parliament (MPs) are expected to meet in an urgent session at 2:00pm today, Monday, to discuss Government’s financial situation.
Caretaker Finance Minister Richard Gibson has been invited to the urgent session to provide information to MPs. Chairperson of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams said in a press release on Sunday that she convened the urgent meeting to hear from Government, what the country’s financial outlook is.
She said Gibson has been asked to provide information on Government’s liquidity position; reserves, budget depletion and commitments Government has for the remaining months of 2017.
Wescot-Williams said she convened the meeting “due to the alarming signals coming from the community; USM [University of St. Martin – Ed], school boards [and] other creditors of Government. I wonder how secured salaries, payment to contractors, bus drivers and other obligations of Government are at this time?” she said in a press release.
“Furthermore, what provisions have been made for the hastily-called and not-budgeted election in January, when our deficit, according to the Finance Minister, is over NAf. 100 million in 2017 and over NAf. 200 million in 2018? Not to speak of what it would require for the constitutional entities such as the Central Voting Bureau and the Electoral Council to be up and running for this election.”
She said budgetary amendments are Parliament’s prerogative and Ministers can be held personally responsible for circumventing this law.
“The budget right is one of the fundamental rights of Parliament and while due consideration must be given to the extraordinary circumstances following Hurricane Irma, two months later it can be expected that Parliament will demand financial accountability.”
The public can follow the parliamentary deliberations in person at the House of Parliament located across from the Courthouse in Philipsburg. The session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, 107.9FM, 98.1FM,
www.pearlfmradio.com and Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/70725-mps-to-meet-on-govt-s-financial-position-today