Parliament wants to know why islands were left out | THE DAILY HERALD


THE HAGUE–The Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament demanded clarity from the Dutch government on Tuesday as to why the families in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba are not benefitting from the additional one billion euros that will become available for the child allowance, the child day-care allowance and the child-related budget per January 1, 2019.

Member of Parliament (MP) Nevin Özütok of the green left party GroenLinks addressed the matter during a plenary meeting on Tuesday. She said that while last week’s announcement about the additional one billion euros was good news for the parents in the Netherlands who needed that money, the government should not forget about the three Dutch public entities.

“Who also could make very good use of that money are the parents in the Caribbean Netherlands. Precisely this group does not benefit from this extra budget,” said Özütok, who requested a debate with State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops and State Secretary of Social Affairs and Labour Tamara van Ark on this subject, as well as a letter from the Dutch government.


Several other parties in the Second Chamber expressed support, but mostly only for the request for a clarifying letter. MP Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) said there were more things that affected the standard of living on the islands, such as the establishing of a social minimum, which has been delayed.

Van Raak said the quickest way to get clarity was to ask for a letter and to schedule a meeting with the state secretary about children’s rights in the Caribbean Netherlands. MP André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party remarked that measures had been taken to raise the child allowance on the islands. He said he would await the report on the social minimum.

MPs Joba van den Berg of the Christian Democrat Party CDA, Antje Diertens of the Democrat D66 party and Carla Dik-Faber of the ChristianUnion supported Özütok’s request for a letter, but not a debate in the short term. The parties preferred to include this topic in a future debate about the social minimum.

The Labour Party PvdA, the DENK party and the Party for Animals PvdD supported Özütok’s request for a letter and a debate. This means that there was sufficient support for a so-called 30-member debate. A letter will also be requested from the Dutch government.
MPs Van den Berg and Diertens on Tuesday posed a number of written questions to Knops and Van Ark about this same issue. The MPs urged the Dutch government to take action to combat poverty among children in the Caribbean Netherlands.

“Do you share our view that poverty among children needs to be eradicated, also in the Caribbean Netherlands? What measures will you be taking to combat poverty among children in the Caribbean Netherlands in the short term?”

The MPs urged the state secretaries to establish a social minimum as soon as possible so a decision could be taken on the size of the social allowances in the Caribbean Netherlands. They asked the state secretaries to ensure that the new deadline of July 1 for the publication of the social minimum report would be met.

Source: The Daily Herald