MP Sarah Wescot-Williams
PHILIPSBURG–United Democrats (UD) Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams said on Sunday that the government either “has no clue how to get out of the [current financial – Ed.] quagmire it is in or they are hoping for a miracle.”
She was referring to the lack of information from the government on the country’s financial economic outlook.
“Forty days before the end of October and the Parliament and people of St. Maarten are left to wonder how we will fare,” Wescot-Williams said.
“By the admission of the very Minister of Finance [Ardwell Irion – Ed.], we will be facing zero liquidity. Zero liquidity means zero guilders to pay anything, be it salaries, subsidies, doctors or garbage collectors.
“I stated on a previous occasion that the Parliament’s functioning is being dictated by the government. They appear in Parliament when it suits them and decide what they will divulge publicly. Yet, they religiously hold press conferences every week, where they cannot be questioned in any meaningful way.
“This week is a so-called ‘meeting week’ of Parliament. So far, the only meetings that have been scheduled are committee appointments: one on the decolonisation process, requested more than three months ago, and one with the minister of finance behind closed doors, again! And the latter only because I insisted.”
Wescot-Williams said requests for meetings by particularly opposition factions “are left hanging” because the schedules of ministers do not permit. She said members of the opposition have requested that Ministers of Finance, Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ludmila de Weever, and of Health, Labour and Social Affairs VSA Richard Panneflek appear in Parliament to answer to Parliament on the financial economic outlook for the country, to no avail.
“What of the government’s finances cannot be divulged publicly since we already know when the government will run out of money? A plan B? If the government has such a plan, they should be eager to divulge it.
“Government goes public when its suits them, but expects Parliament’s scrutiny of the government’s actions behind closed doors. It’s either government has no clue how to get out of the quagmire it is in or they are hoping for a miracle,” Wescot-Williams said.
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