SMAPP co-coordinators Claire Elshot and Raymond Jessurun.
PHILIPSBURG–The St. Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform (SMAPP) provided its own reflection on what still has to be achieved in country St. Maarten.
During its weekly press conference on Thursday the platform said that there is no need for the SMAPP to present its 10-10-20 reflection. “We have been critical of our national governing programmes and policies in our interviews and weekly press conferences … since 2012,” said the platform.
The SMAPP stated that based on its right as a people to a full measure of self-governance and the full realisation of all human rights, the platform has been critical regarding the goals and objectives of the governing coalitions. “Well after 10 years’ country status there were many reflections on what was achieved, but also what still has to be achieved,” the platform stated.
SMAPP coordinators further stated that the political autonomous country status was solely a medium to attain key positions and possibilities for politicians. “They said that stepping out of the Netherlands Antilles was for St. Maarten to prosper and bloom. It was for the people to have local politicians in Philipsburg instead of in Willemstad to be held accountable,” said the SMAPP.
The platform noted that after 10-10-10 the various Ministers of Finance through this time have continuously talked about increasing tax compliance. “Who is being taxed, who is not paying taxes?” questioned the coalition. The SMAPP further questioned the lack of instruction from the Council of Ministers, most notably the Minister of Finance in actively seeking out those who are not paying taxes.
“As far as the spending of taxpayers’ money is concerned, we agree with the Audit Chamber that the recommendations of this high council of state should be implemented to have a more efficient spending of our money,” said the SMAPP.
“As Anti-Poverty Platform we want this government coalition to guarantee an equal social protection floor, equal social pensions, equal social allowances, equal minimum wage, [and – Ed.] equal and affordable health care of the same quality as in the Netherlands.”
“So far we have not seen the equal realisation of these human rights in the governing programme 2020-2024, neither in the draft National Development Vision for 2020-2030,” SMAPP concluded.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/smapp-gives-its-take-on-ten-years