THE HAGUE–St. Maarten has met a large part of the deadlines in the execution of the country package linked to the Dutch liquidity support during the pandemic, but not all agreements were complied with within the set term.
Dutch caretaker State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops stated this in a letter that he sent to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Wednesday, about the decision-taking of the Kingdom Council of Ministers on September 24 with regard to the fourth tranche of liquidity support for Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten.
According to Knops, the available capacity in St. Maarten for the execution of the measures in the country package remains a “continued source of concern.” But the Kingdom government did decide that St. Maarten had sufficiently complied with conditions and therefore approved NAf. 22 million in liquidity support for the fourth quarter of 2021.
Knops noted that the progress made by the three Dutch Caribbean countries to execute the country packages was “mixed.” He stated that Aruba followed the execution agenda and the country made almost all deadlines for the third quarter. “However, the lack of progress on structural reforms in healthcare is worrisome.”
As for Curaçao, the state secretary noted that the execution of the country package for Curaçao had been delayed again, and that the fourth execution agenda still had not been approved. Neither Aruba nor Curaçao received the approval of the Kingdom government for the payment of the fourth tranche of liquidity support.
During last Friday’s meeting, the Kingdom Council of Ministers decided to set the maximum that St. Maarten may deviate from the budget norm for the entire year 2021 at NAf. 174 million. This means that St. Maarten is allowed to have a budget deficit of no more than NAf. 174 million.
In order to be eligible for the eighth tranche of liquidity support, St. Maarten will have to conclude the assessment of the wage subsidy regulation and report on its outcome to the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT.
The Kingdom Council of Ministers also discussed the process to maximise the income of top civil servants and directors of government (owned) entities at 130 per cent of the salary of the prime minister of the country in question. This maximising is one of the conditions set in connection with the providing of liquidity support.
A recent comparative assessment has shown that there are big differences between the (draft) regulations of the Dutch Caribbean countries and that “the regulations in important areas are insufficiently effective.”
That is why the Kingdom government decided in its last meeting that Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten all have to bring the draft law texts to maximise the income of top earners in the (semi) public sector in line with the earlier decision of the Kingdom government before November 1.
“In addition, the Kingdom Council of Ministers formulated a number of points that must be included in the regulations in order to increase their effectiveness. These points concern the basis for the calculation of the maximum income, the work sphere and enforcement,” Knops stated.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/st-maarten-met-most-deadlines-but-not-all