PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Dear Leaders and Candidates of the Political Parties contesting Election 2016.

We have analysed your party manifesto's and your public interventions on radio and television. On the issue of eradication of poverty the ususal statements presented is the same old story of poverty alleviation instead of poverty eradication as precribed by the United Nations.
On behalf of the SInt Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform we provide you hereby a draft which we want you to consider to inform the people of SInt Maarten and especially the voters of Sint Maarten of your commitment to eradicate poverty in Sint Maarten in dialogue with the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform.
You are free to make any adjustmjents to the draft to suit your party's stand on this issue.
We look forward to receive your party's written declaration on this important issue for the people in Sint Maarten ASAP, based on the details proivided in the draft prepared by our co-coordinators of the Anti-Poverty Platform
Kind regards
On behalf of the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform
the Co-coordinators
Claire Elshot-Aventurin         Raymond Jessurun         Alberto Bute
        W.I.C.L.U.                              S.M.S.P.A                        SUNFED


Considering that:

  1. 75% of the households in Sint Maarten live in poverty! One can read this in the Transparency International Report on integrity in Sint Maarten on page 22. The conclusions on this page are based upon census 2011 data of the Statistical  Department of Sint Maarten are furthermore that:, 
  • The GDP of Sint Maarten is USD 22.000 per capita, and despite this relatively high income per capita, St Maarten has an uneven distribution of income and its standard of living is high
  • 75% have an income of less than 4000 ANG a Month: a Minimum Reference Budget for households not to be in poverty determined by the Dutch NIBUD institute, which means that 3 of every 4 households live in poverty!
  • 22% of the population is without income, which means 1 of every 5 persons is not making a dime

In other words to survive here in this part of the Kingdom, all households need at least 2200 USD a month!

  1. Poverty is a violation of Human Rights!
  • Article 25 of the Universal declaration on Human Rights, and art 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ratified by the Kingdom of the Netherlands (since 1979) define the following: Everyone / every citizen within the State, the Kingdom of the Netherlands is entitled to an adequate standard of living for the health and wellbeing of him/herself and his/her family.  
  • According to art 43.1 of the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands human rights must be realized by every country in the Kingdom.  And according to art 43.2 to guarantee human rights, just as to guarantee good governance, is a Kingdom affair, in other words an obligation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

In other words for the 75% of the households living in poverty,  their human right to an adequate standard of living has not been realized by the government of the former Netherlands Antilles, neither by the government of Sint Maarten, neither has their right been guaranteed by the Kingdom government 

  1. Public appeals about the poverty of the  Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform, consisting  of the labour unions of Sint Maarten affiliated to the Windward Islands Chamber of Labor Unions, the Sint Maarten Seniors and Pensioners Association, and the Sint Maarten United NGO Federation, have been raised for the last two years, in defense of the human right of the workers, the seniors and their families and the general population of Sint Maarten.

We the undersigned hereby declare,

That on behalf of the  ...(name and abbreviation of the party) …. :

  1. We commit  to endeavor to eradicate poverty in Sint Maarten within the coming parliamentary period of 4 years, in compliance with the International Human Rights Treaties ratified by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and with art. 81 of the Constitution of Sint Maarten,
  1. We commit to engage in a structural dialogue with the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform and the social organizations in Sint Maarten, to discuss and achieve consensus on ways and means to eradicate the poverty in Sint Maarten
  1. Our parliamentarians and ministers, if elected, will undertake whatever is necessary to eradicate poverty in Sint Maarten
  1. Our party will have them include in the governing program to ensure that the Kingdom government live up to it's obligation to guarantee full implementation of human rights for all citizens,  equal social security and a social protection floor throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands, if our party representatives are elected into Parliament or government.
  1. We commit to contribute, that Minimum Reference Budgets Not To Be In Poverty will be determined, in collaboration with the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform, with assistance of the NIBUD of the Netherlands, within 6 months after elections, with or without elected representatives of our party in Parliament.  
  1. We commit that every household in Sint Maarten must realize a minimum income of 2200 USD a month or at least the amount determined by the minimum reference budgets determined not to be in poverty.
  • Old Age Pensions maximum for the elderly must be equal or higher than the minimum reference budget for a senior citizen or a senior couple
  • Minimum wages must become living wages for all workers to be determined by the minimum reference budgets
  • Social Allowances must supplement any household income which because of the old age pension or wages earned and brought into the household is not enough to cover the minimum USD 2200 a month per household
  1. We commit to champion for creation of full employment and on the job and off the job training opportunities, so that a just and more evenly distribution of income can be realized  in Sint Maarten
  • By guaranteeing that everyone can contribute to a household income of UsD 2200 per month or more.
  • By stimulating the economy with proposals for government incentives 
  • By eliminating the abuse with the 6 months labour contracts
  • By revising the tax system in such a way that the TOT will be replaced by a fair sales tax system 
  • By increasing corporate citizens social responsibility and solidarity with the poor and the needy in Sint Maarten, to compensate for the reduction of premium contributions in the social and health insurance funds by employing less and less workers to maximize their profit
  1. We commit to champion to lower the cost of living in Sint Maarten to affordable pricing levels as provided by globalization and the internet commerce
  • By Expanding the basic basket for maximum price control from 40 to 100 items in SXM
  • By Lowering the food and nutrition prices as well as from all goods and services to price levels as for instance in Curacao
  • By eliminating the Fuel clause and generating green energy
  • By increasing social tariffs for water and electricity for the poor and the needy
  • By introducing social tariffs for phone and internet for the poor and the needy
  • By Replacing low speed and high priced internet with affordable high speed internet
  • By capping or setting limits to rents (for households and commercial)
  • By capping or setting limits to interest rates set by financial institutions
  1. We commit to guarantee the right to the highest attainable level of healthcare in the Kingdom of the Netherlands for all here in Sint Maarten
  • By introducing a National Health Insurance based on Universal Health Care coverage for all, with an equal basic package throughout the Kingdom and with equal affordable premiums for all 
  • By financing the health insurance, implementing the solidarity principle in the Kingdom, to expand the financing of the health and social security funds in Sint Maarten with income of a Social Protection Guarantee Fund for the Dutch Caribbean, guaranteed by the Kingdom government, to supplement Social Security Funds  in Sint Maarten to be sustainable
  1. We commit to guarantee the right to development of the people of Sint Maarten 
  • By eliminating balanced skeleton budgets and introducing balanced development budgets 
  • By Instructing the CFT Committee Financial Supervision to make the balancing of the budget to comply with the full realization of the Right to Development Of the people of Sint Maarten
  • By championing for the same human development index as the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has, as outcome of the development process of Sint Maarten
  1. We commit to champion for more financial support for the Ombudsman , the Corporate Governance Council and The Sint Maarten Consumers Coalition offices, to be realized within one year of the coming Parliamentary period of 4 years, so that they can address the complaints concerning the quality and prices of goods and services of companies and institutions here in Sint Maarten 
  1. We commit to guarantee the equal job equal pay principle within the coming Parliamentary period of 4 years for all
  • By evaluating the salaries and secondary benefits of the governor, the parliamentarians and the ministers of Sint Maarten with the arrangements in the Other countries of the Kingdom  
  • By evaluating civil servants and teacher salaries with other countries in the Kingdom
  • By evaluating the wages and salaries in the private sector here in Sint Maarten with equal jobs elsewhere in the Kingdom
  • By maintaining the purchasing power of the wages and salaries when the cost of living has increased 

By signing this declaration our political party agrees

  • to provide at the latest October 30th, how our party proposes to implement these points
  • and for the media in Sint Maarten to publish the content of this declaration and to inform the public of our commitments to eradicate the poverty in Sint Maarten.

On behalf of  ...(name and abbreviation of the party) 

Political leader. 

Chairman of the board                                 Secretary of the board


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