PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – In the Budget Debate Public Meeting of Tuesday 28th April, 2020 the draft motion presented by Member of Parliament Solange Ludmila Duncan regarding a number of cost-cutting measures to alleviate the financial strain placed on the Government of St. Maarten due to the COVID-19 pandemic was passed. The motion was supported by the NA, UP and USP factions.
The MP stated “I must reiterate that these proposed cuts are not conservative; its intention is clear; to show solidarity with the people of St. Maarten by cutting not only one specific type of cost but various costs across the board that have the potential to add up substantially.”
One key point in the motion is the thorough review of the ‘Pensioenregeling politieke gezagdragers’ (AB2010 GT. 8), in particular where it pertains to the transitional allowance of public office holders. The MP requested the review to be carried out within six (6) months. “Here we can save the country much money in salaries of former ministers and parliamentarians. This has been a discussion in the public for years.”
Included in the motion was a request from the Minister of Finance for the delivery of a comprehensive approach to cost-cutting measures within 15 days and a general reduction in material costs of both the Parliament and the Council of Ministers by 20%.
Additionally, MP Duncan requested the Minister of Finance to reduce the salaries of the Council of Ministers and Members of Parliament by an additional five percent on top of the already agreed to ten percent for a total of 15%.
“This is a solid start to cost-cutting measures across the board and more cuts will have to come. I look forward to working with the Government and Parliament on discussing all avenues for improved spending of public funds.” commented MP Duncan.