Published On: Sat, Jun 19th, 2021

Increased budget for Prosecutor’s Office triggers questions

PHILIPSBURG — The budget for the office of the prosecutor general increase by 125 percent to more than 1.5 million guilders. “That’s an increase of 863,000 guilders,” MP Claudius Buncamper notes in one of his 23 questions to Justice Minister Anna Richardson during last week’s Central Committee meeting about the draft 2021 budget. “Why is this and what is the justification?”

Buncamper also asks why the budget for salaries at the Prosecutor’s Office shows an increase, “while salaries are being frozen at the government apparatus.”
Practically all questions for this minister are of a financial nature. An example is the projected revenue of 1.9 million guilders from residence permits. “That is an increase of 300,000 guilders over last year while we have fewer jobs available and while the labor office is giving out at least 13 percent fewer work permits. What is wrong with this picture minister?”

Buncamper notes that the amount reserved for the lease of buildings remains unchanged “in these difficult times” at around 1.1 million guilders. “Wasn’t any lowering of the rent possible?”

The expenditures for electronic monitoring (250,000 guilders) triggered the following question. “Are all these ankle bands being used and are the released prisoners put to do maintenance of buildings?”

The MP points out that the budget post “retroactive payment” for the Pointe Blanche prison has been slashed by 100,000 guilders. “This decrease of 100 percent means no overtime. When will the retroactive payment be seen for those who are entitled to it?”

Buncamper also wants an explanation for the 500,000 guilders increase for third-party personnel and for the 50-fold increase to 150,000 guilders for service clothing. “Are we buying new clothes for the prison guards and the prisoners?”

The MP questions the increase in salaries at the MOT (Financial Intelligence Unit) by 242,000 guilders to a bit over 1.2 million and the slight increase of costs for third-party personnel while he questions the projection of zero expenses for electricity. “Does the contract include utilities, is this a human omission or don’t they pay utilities?”

The reservation of 200,000 guilders for the Justice Academy makes Buncamper wonder whether this institution is actually functioning.

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