Published On: Sat, May 13th, 2023

Cft satisfied with intended budget amendments

PHILIPSBURG — The government expects a budget surplus of 4 million guilders ($2.2 million) in 2024, 9 million ($5 million) in 2025 and 15 million ($8.4 million) in 2026. This projection appears from a letter Cft-chair Lidewijde Ongering to Finance Minister Ardwell Irion in reaction to Cft-recommendations related to the approved 2023 budget.

St. Maarten bases its projections on expected savings in 2024 that result from the execution of the country package. Because of (expected) economic growth, the country also expects to collect more tax revenue in 2025.

The Cft recommended, based on the approved 2023 budget, to adjust the multi-annual budget in such a way that it shows surpluses starting in 2024. These surpluses are necessary to pay off a bond loan of 73.5 million guilders in 2025. Minister Irion indicated to the Cft that he plans to refinance this loan. St. Maarten intends to anchor the intended adjustments in an amendment to the 2023 budget.

Minister Irion informed the Cft that St. Maarten plans to invest 1 percent of its gross domestic product in 2024 and 2025. The country’s GDP is around $1.9 billion, which means that the investment projection is worth approximately $190 million spread over two years.

“With your promises St. Maarten meets the conditions for the required deficit-compensation,” the Cft-letter notes. “The liquidity that will emerge from the budget-surpluses can be used to pay off debts and to increase the level of investment.”

The financial supervisor is of the opinion that the budget-adjustments sufficiently meet the suggested Cft-recommendations. “The Cft assumes that the promised adjustments will be established as soon as possible in a budget-amendment. Since the budget will shortly be brought in line with the Kingdom law financial supervision, St. Maarten can attract the intended loans.”