Published On: Thu, May 31st, 2018

“We do not want to borrow more than we have to”

Mike Ferrier - 20180530 HH

PHILIPSBURG – St. Maarten will most likely not need liquidity support for the full 197 million guilders ($110 million) that represents the current deficit on the 2018 budget, Finance Minister Mike Ferrier said on Wednesday.

“We will probably need less. We have seen some better results for the beginning of the year. There is a slight improvement over what we expected in terms of revenue and we have managed to reduce some expenditures; they are lower than predicted.”

Ferrier said that the liquidity support will have to come from the kingdom in loans or grants. “We do not expect grants,’ he noted. “Instead of asking for one big amount we want to do this on a quarterly basis. We will report on a monthly bases in accordance with the conditions from the Kingdom Council of Ministers.”

The minister said that the country will on a quarterly basis only ask for the money it really needs: “We do not want to borrow more than we have to. Any amount that we borrow is a added burden for our children and our children’s children.”

Ferrier said that the talks with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations have been “very fruitful.”

“They are looking at working with us on that process and we keep having conversations. The best way of solving issues is to maintain communication with those you have to work with at all times.”

Minister Ferrier furthermore said that the process to put together the 2019 budget has started and that he expects to submit a draft budget  to parliament by September 1.

The annual financial accounts for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015 should be ready for the meeting of the Council of Ministers on June 26. “We will attempt to make that happen, he said.

The annual accounts for 2013 and 2014 will then be ready to go to parliament for handling, while the 2015 report will go to the Council of Advice.

The first draft of the 2016 annual account has been sent to all ministries and by July 15 the first draft should be ready for handling in the Council of Ministers.