Published On: Thu, Sep 30th, 2021

Sarah: “Why is the draft budget 2022 delayed until November 2021?”

Philipsburg, St. Maarten, 20 September 2021 – “In politics, what you say can come back to haunt you.” This is how MP Wescot-Williams introduced her statement regarding the budget 2022 for the country. MP Wescot-Williams has written to Finance Minister Irion, seeking information regarding the budget 2022. “Several weeks ago in a meeting of Parliament the Minister confidently stated that the draft 2022 budget would reach the Parliament by the date prescribed in the Constitution of Sint Maarten, that being no later than September 1st. During the opening of the current Parliamentary year, we learned from the Governor’s presentation that the 2022 budget will reach the Parliament in the month of November. No further explanation was given as to this delay. An earlier statement of mine was on point: “The Government is taking this Parliament for granted.”

Ironically, the current Minister of Finance, as an MP, affixed his signature to a motion, seeking the removal of former Minister Perry Geerlings, citing one of the reasons as being a delayed budget. Yet, while the work on implementation agendas continues, Parliament’s scrutiny of Government’s actions is being impeded due to this Government’s inconsideration for democratic processes and dynamics.

We are yet to receive some financial information that makes it clear what the cost is of the activities of the implementation agenda(s). 2021 budget was way late and after approval still needs to be sent to the CFT. So we are waiting for that as well. The COHO organization is in the making and from all accounts it is going to be quite an undertaking. The administration of Government will pale in comparison in my view.

The following questions have been asked to the Minister of Finance:

Why is the draft budget 2022 delayed until November 2021?

Are there any commitments made from the implementation agendas that will affect the budget 2022?

If so, what are these commitments?

Will there be any financing for the COHO in the 2022 budget? If so, what are these?

Has the CFT received the approved 2021 budget? If so, has the CFT advised regarding the approved budget? What is the advice?

Are you still of the opinion that a delayed budget is ground for declaring that a minister does not have the confidence of Parliament?

Will you attempt to get the draft budget 2022 to the Parliament before November 2021? If so, when?