Published On: Thu, Mar 10th, 2022

St. Maarten must amend ordinance top salaries

PHILIPSBURG — The national ordinance that regulates the ceiling for salaries in the (semi-)public sector is not in line with the decision of the Kingdom Council of Ministers of September 24 of last year. On February 25 the Council instructed St. Maarten to amend the text of the legislation before May 1 and to send the amended ordinance for advice to the Council of Advice.

This appears from a letter about the provision of liquidity support State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen (Kingdom Relations) sent to the Dutch parliament.

The Kingdom Council of Ministers made standardizing top salaries in the (semi-)public sector a condition for liquidity support. This standard maximizes top incomes to 130 percent of the adjusted salary of the prime minister.

In 2021, the Kingdom Council of Ministers instructed the countries (St. Maarten, Aruba and Curacao) to align these top salaries with the additional stipulations from the Council-decisions.

“St. Maarten is lagging with the follow-up of this condition,” Van Huffelen writes. “This delay was caused by a procedure at the Constitutional Court, but the ordinance has in the meantime entered into force.”

Van Huffelen also expresses her concerns about the rising healthcare costs in St. Maarten and the financial position of the social funds, pointing out that according to financial supervisor Cft this calls for drastic measures.

“The increasing healthcare costs are pushing other government expenditures on the side; this is why there is less space for other important themes, such as education and social security. The Kingdom Council of Ministers agrees with the concerns and the advice from the Cft and it has instructed the countries to follow up as soon as possible.”

Until now, the Netherlands has provided more than €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in liquidity support to St. Maarten, Aruba and Curacao. “Implementing reforms is a condition for liquidity support,” Van Huffelen points out. The progress of these reforms will be assessed based on execution reports from the COHO.

Aruba will receive €12 million ($13.2 million) in support for the first quarter. Because of their liquidity balance, Curacao and St. Maarten do not need any support for this quarter.


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BES-islands get millions from the Netherlands
Letter Dutch State Secretary Van Huffelen to Second Chamber re: Liquidity Support