Tuesday, Jun 18th

LATEST:
You are here: Editorial Editorial Editorial - Cleaning up the mess

Best_of_2015_587x57_Results

Editorial - Cleaning up the mess

The intention here is certainly not to spread doom and gloom needlessly, but it's been awfully quiet surrounding Finance Minister Martin Hassink's struggles to substantiate the perceived income shortfall on his 2015 budget and settle the debts to Social and Health Insurance SZV and the General Pension Fund APS.

Both are conditions for St. Maarten to be allowed to push remaining deficits from past years ahead rather than needing to compensate them now. Moreover, all this actually was supposed to happen by the end of May.

The latest known communication from the Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT) in any case did not paint a very reassuring picture. Chairman Age Bakker in a May 20 letter to the minister again voiced opposition to Hassink's apparent plans to convert the outstanding amounts in payment arrangements with SZV and APS.

Bakker thereby reiterated what already had been made clear in the case of APS on April 15: that this would be considered a new, "underhand" loan to which article 16 of the Kingdom Law on Financial Supervision applied. Hassink answered that he intended to continue, as in his opinion article 16 was not applicable.

CFT pointed to characteristics of a loan, such as repayment by means of annuities with a term of 20 years and interest rates varying between 3 and 5.5 per cent. "The unforeseeable risks are for the account of St. Maarten," the letter stated.

Bakker maintained that built-up arrears could not be used as financing construction or automatically be considered a loan. CFT warned that should the minister persist it would advise the Kingdom Government to issue an instruction.

CFT suggested either selling government property or using means gained from savings, which translates to budget cuts. This is acknowledged as "painful" and requiring an effort from the entire Council of Ministers, "but what is in order at this moment."

It's too bad the original plan to involve the still-empty new Administration Building on Pond Island in a deal with APS failed, because the prospects for a solution that won't hurt too much don't look very good. What surely should be prevented is that citizens, having duly paid their taxes, social and pension premiums, somehow get stuck with cleaning up the mess.

Image
St. Maarten midday Weather Forecast for Saturday
Saturday, 17 October 2015
DATE ISSUED: Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Sunday midday (12:00... Read more...
Image
SHTA poll: Businesses want anti-ship-jumping legislation
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Click here for SHTA graph pdf PHILIPSBURG--The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association... Read more...
Image
Dominica’s tourism sector ready to welcome visitors after TS Erika
Friday, 16 October 2015
ROSEAU, Dominica--“Dominica is open for business and ready to welcome visitors to its shores.”... Read more...
Image
Reparations Committee: Withdraw Queens’ names from Suriname’s highest mountains
Thursday, 15 October 2015
PARAMARIBO--Suriname’s National Reparations Committee NRCS has filed a request with President... Read more...
Image
Ex-US House Speaker Hastert to plead guilty in hush-money case
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHICAGO--Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty in a hush-money case... Read more...
Image
Hillary Clinton to 'look hard' at Julian Castro as possible VP pick
Friday, 16 October 2015
WASHINGTON--Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton won the backing of Housing and Urban... Read more...
Image
Half a million Yemen children face severe malnutrition
Friday, 16 October 2015
GENEVA--More than half a million children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition as a risk of... Read more...
Image
Modi to open 70-year-old files in challenge to Gandhi dynasty
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW DELHI--Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will seek to unravel one of India's most enduring... Read more...
Image
Cuba in cash crunch due to low commodity prices, Venezuela woes
Friday, 16 October 2015
HAVANA--Low commodity prices, a drought at home and Venezuela's economic crisis have created a cash... Read more...
Image
Apple's newest courtroom foe is patent-savvy university
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW YORK--As a veteran of the global smart phone wars, Apple is used to courtroom battles with... Read more...
Image
Focus needs to be on fighting crime & helping unemployed
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Editor, With all of the political situation on the island, we can't lose focus on some of the... Read more...
Image
Had enough
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Queenie, My brother died years ago but his widow stayed close to our family. Eventually she... Read more...
Image
RBC St. Maarten Little League School Tournament
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Sister Marie Laurence defeated Leonald Conner in the RBC St. Maarten Little League School... Read more...
Image
Nadal trounces Wawrinka, Djokovic tames Tomic
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHINA-- Former world number one Rafa Nadal displayed more signs of a return to top form with a... Read more...
Image
Junk shop photo spurs quest to confirm Billy the Kid image
Friday, 16 October 2015
DENVER--For the $2 he spent to buy three old photographs, Randy Guijarro may have hit the mother... Read more...
Image
Few signs of improvement for NBA star Odom after collapse
Friday, 16 October 2015
LAS VEGAS--Pro basketball and reality TV star Lamar Odom spent a third day hospitalized on... Read more...
Image
Bruney cruises into retirement
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ After three decade in cruise industry ~   By Alita Singh   Frank Bruney has seen tiny... Read more...
Image
ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE MADE IT!
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ Fair Transport Sailing Vessel Nordlys is launched ~   St. Maarten has been graced by the... Read more...
Editorial - Anybody’s guess
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Governor Eugene Holiday has decided to seek legal clarity on the current constitutional impasse.... Read more...
Editorial - Time is up
Friday, 16 October 2015
With so much ongoing constitutional turmoil, the fact that more than 100 people attended the... Read more...
Image
Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Image
Friday Oct. 16, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Notices October 16
Friday, 16 October 2015
General Meeting St. Maarten Professional Softball Association (SMPSA) general meeting for the... Read more...
Notices October 15
Thursday, 15 October 2015
General Meeting S.M.P.S.A. general meeting for the softball season 2016 will be held at Sundial... Read more...