Editorial: Budget woes of Country St. Maarten

POSTED: 08/12/14 11:11 PM

The 2015 budget follows a familiar pattern. Like in previous years, the budget will not make the deadline of September 1, when it ought to be submitted to Parliament. The deadline for submitting the draft budget to the Council of Advice and the financial supervisor Cft (July 9) has long gone and it looks now like there will be a draft by de end of this month. That draft will still have to go through the 6-weeks process at the council of Advice, not to mention scrutiny by the Cft.

The bottleneck seems to be that four ministries have a combined 37.5 million guilders too much on their wish list for 2015. If they do not solve this issue by the deadline Finance Minister Hassink has in mind – August 25 – the elections may throw a spanner in the works and the country will then once gain have to jump through the hoops to avoid an instruction from the Kingdom Council of Ministers.

The country’s financial management remains a major headache and if nothing changes, the budget-ritual will continue along familiar lines for years to come.

With the evaluation of financial supervision coming up in 2015, the outcome of that process is not hard to guess.

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