Editorial: (Country St. Maarten) Continued progress

POSTED: 06/22/11 11:55 AM

More and more St. Maarten is becoming a country that keeps it commitments and is able to live up to agreements. That analysis is drawn from the comments made by Dutch Minister of Kingdom Relations Piet Hein Donner about implementation of the Plans of Approach. It also relates to the statement Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto made this week about the fact that a double taxation agreement should not lead to St. Maarten having a deficit on the budget.

We highlight these facts because we also note that St. Maarten is doing this mostly on its own and in an economic period that does not allow government to rake in lots of revenue, by creating new taxes and fees. We also highlight them to show that to a certain extent the government feels a sense of urgency about filling in the framework that forms the basis of that country.

However we cannot but pause and note that not all is well in the friendly country and more haste is needed around key matters like hiring personnel and revamping the prison. The budget process also needs to be more strictly adhered. We refer to the latter because while we have indications the ministries are hard at work on their budgets, our Parliament is quiet on this front as the minister’s deadline of July 1 for submitting a draft approaches.

If we are to truly move forward then the sense of urgency the ministries are operating under, must also exist in the legislature. The continued progress of the nation requires that at all levels, there is full commitment and continuous focus on achieving the goals, targets and deadlines that have been set.


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