Editorial: On the matter of budgets

POSTED: 04/11/12 2:36 PM

The gale really does not stop at the border in St. Maarten/St. Martin. The gale we reference today though is not one made of wind and water, but of the financial sort. St. Maarten is mired in issues with its budget, which contains many holes and St. Martin has to deal with the fact that it is 30 million euro in the red.
Indeed no government wants to start off from a position of deficit, but that seems to be a harsh reality on both sides of the border. The key question then is how do both sides fix their financial malaise and deliver an acceptable quality of service to the people. The answer is of course multifaceted, but we do not believe it lies in creating complex reports. What it requires is getting everyone to pay their fair share.
What either side must also keep in mind is that adopting too extreme a measure may create a flight of capital out of their jurisdiction and into another. That means collaboration and enforcement will somehow have to synchronized, so that what is earned in Marigot circulates there to a large extent and what is earned in Philipsburg helps to sustain the Dutch side. It would be unwise to let the gap between the two sides widen any further.
So now Richardson has cleared his scandal and is tackling the budget, we hope that the UP/DP coalition is hard at work to present its 2013 budget on time and well substantiated.

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