Editorial: St. Maarten Government has more budget woes

POSTED: 09/3/11 12:01 AM

The deadline to submit the draft 2012 budget to the parliament was September 1 – and the government missed it. This is hardly surprising because we don’t remember the time when a St. Maarten government did manage to meet this deadline.
Prime Minister Wescot-Williams said on Wednesday that the discussions about the 2012 budget had started a couple of weeks ago. She blamed civil servants for the delay by saying that the Council of Ministers had received insufficient feedback from the ministries so far.
The financial supervisor Cft does not expect to see a draft budget for the time being. The question is now why the government does not manage to get its house in order.
The delay, and the fact that the prime Minister indicated that civil servants are chasing cost cutting measures and ways to generate revenue indicate that the government will almost certainly not manage to present a balanced budget.
How fair that rule is, is another question. Fact is that St. Maarten has agreed to the balanced-budget condition, and that it is unable to live up to it.
Curacao already got the thumbs-down for its draft-budget and a similar Cft-advice for St. Maarten seems at this point almost unavoidable.

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