Government orders stop on hiring new personnel

POSTED: 08/8/13 2:17 PM

St. Maarten – The Council of Ministers has agreed to a stop on hiring new personnel in an attempt to balance the 2012 budget. “Critical vacancies have to come to the Council of Ministers for discussion,” Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said at yesterday’s press briefing, indicating that individual ministries are no longer authorized to take these decisions on their own.

The amendment to the 2012 budget was already approved by the Council of Ministers on July 23 and is “in the process of going to parliament” Wescot-Williams said. The amendment still requires an advice from the Council of Advice.

On July 24, Finance Minister Maarten Hassink said that the amendment would be ready to go to parliament by the end of August, or early September the latest. Hassink said that he expected a reaction from the financial supervisor Cft by August 6, but no reference was made to this advice yesterday. The Cft routinely publishes its advices three weeks after they are submitted to the Council of Ministers.

Wescot-Williams said that the government is also paying keen attention to the relationship with government-owned companies and semi-government institutions. A dividend policy for government-owned companies is once more under discussion.

The Prime Minister said that economic development is a weekly topic on the agenda of the Council of Ministers. “We are working towards a long-term strategic plan for St. Maarten that runs parallel with the National Development Plan. This is a priority,” the PM said.

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