Ministers take salary cut in austerity-year 2014

POSTED: 01/9/14 11:23 PM

St. Maarten – All members of the third Wescot-Williams cabinet give up 30,000 guilders ($16,760) of their annual remuneration in 2014. This appears from the draft 2014 budget.

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams will earn 225,513 guilders ($125,985) before taxes this year, while all other ministers get 214,402 guilders ($11,979). The salary cut comes down to 11.74 percent for the prime minister and to 12.27 percent for all other ministers.

The total personnel costs for the parliament (support staff not included) have been cut by 5 percent. The remuneration goes down from 4,315,000 to 4,155,000 guilders this year – a cut of 3.69 percent. It is not clear from the budget however, whether this decrease affects the paycheck of individual MPs.

The total costs for the parliament this year are budgeted at 6.4 million guilders. this includes 727,260 guilders for travel and accommodation – 16,920 guilders less than last year. On the other hand, entertainment expenses for parliamentarians increased almost sevenfold from 30,000 to 200,000 guilders.

Personnel costs for the parliament’s support staff increases 20.3 percent to 1.6 million guilders. The lease of the parliament building remains steady at 1.1 million guilders for the year.

With the salary cut, the ministers absorb their part of austerity measures for this budget year.

Budget cuts in overtime pay will affect several government services. At the police, the prison and the customs department overtime pay has been cut by 50 percent. It is unclear how this will affect the functioning of the departments.

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