Opinion: CPC offers more detail

POSTED: 05/12/14 2:42 PM

Dear Editor,

Thank you for taking the time to read and offer an opinion on Citizens for Positive Change’s position statements. CPC feels that this is what democracy should be about. The party looks forward to open dialogue about issues and critical questions from the media.

From your observations CPC gathers that some more detail needs to be provided on some of the party’s views.

A question arose about what is meant with “co-pay.” CPC is indeed of the firm opinion that individuals co-pay a certain amount when visiting doctors or buying medicine. The current system is subject to abuse and is in dire need of improvement. If abuse is not tackled, premiums will inevitably rise in the future to the detriment of the entire society. The fact that government at present owes SZV (Social and Health Care Insurance) some 112 million guilders is testimony to the fact that the system is seriously flawed.

Regarding incentives for healthy lifestyles, your points are well taken; however, when you take a wider view of the word incentive, CPC is referring to general incentives. CPC believes that a co-pay system would incentivize a healthier lifestyle. So would upgrade sport facilities, providing walking /biking paths and as widely discussed in the past, introducing a sin tax. The key is finding the incentives that would inspire healthy lifestyle choices and responsible use of the healthcare system.

Regarding import duties: this is part of restructuring our fiscal system, not in addition to current taxes. Right now on-island businesses are penalized with extra taxes, taxes which an off-island business is not burdened with. A new plasma television is by default 5% more expensive when bought locally because of Turn-Over Tax (TOT). Without getting into history on TOT, it is fair to say that it is a tax on consumption, so if we are taxing the consumption of a plasma television bought on-island we should tax the one bought on Amazon, or elsewhere, and imported as well. The on island store owner who is required to pay import duties on a container of televisions can then subtract this payment from the VAT (Value Added Tax) or TOT when the stock is resold, so that there is no double taxation (which can lead to lower consumer prices) and the playing field is leveled.

In closing CPC would like to reiterate the following:

Citizens for Positive Change (CPC) consist of a group of like minded individuals from the business community, educators, environmentalists, and cultural and social activists. The party firmly believes in the necessity to responsibly manage natural and cultural heritage and to implement Sustainable development strategies. Some may be quick to label the CPC as just a “Green Party”, which may suggest that our interests lay solely with protecting St. Maarten’s environment, but the CPC is much more than protectors of the environment.
The CPC approaches Sint Maarten’s well-being from a holistic perspective and is therefore in fact focusing on three key areas for the sustainable development of the island:
1.       Economic issues (Tourism, Fiscal/Public Spending, Diversification)

2.       Social issues (Poverty, Healthcare, Education, Sports)

3.       Environmental issues (Waste management, Pollution, Conservation)


On our website (positivechangesxm.com) we have laid out our thoughts on each of these issues and how we intend to address them if given the mandate by the electorate.


CPC encourages citizens to contribute to the process by submitting their ideas so that those can be incorporated in a National Plan for St. Maarten on a road towards creating Positive Change on St. Maarten. Like us on Facebook, inbox or email us, we would love to hear from you.


Citizens for Positive Change (CPC)


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