Reader’s Letter: Shame on you parliament!

POSTED: 01/23/14 12:39 PM

Dear Editor,

The One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP) has listened with keen attention to the 2014 budget debate and has concluded that the information shared with the public as it pertains to the Parliament of St. Maarten was nothing more than a theatrical display. It is very unfortunate that the people of St. Maarten feels that their position is not going to be any better with the type of leadership displayed in the debate. The people were hoping to hear the plans to improve on creating new jobs and new businesses; how the food prices (cost of living) were going to go down; providing them with relief from taxes to lowering GEBE bills; building new homes at affordable rent; establishing a health insurance, a mandatory private pension plan; an unemployment benefit program and a proper functioning transportation system.

The people expected that the government together with parliament would have shown some type of compassion for the tough times that they are going through in these trying times. It is very unfortunate that the government and parliament didn’t cease this opportunity to present the people with hope, a social agenda that must take center stage over the next four years if our people are to improve on their quality of life here in St. Maarten.

The government and the parliament were bent on criticizing each other for things that could have been done but was not done for the people. Criticism was levied against the proposal from the previous minister of finance regarding the tax relief for the people prior to 2006. Neither the government nor parliament indicated if the proper legislation was going to put in place for this relief if it was not done in accordance to proper procedure. According to one of the Members of Parliament only the Receivers’ Office and parliament can write off taxes. Then how is it possible that a couple of months ago a motion were approved by the same parliament to extend the same tax relief to 2010 and that members voted for it. Who is fooling who here and this parliament should not under estimate the intelligence of the public. During this same budget debate several motions were passed but the public didn’t get an indication from the government during the debate what their position were on those motions.

The OSPP has indicated from day one that the salaries of the Members of Parliaments should be slashed. The performance of parliament, according to their annual reports over the last three years, is a clear indication that their salaries should be reduced. Therefore, we were somewhat taking aback that the Members of Parliament didn’t support the motion to cut their salary. Instead they choose to laugh about a serious matter as that. But it is our feeling that this motion was clearly an indication to mislead the people. It was never the intention, not even from the initiator of this motion for it to be taken seriously in the parliamentary debate. It was dead before arrival. Yet, our Members of Parliament are satisfied that because of the 2014 budget that they approved, the services to the general public in every area have been cut drastically.

Shame on you parliament our people deserve better.

One St. Maarten People Party



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