SER and Minister of Finance discuss Cola and tax reform

POSTED: 02/13/13 12:34 PM

St. Maarten –  A Social Economic Council (SER) delegation discussed a number of key policy issues on Friday with Finance Minister Roland Tuitt and several staff members. In line with the intention of the SER to anticipate advice requests from government at the earliest possible opportunity, the Minister of Finance informed the SER about future plans on a number of important upcoming topics. By announcing new policy initiatives to the SER at an early stage, the Minister gives the social partners represented in the SER the opportunity to advise government in a timely fashion. This speeds up the policy making and legislative process, as requesting SER advice is mandatory for government on all important social economic matters.

Primary issues on the agenda of the meeting were tax reform and the handling of the cost of living adjustment (Cola) on the civil servants’ salaries. As a result of the meeting, the SER will receive different specific advice requests on these issues, permitting the council to table these topics at the earliest opportunity. In this way, the shared view of the business community, the labor unions and the independent experts represented in the SER can be taken into account by government before finalizing their regulatory and legislative proposals.

The SER is anticipating similar meeting requests from other ministries pertaining to policy intentions with a high social economic impact.

In the meeting, the Minister of Finance was accompanied by policy advisor Xavier Blackman as well as Fiscal Affairs officials Mercedez James and Janio Chayadi. The SER was represented by Chairman René Richardson, Secretary-general Gerard Richardson and senior policy advisor Arjen Alberts.

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