SMSPA wants consumer coalition

POSTED: 02/4/14 12:39 PM

GREAT BAY-The St. Maarten Seniors and Pensioners Association (SMSPA) wants to see its brainchild, a Consumer Coalition made a reality in 2014. The association has extended an open invitation for other agencies and individuals to contact them to join the coalition.
The Coalition will have among its objectives, to improve the health and wellbeing of consumers, promote the affordability and quality of all products and services being delivered, increase consumers’ purchasing power and defend their rights.
First vice president of the SMSPA, drs. Raymond Jessurun explained that the formation of the Consumer Coalition was preceded by several events.
“Prices in St. Maarten today are double that of Curacao. At the economic summit in 2009 the high cost of living was raised as a concern, then there was the Chamber of Commerce discussion with Save-A-Lot so that workers can have more money in their pockets to buy goods or services from more businesses. The government also promised to lower prices,” Jessurun told a capacity crowd at the John Larmonie Centre.
He was at the time delivering the keynote address at the New Year’s Conference of the SMSPA.
Jessurun  presented statistics to show that between 2006 and 2012, the Consumer Price Index had shown some drastic increases; food prices by almost 60 percent, beverages and tobacco saw an increase of 38 percent, housing rose by 22 percent because of a 58 percent increase in energy costs, household furnishing by 21 percent,  clothing and footwear by 31 percent while transport and communication increased by 10 percent.
“Collectively this shows a 21 percent increase in the cost of living, affecting our health and wellbeing,” Jessurun stated.
Based on its article of incorporation, the SMSPA has committed to promoting equal rights for all by rejecting all forms of discrimination, the eradication of poverty and an improved standard of living.
Persons interested in joining the Consumer Coalition can contact the association  via its president Patricia Flanders on telephone numbers 542-4064 or  520- 2136, first vice president and public relations officer Raymond Jessurun on   522-0925 or +5999-561-5035 and secretariat head Francis Rovelet on 548-4205 or  524-2223.

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