St. Maarten Government Draft 2015-budget misses deadline

POSTED: 07/11/14 12:45 AM

St. Maarten – The government will most likely not meet the deadline for the 2015 budget. Finance Minister Martin Hassink said at yesterday’s Council of Ministers press briefing that the chance is small, because there is still a gap of 25 million guilders between the wish list of the ministries and the budget-target of 440 million guilders. Based on the constitution, the government has to present the budget for the next year before September 1 to the parliament.

If the government had made the deadline, the parliament would have had to deal with the budget in the middle of the campaign for the August 29 elections. Minister Hassink said that now the budget will be at best dealt with in September.

Next week the Council of Ministers could approve the draft budget, but afterwards it has to go to the Council of Advice – a process that will take six weeks. If the government submits the draft-budget to the council immediately next week Tuesday, the six weeks term it has to render its advice ends on August 26 – three days before the elections.

Minister Hassink said yesterday that state revenue over the first half of this year is 235 million guilders – 17 million above target. The main revenue components were wage and income taxes (69 million), turnover taxes (79 million) and profit taxes (22 million). The year will probably close with 430 million guilders in revenue. “A little bit above budget,” the minister said.

The 2015 budget will be based on the experience in 2014, though it will be adjusted slightly upwards to 440 million guilders.

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