St. Maarten Government undecided over paying Christmas bonus

POSTED: 12/22/11 3:51 PM

St. Maarten – Just days before Christmas the Government of St. Maarten has yet to decide whether or not they will pay their civil servants a Christmas bonus or not. The normal practice is for civil servants up to a certain scale to get a bonus, but the government is still discussing whether they’ll do it that way or not.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams confirmed Wednesday that 300, 000 guilders had been set aside in the 2011 budget to pay the Christmas bonus. That amount is what Minister of Finance Hiro Shigemoto and the ministry are trying to decide on.

While there is no decision on cash payment, government has decided that they will give civil servants half a day off in the afternoon on December 23 and December 30.

Cost of Living Adjustment

There is also no decision at this time on when in 2012 the government will pay out the 3.2 percent cost of living adjustment for 2010.

“The government feels all must be done and all avenues must be explored in order to make payment possible in 2012. I know that’s a broad statement because we don’t have all the answers as to how. We are not going to reverse the budget we have right now and that is being discussed. We acknowledge that we would have to come with a budget amendment and that is being looked at right now,” Wescot-Williams said at Wednesday’s Council of Ministers press briefing.

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