PHILIPSBURG: --- The Minister of Health and Labor Omar Ottley announced on Wednesday that St. Maarten will not be receiving any liquidity support for the second quarter of 2022.
The Minister made the statements when he indicated that St. Maarten and its people would have to live with the COVID-19 virus which is in its endemic phase.
The Minister was asked if everything is in place for carnival 2022 where falsified vaccination cards and QR codes can be detected. Ottley said nothing is 100% perfect but the government has increased its technology while increasing the knowledge of its staff by offering the proper training courses.
The Minister who is also responsible for labor said that St. Maarten will not be receiving any liquidity support as such the island has to do everything possible to enhance its economic activity.
SMN News asked the Prime Minister what exactly St. Maarten is doing to fill the holes since there would be no liquidity support. Jacobs said that they have been getting weekly updates and that St. Maarten is in a decent liquidity position which allows the government to handle its obligations. She said the government was able to start paying some arrears that they encountered in the past.
Jacobs said that the Kingdom Council of Ministers made its decision based on the advice given by the CFT which looks at government budgets and expenditures and the exact amount that was spent by the government.
The Prime Minister made clear that even though it is stated that St. Maarten would not be getting any liquidity support it does not mean they are not able to carry their burden.
She said the government has to access the payments that have to be made and prioritize them which is what they are doing.
Government is able to pay its employees while incidentals are analyzed and paid as needed.
Jacobs further explained that these are some directives that are stated in the reforms to ensure that there is a proper basis for payment and not make ad-hoc decisions.
The Prime Minister also explained that government has a lot of money on the road, and they have to take the necessary steps to collect what is owed to the government while being diligent in how money is spent.
Jacobs explained that she cannot wait for the day to come when St. Maarten does not have to depend on any liquidity support and instead begin standing on its own feet financially.