PHILIPSBURG:--- On May 20, the Honorable Prime Minister Silveria E. Jacobs took note of a press statement issued by State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen and hereby renders a response. “I am grateful that St. Maarten’s request has been considered in removing the condition of the 12.5% reduction in employment benefits. This cut has been negatively impacting our civil servants as well as all employees within the (semi) public sector entities,” stated Prime Minister Jacobs.
The State Secretary mentions in her press statement that the most important conditions for removal are matters this government suggested maintaining during various meetings, as well as in its letter dated May 6, 2022. However, the press statement failed to mention the extra conditions coming from the government of the Netherlands, which was communicated to St. Maarten and confirmed today, May 20.
Prime Minister Jacobs stated, “These new conditions will seriously delay the removal of the 12.5% cut for several months, not to mention that we still need to assess internally, if these extra conditions are feasible or acceptable. Contrary to the sentiment expressed by the State Secretary, these extra conditions have somewhat marred the intention of this announcement, as it would continue to negatively impact our civil servants and employees within the (semi) public sector entities, and the ability to meet their acute needs now.”
“Until the conditions have been officially communicated to the Government of St. Maarten in preparation for the upcoming Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting, which I hope to receive no later than Monday, May 23, St. Maarten will continue to make all preparations necessary to extend some form of relief to our civil servants as promised,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs.