During last week’s press briefing, the Minister of Finance informed one of the reporters about Sint Maarten’s current liquidity status. Sint Maarten currently holds between 25 to 30 million guilders in its coffers.
Our annual budget is about 450 million guilders, and we have difficulties balancing our budget. Furthermore, we know that the government has been relying on Adhoc payments such as the sale of its shares in UTS to cover expenses. As a result, we have no budget for capital expenses.
Many have been asking why our neighboring countries have been receiving financial aid from the Dutch and other international organizations without conditions. That is because they are in more deplorable conditions according to international standards when compared to Sint Maarten. But don’t worry, Sint Maarten is heading there to deplorable conditions at this rate. We’ve been having a declining economy since 2014 as all the cabinet changes have been costly for Sint Maarten.
We cannot blame the Dutch or CFT for a deal we accepted since 10-10-10. When we’re told, we shouldn’t accept the world bank’s bureaucratic procedures or conditions from the Dutch, we should question what was the alternative as we’ve been spending so poorly for the last 7 years before Hurricane Irma.
We became a country that could not take care of its own people in times of disasters. The truth is, we lack long term macro-economic planning by the Sint Maarten Government and that is partially due to political instability.
The good news is, however, that there is a viable solution and it starts with putting people like me and your readers at the forefront of any policymaking process. This will ensure that hard-working families are able to afford what they need, that we give our entrepreneurs a head start, that we strengthen and diversify our economy and we alleviate poverty in our society.
People say things haven’t changed over the last 10 years, but it has. Only, the changes have not been for us!