PHILIPSBURG:---Gracita states; “the SMCP representative in Parliament and Government, recently reiterated their position on a self-imposed reduction of 10% of their salary while urging their colleagues in Parliament to follow suit.
This is admirable, however, the proposal clearly misses the point. It is like taking an aspirin for a headache while our community continues to suffer chronic migraines.”
“SMCP proposal takes a nibble out of their paycheck, to donate this amount to a charitable organization of their choice. For all intent and purposes, this act of ‘generosity’ barely touches the real issue at hand, which is to substantially reduce the deficit in the proposed 2019 budget. A more meaningful proposal would be fifty percent ((50%) salary reduction. This would imply that the elected and appointed representatives are serious about making a significant contribution to trimming some excess fat from our budget. Anything less is ‘nickel and diming’ our citizens again”.
Arrindell states; “The reason for establishing this salary at the time was among others to attract (educated, experienced) persons who would otherwise go to work in the private sector.
Possibly the high remuneration did attract some business people to seek higher office, arguably hardly the best or the brightest. In addition to those who already have a regular job the position of an elected member of parliament was meant to be a full-time job.
Honestly, the issue is not even about the relatively lucrative salary.
It is about the ethical or moral obligation to show support as a people’s representative without being pressured to do so by Holland or anyone else.
It is about showing true solidarity with the plight of the people.”
“Immediately following the passing of Hurricane Irma and Maria, we supported the calls to Parliament to show some solidarity with the thousands of men and women who at the time lost their jobs in the aftermath of the Hurricanes.
Many of our law-abiding citizens today are still struggling to make ends meet.
Parliament can truly represent the people and pass the law to legally enact the salary adjustment, temporarily or permanently. The monies derived from the salary cuts must be designated to a post in the budget that benefits our children, our future.
Anything less will be cherry picking and would reek of favoritism.
Gracita continues; “while the current budget debate continues in the House of Parliament, the Legislative branch can take the lead in making the proposals to adjust the salaries. Present the motion followed by draft legislation in Parliament and put it to a vote, for or against!
“PPA leader concludes; there’s a lot at stake for the People of Sint Maarten.
There’s a lot at stake for ( legitimate) businesses on Sint Maarten. There’s a lot at stake for the future generations of Sint Maarteners. Reducing poverty and the overall high costs of living in Sint Maarten among other pressing matters that affect the overall quality of life of our citizens. Remember that for decades, the average man, woman, young families can’t get a break not even to save a cent with the low-interest rates on savings.”
“ The question becomes at the end of the budget debate, will our citizens see any significant changes to their benefit, or will they be shortchanged again by their current elected representatives in Parliament. Only Time will tell”.