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  • 1. Central Committee Meeting Budget 2012 Round 2MP George PantophletMinister VROMI: 1. Issue of taxes of 2005, please explain the matter of the long lease of “erfpacht” question. Upon request of the ministry of Finance an additional overview, which is a financial synopsis regarding long lease as per December 31st 2009 and per September 30th 2011, is presented. As per example per September 30th 2011 the total amount of long lease contracts is 2.280 and represents a total collectable income of NAf. 4,121,472. Once again this information is based upon long lease contracts known to government as per set dates. Together with the long lease contract management the pertaining database is held under the responsibility of the Department Head of Domain Affairs. Furthermore the pertaining information is also registered by the Cadastre. 2. Question nr. 9; why has the concession fee of Airport not paid/ collected as yet. PJIAE is of the opinion that it does not have to pay concession fees as they have been exempted based on a letter from the former governor Mr. Dennis Richardson, this in addition to the loan agreements signed. 3. Succession land: when was the tax on succession land established and why does government go back only 3 years? The National Ordinance on Inheritance tax is introduced in 1908. In the past 10 years, due to lack of enforcement capacity in the tax department, this tax has not been assessed. According to article 13 of the General Ordinance on General Taxes, the tax inspector can issue a supplementary assessment for the insufficiently levied tax 5 years after the end of the calendar year in which the tax debt originated. In the event the taxpayer has acted in bad faith, the tax inspector can go back 10 years. If too little tax has been levied on the component of the taxable object which is held or has arisen abroad, the tax authority can issue an additional tax assessment 15 years after the point in time on which the tax debt originated. For pragmatic reasons, the assessment of the Inheritance tax will only go back for 3 years for now. An officer within the inspection department has been appointed for the handling of the Inheritance tax. 1
  • 2. Minister FIN 4. Question 13; Is this the same as condominium tax? Please elucidate on this answer. No, the tax we are referring to is the income tax. Sint Maarten does not have a condominium tax. 5. Question 17: what is actually owed by companies what is owned by individuals? We don’t have the percentages available of what is owned by companies or individuals. There are several business related taxes(e.g. TOT, Wage Tax, Carrental tax, Roomtax, etc) that companies as well as sole-proprietorships (individuals) pay. Therefore it is not possible to determine what is owed by companies or individuals. All tax payers are identified by a unique crib number and not categories. A query can be done for what is outstanding in for e.g. car rental tax, but this figure will represent businesses as well sole proprietors (individuals doing business) 6. What is was happening with these types in the past? How much can government go back? Before 10-10-10 tax on rental cars, hotel rooms and timeshares, the so-called Island taxes, was levied by the Department of Finance. This department also took care of the auditing of these tax types. So auditing till 10-10-10 was performed on a regular basis. After 10-10-10 the levying of all tax types (Federal and Island taxes) has become a task of the Inspectorate Department of the Tax Administration and auditing has become a task of the Audit and Criminal Investigation Department. The Audit and Criminal Investigation Department is still understaffed, 50% vacancies, and therefore in 2011 there was not enough capacity to perform audits on rental cars, hotel rooms and timeshares, because the focus was on Income Tax, ToT and Profit tax. In 2012 the Tax Administration plans to perform audits and on the spot checks on the tax on rental cars, hotel rooms and timeshares. According to article 13 of the General Ordinance on General Taxes, the tax inspector can issue a supplementary assessment for the insufficiently levied tax 5 years after the end of the calendar year in which the tax debt originated. In the event the taxpayer has acted in bad faith, the tax inspector can go back 10 years. If too little tax has been levied on the component of the taxable object which is held or has arisen abroad, the tax authority can issue an additional tax assessment 15 years after the point in time on which the tax debt originated. Again this is only in the cases as described “if too little tax has been levied on the component of the taxable object which is held or has arisen abroad, the tax authority can issue an additional tax assessment 15 years after the point in time on which the tax debt originated”.Minister TEZVT 7. Has the casino and the lottery institutions paid their fees? And how far back are they? Not all the casino fees are up to date. Giving the fact that some arrangements were made with previous Executive Council of the former Island territory St. Maarten the matter is being looked into, now we are country St. Maarten. 2
  • 3. Minister AZ 8. Ref. Marven NV: who are the directors and shareholders of Marven NV? What is the value of the land on which the building the VKS is housed as well as the current Government Administration Building? The first part of the question was already answered. The land and the buildings are owned by Marven N.V. We don’t have this information. 9. How did government come to the NAf. 346.000,- that is planned on renovation the former Fire Department to turn it into an Archive Department? The answer given to this question was misinterpreted. The NAf 346.000,- is the budget available for the realization of the National Archive. We are awaiting the plans for the renovation of the former fire department.Minister OCJS 10. Financial report for Sports Upkeep Foundation: can we get a copy of the report that was made up by Sports Upkeep Foundation? A copy of the report by the Sports Upkeep Foundation has been provided to Parliament.MP Frans Richardson:Minister OCJS1. Page 16 of the budget: Sports Upkeep Foundation: NAf 16 million is on the balance sheet, but it is not in the budget. Is this a type error? Can this be clarified? The Sports Upkeep Foundation does not have an outstanding loan. The amount on the budget allocated to the foundation is NAf. 1.602.78,.00 guilders and not 16 million guilders. This is a typo.2. Youth employment issue: how much persons have been hired based on these programs? Number of persons hired in the various programs: 1. GB3 a. In February 2011, there were 106 applicants registered, and 4 of them were employed. In January 2012, 90 applicants were registered and 25 of them employed. Three of them went away for school, one refused to continue the program, and two have since passed on. 2. Youth Entrepreneurship Program: a. Currently there are 24, and 4 of them are GB3 participants. They are taking courses in web-design, sewing, and cake decoration. 3. Youth Development Program: a. Between 2010 and 2011, 86 persons officially graduated. These graduates are no longer part of the after-care program. Of those, 35 are working, 21 are following another course. Employability through Training: this is a recent and ongoing training program. 3
  • 4. 3. Clarity is needed regarding the announcement that St. Maarten won the bid of the Kingdom Games. Did the Minister put in a bid, yes or no, before the announcement that St. Maarten won the bid? Is it still the case that St. Maarten will be hosting the 2013 / 2014 Games? Will we be on time with the upgrading of the sports facilities? On September 14, 2011, the Minister announced at the weekly press briefing that St. Maarten had practically won the bid to stage the 2013 Kingdom Games. This announcement was based on an internal memo of July 2011 between the members of the Kingdom Games Steering Committee, on which St. Maarten has two members. After the Kingdom Games Steering Committee meeting in St. Maarten September 14 – 16, both St. Maarten and Curacao were asked to submit a bid to host the games. The official bid by St. Maarten to host the Kingdom Games was submitted on November 1, 2011. To date, there has been no official response from the Kingdom Games Steering Committee. Whether St. Maarten will host the Games or not, it is the intention of this government to have the facilities upgraded/repaired by 2013.Minister JUS4. question 11 of MP Frans Richardson ref. Constitutional Court: more clarity is needed on the answers provided. The functioning of the Constitutional Court is based on article 127 of the ‘Staatsregeling’. The Constitutional Court reviews laws and decrees submitted to the Court by the Ombudsman in case the Ombudsman is of the opinion that the law is at variance with the ‘Staatsregeling’. The Ombudsman has a period of 6 weeks after approval of the law or decree to review and submit these. The budget for the Constitutional Court is determined by the total amount of sessions it held the year before. In 2011 the Constitutional Court held no sessions. The average budget is NAf. 500.000.Minister FIN5. Outstanding taxes, amnesty provision was given to business with unreported taxes that moved their money out of Curacao; can the minister elaborate if Parliament was to submit a proposal, will the MINFIN entertain such a proposal as to bring the money back and be given a one-time fee and their issues will be cleared up. If the Minster is interested, Parliament can assist. Since 2001, a tax amnesty provision (de “inkeerregeling”) is already included in the tax legislation of St. Maarten. Last year, Curacao has further eased the “inkeerregeling” by lowering the penalty from 100% of the tax debt to 5% with a maximum of NAf. 5.000, applying a 10% tax rate on the unreported income (instead of max. 47,5%) and not bringing a criminal action against the taxpayer. In principle, tax amnesty creates certain unfairness towards taxpayers who have been compliant, especially in the case where as Curacao a lower tax rate would apply on the concealed income. It sends out the wrong message that if you evade your tax by not reporting your income (and therefore committing tax fraud), you will be rewarded with huge tax breaks when you come clean. This would undermine the tax morale even further 4
  • 5. and would serve as an incentive for tax payers not to declare their income at all. According to many international studies and country experiences on tax amnesty, such a provision is only effective when it is supported by other severe measures to make tax evasion even more unattractive, such as higher penalties/imprisonment and greater risks/chance of being caught. Strengthening the tax enforcement, updating the tax database and simplifying the current tax system are the key to improve tax compliance. The Minister would support such a motion if it was strictly a one-time exercise which included the stiffer penalties/imprisonment for those who repeatedly try to evade paying taxes.6. bond proposal of development bank was also put together by the Central Bank. What are the possibilities to set up a National Bank or Central bank such as Anguilla has, that will allow residence to buy shares? Would like to hear the possibility of this. Development Bank shareholders may consist of government, commercial banks, institutional investors where as commercial bank shareholders consist of other banks and investors. According to the information at hand, the National Bank of Anguilla is a full- fledged commercial bank. The possibility to set up a National bank in St. Maarten such as the one in Anguilla, that will allow residents to buy shares, must be initiated from the commercial bank/institutional investor/investor side and not by the government of Sint Maarten. Furthermore, the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten has certain rules for individual shareholders of commercial banks such as:  A natural person, shall not, without the approval of the Bank, directly or indirectly, control or hold more than 5% of the banks capital.  The total of individual shareholding by natural persons shall not, without the approval of the Bank, exceed 25% of total share capital.Minister VROMI7. Two million is budgeted for the purchasing of land. Clarity is requested on the land in Cole Bay that belongs to the James family. Is the 2 million budgeted to help some of these families that government made promises to purchase their land? Also the matter of the Van Heyningen family in Zaegersgut issue: can this be clarified as well. Most parcels were acquired for the future link 2. Because the exact design of the intersection between Link 2 and the Zaegersgut Road was not complete, the exact amount of land needed from the Van Heyningen family was not yet determined exactly. Notwithstanding, negotiations have been held with Van Heyningen about the property, but a conclusion on the form of compensation (money or an alternative parcel of land) has not been completed as yet. The purchase of the lands with the James family is under negotiations. The government has had 2 appraisal reports prepared to assess the value of the land of the James family as needed for the road construction. The 2 appraisal reports have valued the property in question at respectively US$ 103 and US$ 110 per square meter in October/November 2011. In January 2012 the James family submitted an appraisal report valuating the property US$ 140/m2. Based on the disparity in the appraised values of the property, as a compromise an offer was made to the James family to purchase the property at a value of US$ 120/m2, being approximately 14% higher than the average of the appraisal reports 5
  • 6. commissioned by the Government and about 14% less than the appraisal report commissioned by the James Family. The negotiations are not yet complete; the James family have not accepted the offer of the government and have put forward that considering the long period of time that discussion have been ongoing with the Government about the land purchase for the road they propose that the government accepts the appraised value of US$ 140/m2 for 3 parcels of land with a total area of 7,979 m2, being a total amount of US$ 1,117,060. Finally, it is noted that the negotiations with the James family for the land in question have not been finalized, pending the approval of the budget 2012, wherein reservations have been made for the purchase of land for infrastructure projects. With the approval of the budget 2012, the assurance is there that the resources needed to acquire the land are approved by the parliament and available.Minister VSA 1. Can members of Parliament be provided with how much persons have been hired based on these programs, “Employability Through Training”. The SEI project “Employability through Training” strives to employ 250 currently unemployed Dutch nationals throughout the next year and half. In trying to achieve this, participants of the project will be strategically placed in traineeship positions throughout the Private Sector; stimulating employment opportunities for these candidates. While the candidates are waiting to be placed it is important to note that a number of businesses have already indicated their willingness to partner with us in ensuring placement is achieved for these participants which may eventually result in their employment. The business community has shown tremendous support thus far and has been contacted with suitable matches for these placements. The project has made remarkable endeavors to reach out to the Private Sector with great success and will continue to do so. 2. Letter to the minister of Labor: there is a tool that can be used and if carried out accordingly based on the labor law, I will submit to the minister that, I sure will ease a lot of those youngsters that we do have the law that gives the minister the authority to hire counterparts. The proposal as received from MP Frans Richarsdon has been submitted to the relevant departments for review.MP Romain LavilleMinister AZ 1. Wants is the status on USONA in funding programs on St. Maarten? The Government of the Netherlands has stated on various occasions that after 2012 its role as donor shall be completely finished. This means that after 2013 Sint Maarten we will be able to round off the current projects; new partnership programs from the Netherlands cannot be counted on. 6
  • 7. The intention is that after 2013 Sint Maarten is self-sufficient and capable financing projects out of our own financial resources. This is one of the reasons the Government is pursuing a policy of getting our financial situation in order. The reality is however that the budget position of Sint Maarten makes the acquisition of alternative funds an important topic. Although it goes beyond doubt that this government will continue to question the position the Dutch government has taken, our policy is to see the acquirement of funds in a broader context. It is related on the one hand to the promotion of good relations with the EU, and on the other hand to a partnership agreement with the UNDP. With regards to the EU relations we are referring to the participation of Sint Maarten in the recent conferences off the OCTA meetings. In the second half of this year a strategic vision with regards to our relation with the EU will be presented. Pertaining to the UNDP we can inform that in the framework of the cooperation with the UNDP an extensive 360 degree inventory of other possible donors shall be made up and that strategies will be drawn up to involve these donor in the further development of Sint Maarten. 2. Alternative energy use: does not know what kind of comprehensive study is needed? A comprehensive study is needed because not everyone is able to purchase solar panels and/or windmills. The energy policy for this country calls for 20% of green energy by 2020, which implicates that a large amount of the household will have to go green. We live in a hurricane prone area and the placing of a solar panel on ones roofs brings the necessary adjustments and cost to your home. The cost savings using the home panels or windmills of a small KW amount is not for all but only for a few. This government is for all and not the few. When 20% of GEBEs production of electricity isnt dependent on the price of fuel, the savings will be substantial for the consumer. The future is green energy and it should be for all and not a few so as for government a comprehensive study will be done to review all possible areas to have green energy produced by the various manners possible to enhance the lives of all the people of the country of St. MaartenMinister VSA 3. why are these numbers remain the same for pension and welfare in 2011 and 2012. Is the minister thinking on raising the pension age? Same amount of pensioners that passed would equal the same amount of new pensioners in order for the figures to stay the same. With the anticipation of the success of the project from “Welfare to Employability” and the application of the existing laws the amount allotted should suffice. As stated in the Governing program, the old age pension system will be researched. The policy department is researching the old age pension system and will advise on 7
  • 8. sustainable pension reform for St. Maarten. Prior to implementing any new measures and or legislation the necessary data needs to be collected. 4. What new work requests 2009, 2010, 2011 were signed? What type of permits were given out? What control has been done to rectify that the job given is for the permit handled. period: January 2011 – December 2011 Total requests are as follows: 1st time requests is: 1114 Renewal is: 1682 Total requests is : 2796 The types of requests ranged from primarily jobs for un-skilled workers ( requiring secondary education) and those requiring a minimum education of Bachelor Degree. Total number of successful job placement / referrals for the past two (2) years is seventy (77). According to CBS figures of 2009: Unemployment rate by age group  15-24 29.4%  25-44 10.8%  45+ 8.7%The amount of persons registered as unemployed in 2011 Quarter Quarter Quarter Quarter 1 2 3 4 TotalsTotal Registered Unemployed 45 61 40 42 188Total Male Applicants 21 27 15 16 79Total Female Applicants 24 34 25 26 109Applicant Count By Age Group16-24 17 25 18 20 8025-34 11 10 7 11 3935-44 5 16 5 6 3245-59 11 10 10 5 3660+ 1 0 0 0 1 188Applicant Count By Education LevelPrimary 14 15 6 10 45 8
  • 9. Secondary 23 25 20 18 86Vocational 2 9 3 2 16MBO/ Associates 0 2 5 4 11HBO/ Associates 0 2 1 3 6WO/ Masters 0 0 0 0 0DRS./ Doctorate 0 0 0 0 0Specialized Course 2 0 3 2 7No Education 4 8 2 3 17 188According to CBS figures of 2009:Unemployment rate by age group  15-24 29.4%  25-44 10.8%  45+ 8.7%The amount of persons registered as unemployed in 2011Total Registered Unemployed 188Registered Unemployed by Gender  Male 79  Female 109Registered Unemployed by Age Group  16-24 80  25-34 39  35-44 32  45-59 36  60+ 1 5. How many French nationals do we have that reside on the French side but work on the Dutch side of the island. How many Dutch nationalities we have to have employment on the French side? The actual amount is not known as no registration of this group is done.Minister OCJS 6. How many dropouts in school in the last 2 years, how many of our young people found jobs in the labor department in the last 2 years, how many students finished school but not granted a scholarship, how many finished school but are undocumented, how many students have finished school with no documentation and cannot register at the labor dept as unemployment, how many don’t go to register as unemployed. 9
  • 10. For 2010, in the VSBO (preparatory secondary vocational educational education) this was 29 out of 1,690 students (or 1.72 percent). The drop-out rate for the Youth Development Program in 2010 was 13 out of 92 students or 14.1%. For 2011, the drop- out or number of students who left our secondary school prematurely stands approximately 20. Figures for other areas of education are not yet available. For the 2010-2011 school year, 401 students passed secondary school. Of the number of students that finished secondary school in the last two years, 125 applied for study financing in 2011 and 94 in 2010. From this number, 61 were granted study financing in 2010 and 85 in 2011. In 2010, the total amount of applicants was actually 209, and the total granted were 136; in 2011, 272 applied in total, and 183 were awarded study financing. Do note that government does not grant full scholarships in the broadest sense of the word but study financing, which is partial loan and partial grant. 7. No monies were put aside for the culinary. Wants clarity This matter will be looked into.Minister JUS 8. What is the percentage of our young men and women incarcerated in Pointe Blanche? Total population 154 persons of which 149 men and 5 women. Total youth (16 to 24 years): 64 persons (= 41%) of which 63 men and 1 woman.Minister TEZVT 9. SBDF: what huge economic impact can SBDF do with the amount given for the young people? Government strongly supports the SBDF foundation, and has provided an annual subsidy for several years. The subsidy granted to SBDF is for administration and operational expenses. Currently, SBDF has access to various funding for programs for 2012 and beyond, including the 10th EDF, valued at 15 million Euro, divided among the 11 OCT’s. Each organization is simply required to prepare the necessary proposal and submit for approval. The overall objective of the Programme is to contribute to the economic diversification and prosperity of Caribbean OCTs by improving the competitiveness of SMEs in the territories. The Programme has three (3) specific objectives, these are: (A) To strengthen the capacity of Governments of the Caribbean OCTs to service the business sector. (B) To improve the capacity of business service organizations (BSOs) to engage in public-private policy and administrative reform dialogue with Governments and provide services to their constituency of SMEs. (C) To promote stronger collaboration, trade and investment relations among the EU, CARIFORUM and the Caribbean OCTs. 10
  • 11. 10. Would like to see a youth maintenance program in the district and increase the amount of SBDF to one million NAf., also no more work permits signed for one year, counterpart program: what is government opinion on these. Based on the Subsidy ordinance the government provides, SBDF with funding for its operation. SBDF programs are funding by various programs, worth several million, including the SESNA program which is now completed, The SEI program, which is still ongoing and the 10th EDF. The government will continue to support SBDF in its programs including a youth maintenance program. 11. What is policy of selling alcohol to young people? The Penal Code (‘Wetboek van Strafrecht’) is applicable in Sint Maarten. Article 475 of the Penal Code states that a person or his replacement while practicing his profession sells a beverage containing alcohol to a person who has not reached the age of 18 years yet is punishable by law with a maximum prison sentence of 6 months or a maximum fine of NAf. 7.500,-.Minister FIN 12. What is the progress on the sin tax? Currently, the Working Group on Tax Reform is revising the tax system of Sint Maarten. At this moment, it is too premature to disclose any information regarding how the new tax system will look like, but a study is being made to include taxes on alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes in the new tax model.MP De Weever:Minister FIN 1. The actual law that exist on real estate taxes. Is government intending to invoke, come alive with this law that is on the books but not ‘inwerking’? The Ministry of Finance is currently doing research into revising the current tax system. At this moment, the government has no plans to enforce the property tax, since all property on Sint Maarten will have to be assessed for this law to go into effect. This is very time as well as money consuming. 2. Is government aware of the burdens that being planned to be put on the citizens of the island, increased taxation while we have zero growth in the economy? As was previously mentioned, the Ministry of Finance is busy doing research into revising the current tax system. The social aspect will also be taken into account in the new system. The underlying principles of the reform exercise is aimed to simplify the tax system and broaden the tax base so that tax rates can be as low as possible for Sint Maarten in the long term. The new tax system should actually ease the tax burden on the citizens of the island. 11
  • 12. 3. Transfer tax: what is the present status on tax holidays, any tax holidays have been requested, any application pending, what concessions have been made to the Indigo project. The Netherlands Antillean tax holiday legislation still exists in St. Maarten. The tax reform exercise will also include the evaluation of the tax holiday legislation and tax incentives in general. Since 10-10-10, 3 tax holiday requests have been submitted to the Governor. Currently, there are approximately 15 tax holiday requests pending, among others the Indigo project. No concessions have been made yet regarding the Indigo project, since this application is still in process. 4. ‘Huurcommissie’ and nature foundation: mention the amounts for each. Huurcommissie NAf 25.000 and nature foundation NAf. 200.000 Huur commissie NAf. 25.000,- (Chairman NAf 750,00 per hearing, other commission members NAf 500,00 per hearing, plus other administration costs) Nature Foundation NAf. 200.000,- to be granted based upon their specific subsidy request to cover operational costs (break-even operation). Within this specific activities are agreed upon with the responsible department in the Ministry. 5. Ref. article 12, lid I, comptabiliteitsverordening: overzicht van de deelnemingen in privaatrechtelijke rechtspersonen: can the Minister provide parliament with this list. See page 58 of the memorie van toelichting. For the record this was submitted with the draft budget 2012 but for comfort and ease we will supply again. See also appendix 1.Minister TEZVT 6. Wants to know the number of persons working on the Dutch side and vice versa. The answer will be forthcoming.MP Louie Laveist:Minister TEZVT 1. Repeats Question 1 (policy plans and labour mediator) Ministry TEZVT has a draft plan of action 2012, which was already discussed with our stakeholders such as SHTA, Chamber of Commerce and the SMMTA and reflected in the year plans of the management team. In the Policy Document, The five key objectives of the plan are: - 1. Economic Growth; - 2. Economic Relief; - 3. Tourism Development; - 4. Control/Regulation/Enforcement; 12
  • 13. - 5. Info Campaign & Service Improvement. The draft version will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for final approval. Additionally, we are also in the process of developing a Strategic Economic Plan 2012- 2022 together with the stakeholders as well. The final versions of both documents will be provided to Parliament thereafter once approved.Minister FIN + Minister TEZVT 2. Want to hear gvt opinion to give tax breaks to companies that hires local people to the young and not so young. The Ministry of Finance is of the opinion that it is very important to strengthen the labor market for our local citizens. However, if our labor market does not have the local expertise, then the companies may have to acquire the expertise from abroad. Training our local people to acquire the expertise needed for these companies to be able to operate efficiently as opposed to giving out tax breaks would be a win-win for all involved.Minister VSA 3. How many have requested welfare, who many you have been able to find a position for? The Head of Social Services department along with the Head of Labor Affairs met with WIFOL and all parties agreed that a list would have been submitted to the Head of Social Services in order for the necessary arrangements to be made for these persons to apply for social assistance. To date the Head of Social Services has not received abovementioned list. One person has taken the initiative and applied on their own and their application is being processed. Resources: during 2011 SOD had three case- workers working on the material assistance (financial, medical and legal); from October 2011 two social workers joined the department for the immaterial assistance( counseling), these two persons are supporting the case-workers by doing house-visits and supporting other departments like the labor Affairs department(SEI-project “ Employability through training”) and the community development, family and humanitarian department(“community help desk”/”Integrated neighborhood Development Program”/INDP). In 2012 the working relationship will be strengthened much more with the two above mentioned departments and other organizations. In 2011 SOD provided the following assistance for material aid: Medical assistance: Renewal: 164 1st request: 172 Total: 336 Financial assistance: Renewal: 674 1st request:193 one time: 30 Total: 897 Legal assistance: Total:141 Total: 1374 4. Repeats Question 3, how are we dealing with the request of the Simpson Bay Resort? 13
  • 14. The issues of the workers of the Simpson Bay Resort are being handled on a structural case by case basis. 5. Pensioners: Is government giving consideration into reviewing the pension policy such as Aruba? As stated in the Governing program, the old age pension system will be researched. The policy department is researching the old age pension system and will advise on sustainable pension reform for St. Maarten. Prior to implementing any new measures and or legislation the necessary data needs to be collected.Minister OCJS 6. Cultural policy framework: By what means is the budget tweaked to facilitate the tweaking of the Cultural policy? The Cultural Policy Framework document left behind my MP Laveist is being tweaked in the sense that it is being revisited and given content to express the vision for culture of this government.Minister JUS: 7. Question 11 wants to see amounts plus difference in gender. Total Buitengewoon agenten van Politie (BavPol): 68 persons: 35 men / 33 women Police: 32 persons of which 19 men and 13 women Immigration: 15 persons of which 4 men and 11 women Customs: 11 persons of which 6 men and 5 women House of Detention/Prison: 10 persons of which 6 men and 4 womenMinister VROMI: 8. GEBE issue and the leaky pipes under the ground. Some kind of germs can get into these pipes. How is the Minister tends to approach a potential health outbreak; Formation of the board wants information on this, the breakdown of the rates, futuristic plan of the relaying of the pipes to avoid potential health outbreak how to deal with the water losses. All the water that is sent into the distribution pipes by GEBE after production are treated with chlorine and other needed chemicals to prevent any outbreak of disease which may threaten the countries hygiene. In addition GEBE’s lab continually tests water at various tap points throughout the community. The tariff reduction is/has been worked out and will be implemented accordingly. Upon completion of the share transfer which was nearly completed but due to the non- cooperative behavior of the St. Eustatius representative on the shareholders board outside of the instructions given to him by his government has led to a delay. The replacement issue of leaking pipes is being dealt with at GEBE in their repair program and at present the ministry VROMI has been instructed by me to report all leaks to GEBE and my person in writing. This has led to GEBE giving more and faster follow up with regards to the repairs. The complete revamping of the waterlines is being prepared. The Ministry has asked GEBE for a plan, up to this date no reply from GEBE. 14
  • 15. 9. Update to Mullet Beach and the access to it, including parking area. Is parking going to be provided and what are the intentions regarding reconstruction of Mullet Bay and what is the policy of the continued access to Mullet Bay beach by the local residents? In accordance to the law, access must be given to the public beaches of which Mullet Bay is one. The policy hasnt changed and the access to the public beach hasnt been denied either. There is presently parking available however not alongside the roads anymore and is private property. 10. New policy plan on the issuing of land in long lease will come soon. What is soon? As we speak a renewed ordinance and policy document is being worked on, which is intended to finalize this year. 11. Levying of the canon: when and how the level of canons was reached? The law (island ordinance for issuance domain lands in long lease) with regards to the long lease canon was set at 6% of the land value which is to be established by the Executive Council in accordance to article 2 sub b of the “Verordening op de uitgifte van eigendommen Bovenwindse Eilanden 1954, nr. 1”. The 6% was changed to 8% (to increase the income for government) by AB 1976, nr. 6. Over the years the value of all properties on the island have increased significantly due to the heavy demand for land. Government never increased any canon of existing long leases, unless the deed was changed due to a change in purpose or division etc. The (majority of the) deeds however allow government to review the canon every ten (10) years (most of these before the 80ties) or five (5) years.MP Patrick Illidge: 1. What is the present state and how many licenses are pending? A total of 1844 licenses request were received for the entire year of 2011 and for the month of January 2012 combined. From this total, 464 are still pending, the licenses received that are included in this figure are: - Business Licenses for NV/BV, Sole Proprietors, Directors, Branches, licenses for Vending, vending during carnival 2011, extended closing hours, Operational Licenses for restaurants, bars, hotels, sale of alcohol, licenses for persons selling food and drinks during public events and cancellations of business licenses. - Specific on the business licenses, a total of 1,318 license request were received over the period 2011 including January 2012, from which are 366 pendingMinister VSA 2. Social and Medical: can a budget be set aside that the family of deceased person does not have to be running up and down? 15
  • 16. This matter will be definitely looked into.Minister TEZVT 3. Competitors for the tourism destination: before tourists were sent to Anguilla for a day, now Anguilla is one of St. Maarten’s biggest competitors. What are we going to do about this? Anguilla is not one of St. Maarten’s biggest competitors. Tourists still travel to Anguilla for day trips. Anguilla and St. Maarten are in agreement, that marketing together is mutually beneficial. The two destinations complement each other, as each island caters to different target groups within the targeted markets.MP Janchi Leonard:Minister OCJS 1. what is government policy in dealing with the University of St. Martin? What are the future plans for the University of St. Martin? What is the amount allotted ant what is government planning to do with this amount? The future policy for USM is taken up in the draft law on tertiary education, which will be presented to Parliament as soon as it is finalized. The amount currently allocated to USM is 850,000.00, which is an increase from 500,000.00 in 2011. In the Minister’s view, there is never enough money for education. 2. Address the youth programs in a more intense manner. Can the minister explain the increase in the Carnival budget from 100.000 – 500.000? The Ministry of TEZVT sees carnival as one of the most important, special events, which is part of our tourism product. Carnival highlights our culture and heritage and by increasing our funding, which is geared towards marketing, throughout the region and internationally, it stimulates more arrivals during the carnival period – more heads in beds, means more revenue. 3. What is understood under ‘talentenbeurs’; what does she think about the gifted students, is there any provision made for these. How many scholarships are given for sports, arts and dance? Are there any plans for a school of arts where students can learn to play an instruments and dance for free. By “talentenbeurzen” is meant scholarships to students whereby students are not solely judged on their academic skills but also on other skills in areas such as music, arts, sports, etc. Yes, we have thought extensively about the gifted students, and these are taken up in our Education Plan and the experimental education project with the Ujima Foundation. How many scholarships were provided for sports: none; for music: one, at the Berkely College of Music in Boston; for dance: none. Is there an intention to start a school of arts? Yes. Does the minister have a plan to incorporate these in the plan for education? Yes, there is a plan, and it will be presented to Parliament shortly. 16
  • 17. 4. There is a slight increase in the budget but more needs to be done. Wants more on this, what other programs are planned (see budget post 6130) The increase under budget post 6130 is for additional personnel. 5. Higher education: repeats his question about the sustainability about higher education. USM is a private institution. It’s not government’s intention to intervene in the management and operation of the institution. The board of USM is ultimately for the management and operation; however, since the institution benefits from funding from government, government can and will hold the board accountable the quality of education.Minister JUS 6. boardwalk and the illegal vendors: asking for more controls specifically on the boardwalk mainly in the evening. What is going to be done with the illegal vendors on the boardwalk and what is going to be done with the crime rate in the evening. The illegal vendors have been tolerated for years to operate on the Boardwalk. This tolerance has now ended. The police was instructed by the Minister to carry out the law without exception. An integral approach will take place by the police together with other departments, in alignment with the Public Prosecutors Office.MP Roy Marlin:Minister JUS 7. Asked about the status of the answers on the letter that he sent MinJUS as announced in first round. See below. 8. What happen to the police officers regarding their salary adjustments? How far is the ‘vereffeningscommissie’? The claims of civil servants who up to 10 October 2010 worked for the Netherlands Antilles will be sent to the ‘vereffeningscommissie’ within the next two weeks. It has been a long process because the information provided had to be completed by the ministry and verified. 9. What is status of secondary rights of the police, was this taken care of and what is the status? The decree on the legal status (‘besluit rechtspositie korps politie’) of Sint Maarten has not gone into effect as yet. This means that the decree of the Netherlands Antilles is still in force. The new decree is being revised by the ministry of Justice. The police chief and the police union have given their comments. 10. What is the state of the transportation of the police? 17
  • 18. The mobility plan has been approved by the minister and as soon as funds are available it will be implemented in phases.11. Update of the plans of the prison facilities: Simpson Bay and Philipsburg The Philipsburg police cells have been prepared for use as a house of detention and are being used as such under management of the house of detention. The Simpson Bay facility has been designated as a house of detention and should be put in use in about a maximum of 3 weeks.12. How many police officers have the rights to those raises and secondary benefits. What is the amount of the backpays? The Antillean wage issues have been dealt with. The planning is now for placement of the police officers in the new police structure of Country Sint Maarten.13. Policy of max 30 hours overtime, is minister still has the intention to implement this? This policy has not been implemented by the ministry because the new decree has not entered into force of law. The increase of man power is scheduled to take place over a period of 4 years; an increase from 189 police personnel to 389 police personnel. There is a tariff attached to the overtime in the decree (‘rechtspositiebesluit’). An advice to change the tariff system into a system of compensation for hours worked has been submitted by the chief of police to the minister of Justice and is under consideration but not approved by the minister of Justice.14. ‘Huisvestingstoelage’ of police officers: some are receiving some not, needs to get clarity and wants to know the status A total of 59 police officers receive the housing allowance based on the Decree on staff residences (Publication Sheet 1989 No 32, as amended). A new overall policy is in preparation.15. How many request are there for police officers for housing allowance, when will these request be handled off? There are seven (7) requests for housing allowance in process.16. Filling in of management functions, are ads placed for these, selection committee who is part of this? The job descriptions are ready. The valuation of the functions is being developed. The complete job description of the Police Department will be submitted to the ministry for approval. After approval the placement of the personnel in the functions can take place. As of October 10, 2010, the personnel was placed on a temporary basis with their legal status (‘rechtspositie’). The placement of the personnel will be carried out along the lines of the ‘sociaal statuut’ . After the placement of the personnel the vacant management positions can be filled in. The next step will be the placement of all police personnel in the new organizational structure of the police department of Country Sint Maarten. 18
  • 19. The selection committee is put in place when a vacant position is advertised. The committee interviews the candidates and submits its proposal to the ‘korpschef’. When the ‘korpschef’ agrees to the proposal of the committee, this is submitted by the ‘korpschef’ to the Minister of Justice for approval. The minister is of course not bound by the proposal of the ‘korpschef’. At this moment the selection committee consists of the head of the Department, a co- worker of the Department, a co-worker of the human resources Department and a representative of the unions.17. Is it the minister policy to grant internal candidates preference for management functions over candidates from outside? If an internal candidate is proposed for a management function by the ‘korpschef’ and that proposed internal candidate is found suitable by the minister, then this person gets preference over a candidate from outside.18. If minister takes a different direction than the selection committee, which direction will then be taken by the Minister? In case the view of the Minister on a proposal submitted by the ‘korpschef’ deflects from the view of the ‘korpschef’, then the Minister will make his motivated view known to the ‘korpschef’.19. “Openheid”, fairplay, “gelijkheid” en transparency: wants to see the minister policy on this. He wants a copy. These are principles of good governance and are applied in all policies and decisions. Judicial review by the Courts in civil servants matters (‘ambtenaren gerecht’), the administrative court (‘administratieve rechtspraak’ - LAR) or the civil court20. Wants update on the latest escape of prison? This subject matter is still under investigation. In the meanwhile a prison warder has been officiallysuspended and has seven days to react to this suspension as stipulated by law. Measures have been taken to prevent as much as possible future outbreaks.21. Amount of required functions in prison, how many functions are currently filled in prison At the moment 97 functions are filled in the prison. Fifty (50) additional functions are needed when the plans concerning the expansion of the detention capacity are implemented.22. Wants exact planning on update pointe blanche prison; Is there enough funding available for this. Usona funding is in place for the upgrading of the prison cells in Point Blanche. The preparation of the Simpson Bay facilities to house the detainees temporarily will be 19
  • 20. finalized in the next 2 weeks. Then the upgrading of the cells in Point Blanche can start 23. Exact planning on the Box and the work needs to be done, which consultancy will be charged with the supervision. Is there a civil servants group that will carry out this process and will this proposal of the Box come to Parliament. The answer of this question will be given verbally by the minister. 24. MinJUS: the law of admittance and expulsion (‘toelatingswet’). Intention to implement the same fees? The draft law has been reviewed by the Advisory Council and the proposed amendments are being reviewed by the ministry. The intention is to implement the same fees.Minister FIN 1. Can the Minister of Finance give the MP’s an update on the Central Bank within short? Bonds to Aqualectra, how did this come to place? How will Aqualectra pay this loan back. Yes the Minister can give an update on the Central Bank within short. On December 28, 2009 a 30 year bond was issued by the Curacao based Integrated Utility Holding N.V. (Aqualectra, then owned by Marobeni and the Curacao Government). The bond issue concerned a floating rate bond loan of 4% to 6% per annum and interest paid out quarterly. For each interest period, the coupon interest rate is 80% of the latest official (legal) interest rate as published by the Central bank, with a minimum of 4% and a maximum of 6%. At the time of issuance the coupon interest rate was calculated to be 4% whereas the market rate was 6%. In order to bring the coupon rate in line with the market rate, a discount of 20% of the nominal value (NAf. 300 million) had to be applied bringing the issue price at NAf. 240 millon. Apart from the NAf. 300 millon nominal that were purchased by the Central bank, of which effectively NAf. 240 million was paid, an amount of NAf. 45.000,- was bought by another investor. The fact that institutional investors had not subscribed to this loan is attributed to the little time (one month) between the announcement of the loan and the closing date and to the fact that it is a callable loan. The maturity of the loan is 30 years, starting effective December 15, 2009, being the payment-date of the loan. Therefore the bond was issued with 13 days accrued interest. The bond redeems every quarter in equal amounts, starting effective March 15, 2015 and ending on December 15, 2039. This bond is callable after 10 years of the issuance date. Thus far Aqualectra has made all the required interest payments. However, since January 2011, shortly after the Schotte government came into power, there have been some worrisome developments. Firstly in January 2011, under the instruction of the Curacao Government there has been a transfer of NAf. 65.5 million of share capital of 20
  • 21. CUC/Build Own Operate (amount) from Aqualectra to Refineria de Korsow. This transfer of shares effectively reduced the equity of Aqualectra by NAf. 65.5 million. Secondly, later in 2011, also based on an instruction by the Government of Curacao, water tariffs of Aqualectra have been reduced. This action is estimated to worsen both the liquidity and solvency of the company. Thirdly, Aqualectra reportedly has suffered a loss in 2011 of Naf. 23 million and is projected to lose NAf. 28 million this year as well. These actions have been implemented as a result of instruction given by the Government in their capacity as the sole share holder of the company. Given these developments it is not sure whether Aqualectra will be able to meet its financial obligations including that to the bond holder. In that situation the Central bank as a holder of the Aqualectra bonds will incur substantial losses with consequences for both Curacao and Sint Maarten as share holders of the Central bank. It is in that context and to protect the financial interest of the country Sint Maarten in the Central bank, that I decided to send a letter to the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister of Curacao to hold them liable for any damages Sint Maarten may suffer as a consequence of their actions. 2. Tax office going back collecting 15 years ago. We should look forward not backwards. Want to get the opinion of the Minister. It should be taken off the books or put it on hold. We need to start collecting what is there. It will cause more orientation than benefits. A member of Parliament posed the question “how far back can government go to collect taxes”. The tax laws were reviewed and the answer was provided. At no point in time did the tax authority mention that they would go back 15 years. The main focus of the Tax Department is looking forward and to work on compliance (updating data, enforcement) and broadening the tax payer’s base to collect the needed revenues. There is still the need to collect back taxes. As a general rule the tax inspector will go back five years. Although it is possible to go back 10 years or even 15 years, this will be exceptions to the general rule.Minister TEZVT 3. Look at money remittance, lotteries, casino’s landsloterij: fees not adjusted for a long time, want Minister’s opinion. How can we adjust the monies for program such as done by the SBDF for the youth. These monies can be used for this. The revision and adaption of the lottery ordinance and the hazard spelen verordening, has been included in the Ministries general overview of ordinance that need to be changed and included in the 2012-2016 Wetgevingsprogamma of Legal Affairs 4. Any fees levied by these boats / fast ferry services to St. Barths and introducing fees on these. Winair at the airport does not collect any tickets on these and airport does not collect departure tax, can we levy departure tax on this? Needs to get the Minister feeling on this. 21
  • 22. Based on the Eiland Vaartuigenverordening there are fees applicable per trip and passenger for regional and international ferry services. Based on the Binnenwaterverordening there is a yearly fee of 400 guilders for the prove of seaworthiness.MP William Marlin (he refers to many questions of the first round):Minister FIN 1. Financial statements of government owned companies; no copy of financial statements yet received. When will they get the financial statements of the other companies? Attached you will find the copy of the financial statements 2009. The financial statements 2010 are forthcoming 2. Ref. Question 2, Condo tax: clarify the amount of 21 million This is not a condo tax it is Income tax from real estate of non-inhabitants and is based on certain assumptions: number of persons that owns a condo, the average rental income, high and low season, percentage of tax etc. Based on “Landsverordening op de Inkomstenbelasting 1943” non-residents have to pay tax on income that is generated in Sint Maarten. Based on the calculation it is anticipated that the amount of income tax is NAf. 9,7 million on a yearly basis. Going back five years this means a maximum amount of NAf. 48,5. In the budget a conservative amount is taken into account: NAf. 21 million (almost 50%). In other words instead of budgeting the full NAf. 48,5 mln we have taken a more conservative amount of NAf. 21 mln 3. Ref. Question 4: Receivers hiring additional personnel, a contract of how long was given to the collection officers. Did government recruit these people via personnel dept or via an recruiting agency. The contract is for 1 year with the possibility of being permanently employed thereafter. The recruitment was done via personnel affairs department. The function for collection Officers was advertised and the candidates who applied were interviewed and a selection was made. No government employees applied for this function. 4. Ref. Question 5:Provide us with a monthly overview of the ToT collected 2010, 2011 and the first months of 2012. What did the increase of 3 – 5 % mean for the coffers? 5. Feb J Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov. Dec. Tot. a n 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6,840 5,319 6,244 18,403 2011 Jan Feb Mar Apr. May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Tot 8,278 7,288 9,902 12,029 10,204 9,627 8,678 9,516 8,526 7,898 9214 10,566 111,726 22
  • 23. 2012 Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Oct Nov Dec Tot 13,070 12,467 25,537 5. Ref. Question 7: MinFin has the overview of the travels. Still wants to get the information on the travels of Parliament. For 2011 our administration shows that Parliament spent NAf. 364,269 on travel and lodging. 6. Ref. Question 9: Allocation of funds to the different ministries. Every ministry is responsible for its own budget. Rent should then be reflected in that ministry. It needs to be corrected. A decision was made to centralize certain costs. Rent was one of the costs to be centralized under facility services. The reasoning behind centralization is that once most ministries move into the new government building, it will be difficult to determine which costs relates to which ministry because all will be using the building jointly. Of course we could use the “verdeeldienst” method but we have come away from this because it is not really practical in government’s situation. 7. Ref. newspaper, minister salary increased. Is this true? Clarity is needed on the increases of the ministers on the budget. What does it entail? The basic salary of the ministers remained the same. For the 2011 budget the ministers allowances, with the exception of child allowance were not known and these were left out. In the 2012 budget these allowances i.e. rent, car, telephone, and personal were applied after they were known. Applying these allowances carried up the ministers overall salary including the vacation allowance, AOV, and AVBZ which are calculated as a percentage of one’s salary.Minister AZ 8. Ref. Question 10: no period of the SLA’s has been provided The SLA with the HCoS is indefinite. The other two SLA’s are for one year with a provision to extend the SLA automatically. 9. Ref. Question 11: why temporarily and what is due time? The term temporarily expresses that the allocation of the rent of building of parliament on General Affairs needs to be adjusted to the “Comptabiliteitslandsverordening”. It is the intention of the Government to handle this during the budgetyear 2012. 10. Ref. Question 12: no answers why these persons not placed. VROMI: 15 persons. 14 (long-term sick-leave and no-shows) for which a plan of action has been established by P&O and the Ministry and which is being carried out prior to placement. One person has been ‘loaned out’ to SIMARC. TEZVT: 3 persons, 1 of which will be placed as of March 1st 2012, 2 of which are functioning in a specified position, but above formation due to the fact that the departments need the formation but formalization awaits changes in the law. 23
  • 24. OCJS: 4 persons. These functions were not taken up in the formation because the intention was to make a foundation and place the sport instructors in that foundation. By 10.10.10 this had not been realized thus the persons were placed above formation whilst awaiting the realization of a foundation. 1 person needs to be placed in the function that she is filling but no cooperation from Ministry. AZ: 9 persons. 1 of which is in the process of being placed at MINJUS, others not yet placed due to lack of cooperation from the persons as well as of the ministries to place them. FIN: 6 persons. One is functioning as a counterpart to someone who will be going on pension. 2 are working in the parking lot for which there is no formal functionbook and formation, others have not cooperated with placement suggestions or ministries not being cooperative.11. Ref. question 13: Name will be mentioned to the “Griffier” to be passed on to the Minister to the matter can be clarified. No name was provided to the “Griffier”.12. Provide an update on the Corporate Governance Council, provide update results of the negotiations with them and the agreement reached. Almost a year ago the first meeting between the working committee including the chairman of the CGC met to discuss the money that government put available to the CGC. The chairman did not accept the check because according to him there was not legal ground for him or any other member to accept the check. Since then the working committee has drafted a “beslisnota” to structure the CGC after 10-10-10. The “beslisnota” included the laws that needed to be changed c.q published and a draft national decree (landsbesluit) to install the CGC again, since the island decree installing the CGC is no longer valid. Until now the Council of Ministers has taken the decision to publish the law that governs the CGC in Sint Maarten and has agreed on the new national decree installing the CGC. The content of the draft national decree has been discussed with the CGC and it is now ready to go to the Council of Ministers to be approved. Meanwhile the CGC is meeting with the Ministry of Finance to reach an agreement on the budget.13. Provide an update on the Secretariat of the Corporate Governance Council. Because of the “overgang” to country St. Maarten the island decree is no longer valid. Now a national decree (“landsbesluit”) must be drafted and agreed on to install the CGC again. This draft has already been discussed with the CGC. In this draft national decree the secretariat will be headed by the secretary of the CGC and the CGC has to provide the personnel for the secretariat themselves.14. Appointment of Dennis Richardson as member of Council of Advice in the Netherlands. No provisions has been made for him. Clarify this matter. The budget for the Council of advice in the Netherlands has been submitted the ministry of Finance after the due date, reason why this budget has not been included in 24
  • 25. the budget 2012. However the Ministry of Finance is aware of this and will make the necessary amendments in the first “nota van wijzigingen.”Minister OCJS 15. Ref. Question 18: studyfinancing; what are the additional incentives as mentioned in the answer. Provide the mentioned article in writing. Students qualify for incentives when they finish school and want to return. The document that regulates this has been submitted to Parliament. The (additional) incentives that returning professionals get are:  Relocation costs  Travel expenses paid  Transport of household items  Extra luggage allowance  Cash advance of NAf. 6,000.00 guilders  Maximum 6 weeks’ stay in a hotel  Partial conversion of student loan to grant up to 20%  Compensation toward Dutch student loan up to maximum 50% 16. Subsidy for Dutch Quarter community center is being used for what? The subsidy to the Dutch Quarter Community Center is used for the after-school program, which was initially sponsored by the Urgency Program and subsequently taken over by government. 17. Budget for the Youth Council which is only NAf. 15.000,-. Per year als John Larmonie Center only receives NAf. 50.000, what is it for, to cover electricity and water, personnel, programs that are run there. The subsidy to the St. Maarten Youth Council is actually 33,600.00, which is different from 15,000.00 for the “Jeugd en Jongerenraad” that the Honorable MP mentioned. These funds are used for the after-school program, which was initially sponsored by the Urgency Program and subsequently taken over by government. The subsidy to the John Larmonie Center has been on government’s budget for operational costs since the rebuilding after hurricane Luis. 18. Momentzorg => monumentenzorg: need clarity on the NAf. 325.000; what is it for? The amount budgeted for Monument Care is earmarked for start-up of the Monument Fund. The other part of it is reserved for foundations that request subsidy in the area of natural and intangible heritage. 19. Synchronization for break Carnival St. Maarten and Curacao. For what reason the vacation schedule were changed. Was this a deliberate choice to move away from the tradition or was it an accidental thing. Was a letter written by or on behalf of the Ministry informing schoolboards that no leave of absence was going to be given, even without pay. Is it structural policy or was it only for those 2 days? 25
  • 26. The decision on midterm break for schools was taken by the Executive Council on January 5, 2010 for the next three years. This seems to have been a deliberate decision.Minister JUS20. Rehabilitation; need clarity on the increase compared to 2011 The “Stichting Justitiële Instellingen Bovenwinden (SJIB)” needs to fill the vacant positions. This is needed to guide especially the young ex detainees in finding jobs and be rehabilitated. For the SJIB to function properly and execute the rehabilitation work, the budget needed to be increased, compared to 201121. Turning Point; need clarity on the decrease compared to 2011 The decrease in the 2012 budget of Turning Point reflects the budget as how it was submitted by Turning PointMinister VROMI22. Problems of the James family in Cole Bay: why were the building stops necessary? Need clarity on this issue. Are funds allocated in the budget 2012 to conclude the purchase of the property of the James family? See response to question 7 of MP Frans Richardson. The James family was stopped from excavating illegally as they didn’t have a permit in hand for what was being excavated. The permit is being processed once all requirements are met as stipulated by law. There is 2,5 million budgeted in the ‘kapitaaldienst’ for purchase of land in connection with infrastructural development Again the price offered by government was based on 2 appraisal reports but they refused the price of US$ 120,- per m2. The laws on corporate finance are quite clear on the manner of handling these matters and the government is following the rules accordingly. Link 9 offers an immediate alleviation of the traffic congestion coming from the western side of the island. As appose to Link4 which functions more as an alternative link between the eastern and western side (vice versa) of the island. The swap is done to accommodate Link 9.The James problems lies in the fact that we cannot reach an agreement about the price at present, while we have reached one with Port de Plaisance land swap.23. Dutch Village; provide all available information on the Dutch Village. How did it came about and who are the developers. Can we get copy agreement between developer and harbor and why no public bidding took place. Simple a survey was done that the Dutch side of the island was missing a cultural connection with our Dutch heritage. The historical value was mentioned. Based on feedback of the from Cruise Passengers the Harbour needed an attraction and this would help to get more passengers from onboard during their stay at the Port. 26
  • 27. The developers are Zebec NV. Their proposal was the best for the development of that Area as approval was need from RCCL and Carnival Corp.Minister VSA24. Group came to parliament to make a presentation on a proposal on a building of a facility to accommodate medical tourism on St. Maarten. Can Governement bring us up to speed as to what is taking place as to medical tourism. What has happened. The visit to South Africa, was this a private, or was this trip paid for by government. From period he was in South Africa, who he met and if it was the same group that was here. Who was part of the delegation. How many letters of intent were issued and by whom. It was a Council of Ministers approved trip from October 12 – 18, 2011 and I travelled alone. During the trip I met with the Industrial Dev’t Corp, South African Airways, Soyring Consulting, Trade & Investment KZN, Continental Travel Group, African Link and others. One letter of intent has been issued and it was signed by my person as well as the Minister of Tourism.25. About a month ago, we read an announcement ref. the retraction of the mandate of the head of the social and welfare department. What was the mandate and for what and why was the mandate retracted? What exactly did these civil servants do that prompted the Minister to retract the mandate? What is now the procedure that will be followed, will the minister remove the advisory body or just these two persons and now the ministers depends on others to give advice and the minister takes a decision. Have these civil servants been removed from their respective post or relieved from their duties or half their duties. Have they been violating the policies, if so what are some of these policies these civil servants have been violating. Inconsistencies were discovered at the department of Social Affairs / services. Given the sensitivity and the far reaching consequences I decided to retract the mandate (to sign letters to clients informing them whether or not they have been granted assistance) that the head and at times the interim head, had before I took office. The procedure are being streamlined. Every request is scrutinized in adherence to the law and decided upon. Improved efficiency through automation and customer service are the objectives for 2012. A system of checks and balances is in place to ensure that the necessary scrutiny is taking place. 27