THURSDAY, 27 JUNE 2013
PHILIPSBURG – Finance Minister Martin Hassink is to present “a vision document” outlining the procedures and measures needed to ﬁnalise the 2013 budget to the Council of Ministers “hopefully on Tuesday,” said Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams. The 2013 budget was passed by Parliament in April; however, it has not yet been signed into law. Considering that six months of the year have already passed, the ﬁgures in the budget will have to be looked at to see what is still feasible the prime minister told the press on Wednesday. For the moment, government is working with the 2012 bud get ﬁgures.
The 2013 budget has the “urgent and undivided attention” of government as does the drafting of the 2014 budget. The ﬁnance minister has already put a document together on the way forward with that draft budget.
Government’s reserves are said to be some 35 per cent less than it was a year ago. The prime minister said all must be done by government and the private sector to make sure the “engine” that is the economy is running by “collectively” coming up with projects and programmes.
“We need to start looking at the bigger picture of this country going forward,” she said. Government and private sector must see to it that the economy “continues to grow, provide employment and make investment … We need to have collective action.” Meanwhile, as the budget is being ﬁnalised, government has made “a small advance” to the St. Maarten Development Fund so it can continue its operations and assist non-governmental organisations in dire need of subsidy. The remainder of the fund will be allocated once the budget is signed into law.
Bron: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten
St. Maarten – Finance Minister Martinus Hassink will be preparing a vision document regarding the budgetary procedures and measures for the Council of Ministers handling next Tuesday.
The new minister has already prepared a document outlining the steps to be taken towards preparations for the 2014 budget, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams related on Wednesday. In the meantime, the government continues to await the outcome of final vetting and approval of the 2013 budget by the Cft.
“The budget as approved by parliament goes out from several assumptions of revenue that would necessitate legislation and that legislation is not yet finished. We need to look seriously at whether the amount for some of the revenue sources as budgeted and where we are today, whether those assumptions can be fulfilled and realized. That is what the minister of finance is doing currently,” the prime minister explained.
In the meantime, the law establishes that St. Maarten has to manage its finances on the basis of the 2012 budget.
“Those are some of the actions that the Minister of Finance is putting in place and are expected to be ratified by the council of ministers next week,” the Prime Minister added.
Once this is done, the directives for the overall organization of the financial management for 2013 and the preparations for the 2014 budget will go into effect.
The prime minister also responded to criticisms leveled by parliamentarians earlier this week that the country’s economy was under threat with the budget still being tied up in bureaucracy.
Apart from the budget, the prime minister said that government’s whole financial management is cause for concern.
“But I really think that we need to start looking at the bigger picture of this country going forward because there are some challenges out there and nevertheless as a government and the private sector, we want to make sure that our economy continue to grow that we can provide employment and that both the private and public sectors can make investments. To come to these types of decisions, we need to undertake collective action.
This is the message, the prime minister said, she will be emphasizing in weeks to come.
Bron: Today Newspaper, St. Maarten