St Maarten must put budget in order

The Council of Ministers for the Kingdom has decided to instruct St Maarten to put its budget for 2015 and multi-year forecasts in order. In so doing the Council of Ministers is following a recommendation made by the Financial Supervision Authority of Curaçao and St Maarten (CFT). 

St Maarten must take measures to eliminate payment arrears of at least ANG 189 million and to offset the deficits from previous years of at least ANG 60 million between now and the end of 2018. St Maarten also has to ensure spending on pensions and health care is realistically reflected in the budget for 2015, and take steps to safeguard the future sustainability of the healthcare and old-age pension systems.

These measures must be included in a budget amendment that has to be adopted before 31 October 2015. The CFT will assess whether the budget amendment and the proposed measures are sufficient. St Maarten has been given until the end of 2016 to implement the necessary measures to ensure the sustainability of the healthcare and pension systems.

The Council of Ministers for the Kingdom took the view that it was necessary to issue this instruction. St Maarten has been given ample time to take the required measures but, in spite of the undertakings it has given, it has consistently failed to do so. The aim is to prevent a situation in which St Maarten loses control of its finances.