PHILIPSBURG — On Friday, November 6, 2020, Minister of General Affairs Silveria E. Jacobs held an information session for all civil servants. This virtual meeting was to provide an update concerning government’s cost-cutting measures as per the conditions for further liquidity support from the Netherlands. The conditions among others being the 12.5% reduction on the total salary package and employment benefits of civil servants as well as a 25% reduction on the total salary package and employment benefits of members of parliament and ministers.
In its efforts to meet the 2nd tranche conditions set by the Dutch Government, St. Maarten made every effort not to cut into the net salaries of civil servants to preserve the base on which the pension is built and to secure the current net salaries. As such, over the past few months, the Minister of Finance and his team held many discussions with CFT and several proposals were submitted that mainly focused on making the cost-saving deductions on the secondary and tertiary benefits.
The government’s liquidity position at the time afforded the country the opportunity to carefully review the options and not rush to responding to the conditions set. Currently, the government is satisfied that the best possible proposal has been provided under the circumstances. Based on this final proposal, the CFT sent a response to the Kingdom Council of Ministers on Wednesday, November 4th, and the government received a copy of this response.
Presently, government is awaiting the Netherlands to express willingness to provide liquidity support as well as further engage in discussions that were halted pending the completion of meeting the 2nd tranche conditions.