PHILIPSBURG – The document authored by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations that outlines the measures the Caribbean Reform entity (CE) intends to implement in St. Maarten Curacao and Aruba pays keen attention to economic reform with a series of nine projects. And once more, many of these initiatives should have been taken by successive governments since 10-10-10- but they never did.
Possibly the most prominent change the CRE is promoting is a further increase of the retirement age. St. Maarten’s parliament recently approved the increase from 62 to 65 years, but the CRE proposal foresees an increase to 66 years by 2023 and to 67 years by 2025, based on the average rather than the final salary.
Another far-reaching measure is the integral analysis of St. Maarten’s current labor market policy and its associated legislation for the purpose of modernizing the system. Points of attention are reduction of working hours, part-time work, fixed-term contracts, relaxing dismissal laws, illegal employment and combating youth unemployment.
The CRE’s intention is to diminish the informal economy and unlawful employment of foreign labor. Before November 1, the CRE wants to formulate a research-assignment for this purpose and contract a party to execute it.
The Reform Entity also wants to promote entrepreneurship and improve the investment climate. In this context the focus is on the permit system, lowering the cost of doing business and reducing red tape.
Furthermore, the CRE wants to develop a land-policy and an urban planning policy. Lastly, it wants to implement measures that make it possible to process requests for work and residence permits within three weeks for foreign independents and employees that work for the National Recovery and Planning Bureau (NRPB).