St. Maarten must support CFT advice, says Donner

THE HAGUE--Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Piet Hein Donner considers it important that St. Maarten subscribe to the recommendations of the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT regarding the 2011 budget.

In a letter sent to the Dutch Second Chamber on Tuesday, the Minister implied that he accepted the CFT's decision to approve St. Maarten's budget and would hold off on giving St. Maarten an instruction to reach an agreement with the CFT.

Donner explained that he had received a letter from St. Maarten's Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams on April 12, the day St. Maarten's Council of Ministers approved the second draft 2011 budget. In the letter it was stated that an agreement had been reached with the CFT.

The CFT informed the Kingdom Council of Ministers on April 13 about its decision based on the Kingdom Law on Financial Supervision. "The CFT concluded that the 2011 budget sufficiently met the norms of the law. Considering the new situation, the CFT didn't deem it necessary to issue an instruction," stated Donner.

He said St. Maarten's Parliament still needed to approve the amended and balanced budget. The process should be concluded by mid-May, according to a plan provided by St. Maarten's Government.

Donner informed the Dutch Parliament that the CFT had expressed its concerns about the "structural tenability of the government finances" and that the committee had made several recommendations to improve the budget process.

"The Kingdom Council of Ministers took note of the letters of the CFT and St. Maarten. Based on these letters, the Kingdom Council of Ministers will not go over to issuing an instruction on the basis of the Kingdom Law on Financial Supervision," stated Donner.

However, he pointed out that he considered it in St. Maarten's interest to subscribe to the recommendations of the CFT in light of the execution of the 2011 budget and the drafting of the 2012 budget. "I have indicated this to St. Maarten and have concluded that St. Maarten acknowledges the importance of this by means of its letter of April 12," stated Donner.

Donner's letter is the second one on St. Maarten and the CFT to the Second Chamber in one month. On April 4, he also informed Parliament on the state of affairs concerning the 2011 budget, after questions by Members of Parliament Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party SP, André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party, and Martijn van Dam and Jeroen Recourt, both of the Labour Party PvdA.

27 April 2011

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