The SHTA has taken note of a Facebook message by President of Parliament Ms. Sarah-Wescott-Williams in which she explains the law on redundancy pay for MP’s and Ministers.
According to Ms. Wescott-Williams, redundancy pay works for “any amount of time served, one (a MP or Minister: Ed) receives the minimum of 1 year monthly payments. If a person serves for more than one year, then one is entitled to equal amount served. In other words, if you serve 4 months, you are entitled to 1 year, and if you serve 13 months, you are entitled to 13 months. If you serve 26 months, you are entitled to 2 years, not however for 100% of your salary earned. This however only for those not yet 60 years of old. Persons can also decline”.
In the same response, Ms. Sarah-Wescott-Williams tables to adjust this law as an emergency measure, she stated: “But I believe the law should be adjusted as an emergency measure, given our serious financial situation”.
SHTA supports this call to halt redundancy pay and have the law adjusted to more realistic regulation of redundancy pay for MP’s and Ministers.
Furthermore, SHTA calls the incoming Government to take further austerity measures in light of the serious budget deficits it is facing for the 2018-2020 period. Including monthly stipends, Sint Maarten members of parliament as well as Ministers earn substantially more than their Caribbean counterparts. SHTA proposes to cut MP and Minister salaries towards the level of their fellow Caribbean counterparts by 30% and institute a hiring freeze.
Government needs to lead by example and seeing the hardship the people of St. Maarten, including businesses, are going through since Irma, it would be only natural for Government to ease their burden on the country’s coffers so a balanced budget may be found sooner.