The Executive Council sees the recent evaluation report as an opportunity to improve some of the negative impacts that have been felt on the islands since the transition. On October 12th, Island Governor, Jonathan Johnson and Commissioner Chris Johnson were in The Hague and received the report from the Evaluation Commission. The report was prepared over the past year by researchers and received input from the three Public Entities, the National Government and the population on the islands.
“The contents of the report are nothing new to us,” said Commissioner Johnson, “while it indicates that things like healthcare and education are going well, which we are aware of. They also point out where things have gone really wrong. The disproportionately negative impact on the population is a big issue on the island. This we knew and it is something that have we have been trying to tell The Hague from almost the beginning.”
With the outcome of the report the Executive Council would like to make use of the opportunity and revisit some of the agreements made prior and since 10-10-10. The Executive Council believes that since the transition, the island has made improvements and would like to take over some of the responsibilities of the Dutch Government, particularly in the areas of work permits and residency. “We are aware of the realities on our island more than any civil servant in The Hague and we can work together with the local stakeholders to determine what is best for the island,” remarked the Commissioner of Constitutional Affairs.
Another area of focus will be the level of provisions such as welfare payments and old age pension. “The evaluation report pointed out, as we have too, that the persons on low or fixed incomes have been really affected by the transition. Their spending power has decreased due to price increases and their incomes have not been able to meet the realities of living on such a small island. In short they are just holding their head above water. This cannot continue and we will bring this to The Hague once again.”
The Executive Council would like to involve as many stakeholders as possible in the input from the island that will be sent to The Netherlands and will be engaging them as well as the public to gather information that will be used to prepare their report to the Dutch Government before the discussions on how to proceed based on the outcome of the report begin.
Press release GIS Saba