Minister Ronald Plasterk intends to give more attention to maintenance costs of projects in Caribbean Netherlands. He promised this during the discussion of the budget for Kingdom Relations. Questions about the tackling of poverty remained largely unanswered, because this is a responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.
CDA MP Mustafa Amhaouch asked for attention for the observations of the Committee on Spies and the research firm IdeeVersa indicating that there are structurally insufficient funds for maintenance and exploitation. ” The ministeries invest hundreds of millions in the Islands, but these have only some 40 million to spend. Each investment ends in extra costs to be paid from the free allowance, ” he said.
Plasterk acknowledged that improvement is needed. ” In the coming months, I will, in consultation with the other ministeries, draw up a proposal (…) to stop any investment if there are no funds for exploitation. We will have to face that a decision to investment, should be accompanied by a budget for maintenance, ” he said. In addition, Plasterk will also ask the College Financial Supervision (CFT) to pay attention to this issue during the control of the budgets. He could not promise funds for the maintenance of existing projects, such as the improvements of the roads on Bonaire, but he was prepared to assess the current cost.
Several MPs also asked questions concerning poverty. CDA, PvdA, SP and SGP mentioned the social minimum and family allowances. However, these points are the responsibility of Social Affairs and Employment. PvdA MP Roelof van Laar finally proposed a motion to introduce a child related budget in place of the higher child benefits that had been rejected. Plasterk left this issue to the Second Chamber who will vote on it on Tuesday, October 25. He urged that first an investigation of the feasibility of such an approach should be made and that the financing should be clarified.
Source: Amigoe, Curacao