Work conference on social security

The Work Conference “Social Security Bonaire” took place on the island earlier this week, with representatives of the Public Entity and the Dutch Government as well as stakeholders in attendance.

This gathering was termed “very constructive,” whereby it was agreed that a social- economic agenda will be drawn up. Topics to be covered include consultations between employers and employees to see if the statutory minimum wage can be raised, preparing the local work force better for the labour market, solving bottlenecks in the social benefits and – based on a study – determining a benchmark for social security, as requested by the Executive Council as well as Members of Parliament (MPs) in The Hague.

A view of the proceedings.

There is a positive intention of both the local authorities and national service Caribbean Netherlands RCN to – as quickly as possible – ensure that people living in poverty are relieved. A start was already made by increasing the basic amount of the general assistance on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (BES) effective March 1, 2017.

“I am very pleased that we could implement this increase on such short notice,” said Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment. For Bonaire this represents a hike of US $61 per two weeks to $151.

Those who receive assistance on St. Eustatius can count on US $185 every two weeks from March, an increase of $74. On Saba, the assistance will go up by US $72 to $181 per two weeks.

The increase does not apply to persons who are completely and permanently disabled and who for this reason receive a disability allowance in addition to the basic amount. They will maintain their social benefit at the same level.

The conference was set up in an integral manner so that all the bottlenecks could be mapped out.

Once the socio-economic agenda has been determined, this will be announced. All parties pledged to continue further building the future of Caribbean Netherlands to guarantee each person a decent existence.

The Daily Herald.

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