Minister Carola Schouten (Poverty Policy, Participation and Pensions) has commissioned an investigation into the social minimum on the islands of Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius. The Committee Social Minimum Caribbean Netherlands will start on the 1st of March 2023.
The independent committee, which will be set up following a motion from the House of Representatives, will investigate what households on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius need to make ends meet and participate in society. This study is broader in scope than previous research on the social minimum. The committee also looks at the carrying capacity of the local economy and the method of setting the social minimum. This includes a focus on residents’ income and cost of living.
In the Caribbean Netherlands, no social minimum has currently been set. The committee aims to present its final report no later than the 1st of October 2023. During the investigation, the cabinet’s commitment to improving social security in the Caribbean Netherlands will continue undiminished.
Knowledge of the islands
Previously, a committee was set up by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment to investigate the social minimum for the European Netherlands. The final report will also be published this year. The cabinet chose to set up a separate committee for the Caribbean Netherlands because it considers it important that its members have specific knowledge of the islands and the economy.
The members of the independent committee brings together expertise from science, the Caribbean context and knowledge of regulations throughout the Kingdom. They work within universities, social organisations, the business community and Nibud, among others. Some members are or have been residents of Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius. The members will serve in their personal capacity.
The composition is as follows:
- Mr G. A. E. Thodé, Dr, Esq. (chairman)
- Mr G. Berkel, BSc
- Mr P.R.J. Comenencia, MA
- Mr B. F. El Hage
- Ms S.A. Heilbron
- Ms C.A. Ortega-Martijn, BSc
- Ms W.L. Roozendaal, Dr, Esq, MA
- Mr A. Vliegenthart, Dr.