The Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament on Tuesday adopted a motion to work out a financial scenario for the possible introduction of the social minimum for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba per January 1, 2024.
The motion was submitted by Member of Parliament (MP) Jorien of the Democratic Party D66 during a two-minute debate last Wednesday. The motion asked the Dutch government to work out the financial scenarios, including the possible introduction of the social minimum per January 1, 2024, while awaiting the final report of the Caribbean Netherlands Social Minimum Committee.
The Social Minimum Committee is scheduled to present its end report no later than October 1, 2023. The motion mentioned that the Dutch government had pledged to make an effort to let Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba be an equal part of the Netherlands.
Wuite’s motion further mentioned that the policy with regard to the indicative social minimum benchmark didn’t prove to be sufficiently effective and that 13 years after the integration of the islands, there was still no social minimum.
A vast majority of Parliament on Tuesday voted in favour of Wuite’s motion during the voting procedure in a plenary meeting. Wuite subsequently asked for a response letter from the Dutch government since State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitisation Alexandra van Huffelen had advised against Wuite’s motion.
A second social minimum motion, submitted by MP Kauthar Bouchallikh of the green left party GroenLinks, did not get sufficient support and was voted down. In her motion, Bouchallikh asked the Dutch government to “do everything in its power to make sure that a decent social minimum” is implemented per January 1, 2024, for the Caribbean Netherlands.
A deferred motion of MP Sylvana Simons of the BIJ1 party, which asked the Dutch government to increase the social allowances in 2023 to the actual social minimum, also failed to get a majority support. Simons originally submitted the motion on January 26 this year, but later asked for a postponement of the voting.
Parliament adopted two motions to strengthen education possibilities for the people of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The first education motion came from MP Joba van den Berg of the Christian Democratic Party CDA, cosigned by MPs Wuite and Roelien Kamminga of the liberal democratic VVD party. This motion asked the Dutch government to assess how education opportunities, both practical and theoretical, could strengthen the labour force in the Caribbean Netherlands.
The second motion was an initiative of MP Wuite and was co-signed by Van den Berg and Kamminga. This motion asked the Dutch government to explore which experimental (hybrid) collaboration structures were attainable in tertiary education and how these could be started in the near future to strengthen the local economy.
The climate change motion of Bouchallikh received majority support. This motion asked the Dutch government to meet with Bonaire residents who earlier this month sent a letter to Prime Minister Mark Rutte demanding climate-mitigating measures; and to include the group in a speedy execution of climate adaptive policy for the Caribbean Netherlands.
The Daily Herald.