Outgoing State Secretary Jetta Klijnsma (PvdA, SZW) will conduct an investigation into the social minimum in the Dutch municipalities of Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba. The investigation has been decided upon to ensure the subsistence security in the Caribbean, and to better combat poverty.
The research will be conducted in two parts. The first part of the research is about determining the necessary costs of living. The second part focuses on income in the Caribbean Netherlands and how they relate to the necessary costs.
On the islands there is now no social minimum. However, there is a minimum wage that is determined each year, which forms the basis for the amount of benefits. However, they are considered to be too low in relation to the cost of living. Therefore, an investigation is now needed to research how high the social minimum actually is on the overseas municipalities. A separate minimum will be set for each island.
Poverty in the overseas municipalities is a major problem. In recent years measures have already been taken to improve the situation, such as child support has been introduced and minimum wages increased. Also, from the 100 million Klijnsma has been structurally made available to support children who grow up in poverty, 1 million is made available for children in the Caribbean.
Who is going to conduct the research is not yet known. SZW is currently conducting talks with candidates.