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St. Maarten ministers take 1000 guilder a month salary cut


~Louie: ministers get many perks, cut a gimmick~

PHILIPSBURG–Ministers will receive between NAf. 900 to NAf. 1,000 less per month when their salary cut goes into effect, information provided to Members of Parliament (MPs) shows.

According to the figures, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams will receive NAf. 958.99 less per month, while the other six ministers will receive NAf. 937.80 less. Wescot-Williams’ monthly salary after the cut will be NAf. 18,750 per month (NAf. 225,000 per year), while the other seven ministers will get NAf. 17,800 per month after the cut (NAf. 214,000 per year).

If Members of Parliament were to receive a ten per cent salary reduction they would receive NAf. 883.42 less per month while President of Parliament Gracita Arrindell would receive NAf. 958.99 less.

National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament (MP) William Marlin had asked Finance Minister Martin Hassink to present figures showing the effects of the salary cut on minister’s salaries during the Central Committee meeting on the draft 2014 budget on Monday. The MPs received the answers on Tuesday and the media was provided with the information on Wednesday.

NA MP Louie Laveist said during Wednesday’s public meeting of Parliament on the draft budget that the move by the ministers is nothing short of a “gimmick.” He said unlike MPs ministers receive a number of “perks” such as access to a debit card, a government vehicle and have their gas and phones paid for by taxpayers. With all these perks, Laveist said the “little reduction” ministers will be taking in their salaries “is nothing short of a gimmick.”

He also said that the pockets of some are deeper than others and noted that he had many financial obligations and his pocket is not as deep as others.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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