st maarten news

Poverty Social Pension For Seniors In Southern St Martin

Poverty Social Pension For Seniors In Southern St Martin

Ms Arrindell has the Dutch nationality and for 66 years already she is a citizen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. She was born in Aruba. Her father is a St Martiner who went to Aruba to work in the Lago refinery in San Nicolas. She came to St Martin when she was 19 years old and has worked on St Martin and contributed to the economy. Her taxes and social premiums all were withheld from her wages. As a result of her contributions she is getting from SZV for the last 6 years an old age pension of which is now 900 ANG or 500 USD a month.
This is a poverty pension. Transparency International concluded already in 2015 that based on the research of the Dutch NIBUD institute done in Bonaire in 2013, a senior citizen needs at least 1500 USD a month not to be in poverty. Which is at least three times more than what Ms Arrindell is getting now!
Why the senior in St Maarten cannot get at least 1500 USD as NIBUD calculated for Bonaire in the Caribbean Netherlands? Until the minimum to survive in ST Maarten is established this we will continue to use this NIBUD norm calculated for Bonaire as a minimum, because cost of living in St Maarten is much higher than in Bonaire.
Why a senior on the Dutch side cannot get a € 1,228.22 EURO maximum pension as senior citizens in the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands? Seniors on the Northern side of St Martin are getting a maximum old age pension a little higher than seniors in Paris, because of an adjustment to the cost of living, which in the Caribbean part of the French republic is higher than in the European part of France.
Even though the argument that it were our own parliamentarians of the Netherlands Antilles and the ones in St Maarten who have established the maximum old age pensions to be lower than in the Netherlands, the question remains: “Why did the governor as representative of the Kingdom government did not present the law to be annulled by the Kingdom government, because the maxima were not equal to the ones in the Netherlands? This the governor and the Kingdom government had to do because the International Covenant of Economic Social and Cultural Rights was ratified for the Kingdom since 1979. Article 2 of the covenant stipulates that the Covenant has to be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. The geo-political constitutional differences therefore cannot legitimate the discrimination of the seniors pensions in the State the Kingdom of the Netherlands!
As Anti-Poverty Platform we will request all political parties who will contest the snap elections of January 9, 2020 to commit to the eradication of poverty and the realization of equality. The Sint Maarten Christian Party is the only party which has signed the Declaration on the Eradication of Poverty and has already committed to eradicate the poverty. As a result of this signed declaration in their negotiations with the United Democrats the Governing Program had the following and we quote:
“To address substandard living conditions and provide the necessary help to those who need it the most, we will ensure that there is a precise definition of what our poverty line is and establish data to help us determine who falls below this line and how we can best contribute to improving their living conditions. It is crucial to reduce poverty, but there is also a need to eradicate inequality. To undertake this task, we will enlist the support of the entire community”.
Various ministries in the government program under the heading Eradication of Poverty and Inequality had some strategic objectives and tasks with the necessary financing allocated in the budget.
• What is the interim government going to do with this governing program?
• What will the new government coalition which will be formed after the January elections do?
• We will insist with all government coalitions to prioritize the eradication of poverty.
• Parliamentarians we will demand to provide the necessary meat in the budget of 2020 so that the people can be kept out of poverty.
• We also will insist with all parliamentarians to eradicate the inequality in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and provide us with equal social pensions, social allowances, minimum wages, etc in short with an equal social protection floor within the State the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as the United Nations and the International Labor Organization has established.

News Release

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