The general old age pension and social benefits will be topics of discussion during the so-called Caribbean Netherlands Week to be held in October in The Hague. During the Dutch Caribbean Week, the Island Governments of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba will be holding consultations and discussions with Dutch ministers and civil servants in The Hague.
The levels of social benefits in the Caribbean Netherlands, the existing differences with benefits in the European Netherlands, as well as the minimum wage on the islands, are recurrent issues in the public debate. Therefore, the island governments will discuss these matters with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment during the Caribbean Netherlands Week it was stated Friday in a press release issued by Government Service Caribbean Netherlands RCN. Within the framework of constitutional reform, it was agreed with the island governments that after October 10, 2010, various policies in The Netherlands would not be implemented one-on-one in the Caribbean Netherlands, because the islands have their own specific history, location and economic situation. However, the aim is to develop a growth path so that the socio-economic situation on the islands improves in a joint effort of the Dutch government and the island governments. Since 10-10-‘10, social benefi ts have increased with about 17 per cent, and this year, social benefits increased again via a correction of inflation rates. This inflation correction will be repeated annually. Besides, projects aimed at training and new employment have started.
The introduction of amounts of social benefits on the level of the European Netherlands at this moment is considered to be detrimental to the islands’ economy. The statutory minimum wage would have to be drastically increased, which would have major adverse consequences for local businesses and jobs. Unlike in the European Netherlands, recipients of social benefits in the Caribbean Netherlands may replenish their benefits with additional income from work.
Source: “The Daily Herald” 2012-09-08