BONAIRE–A total of 580,588 euros was spent on expenses for officials from the Dutch Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations to visit the Caribbean Netherlands between January 1, 2010, and August 31, 2012.
A review of travel cost incurred by each government department to Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba cannot be presented, because each is responsible for such individually. Outgoing Minister Liesbeth Spies wrote this in reply to written questions from Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament members Ronald van Raak (SP), Pierre Heijnen and Martijn van Dam (both PvdA) on the travel expenses to the new overseas special public entities of The Netherlands.
The minister said she doesn’t share the opinion that many trips weren’t necessary. Considering the tasks and responsibilities the departments have had for these three islands since 10-10-’10 it has been necessary that government officials travel to the Caribbean Netherlands once in a while, Spies argued. She also answered that she didn’t agree that many millions of euros had been spent on superfluous trips. Their cost is not covered by the means available for the Caribbean Netherlands.
Source: The Daily Herald, September 20, 2012