Minister of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations Roland Plasterk plans to play a bigger coordinating role for the Caribbean Netherlands, it was stated in an explanation with the so-called Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (BES) fund in next year’s Dutch budget, writes The Daily Herald. In addition to expenditures the central government in The Hague makes for the three islands, the revenues they produce for the national treasury are also included. “The coordinating role of the Minister of Interior Affairs will be further strengthened in 2014. This is partially as a result of the Caribbean Netherlands deregulation study that was sent to Parliament on July 2. This research, among other things, suggested the coordination within the national government can be improved,” Plasterk wrote.
He also referred to advice from the Council of State and the General Audit Chamber and concerns expressed in the First and Second Chambers of Parliament about the three special overseas entities. Next year, preparations will also take place for the evaluation of the current constitutional structure within the Dutch Kingdom. “The criteria, themes and setup for the evaluation will be definitely determined late 2013 or early 2014 in consultation with the public bodies. The Council of State will also be asked for an elucidation. The evaluation order will be sent to the First and Second Chambers early 2014.” A lot of attention will be paid to the development plans being created by the three islands. Next year will primarily concern mutual gearing with the Dutch ministries and possible financing, which will ultimately be included in the 2015 budget.
The BES fund stating what the local governments involved can spend freely as long as properly accounted for is 33 million euros in 2014, one million less than this year. “A number of amounts will be withheld from the free allowance, such as payments for loans given by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, so that the public bodies will be able to contribute to the costs of tackling the large backlogs in accommodations for education on the short-term,” stated the Minister.
At the request of D66 Second Chamber member Wassila Hachchi, the joint expenditures of all ministries involved for the islands were added to the budget, as well as the income from taxes, excises and social premiums. The former is about 253 million euros and the latter 90 million.