Hazel Durand (Caribisch Netwerk) writes the following about a reaction from Dutch parliamentarians when visiting Saba.
There is too much Dutch legislation on Saba . That was the main point of the discussion between the parliamentary committee and the Island council of Saba this morning . André Bosman ( VVD )indicated that he thinks highly of the Island Council of Saba. “I think that the Netherlands should take a step back and give room to the Island Council. ”
Seat in parliament
The chairman of the parliamentary committee, Gert Jan Segers ( CDU ), also has a positive opinion of the Island Council. Two months ago, Segers submitted a proposal for an additional seat on the BES islands in the Second Chamber of the Dutch parliament . It was proposed that that person would only have a voice, but has no right to participate in voting.
Another point of discussion is the increase in the minimum wage in relation to the cost of living. Island Council member Rolando Wilson states that it was agreed with State Secretary Jetta Kleinsma that the minimum wage would be raised with 20 percent. However, in late December, Kleinsma announced that the minimum wage, unemployment relief ( assistance) and old-age pension AOV will be increased by only 6.1 percent. “We need to figure this out . The cost of living in Saba is very high. The people have great difficulties to purchase even basic foods” Wilson says .
“For years , employees have not built up a pension through their employer , as in the Netherlands ,” says Bosman . ” Now there is a problem, in that many have no real rights to an additional pension, as only premiums paid have been paid for health insurance . Today pension plans are regulated, so, in the future the problem that elderly only have AOV will no longer exist. ”
Segers had raised the issue of the high cost of living in the BES islands already in the Second Chamber some time ago. He will do so again during the evaluation of the visit of the MPs to the BES islands. ” If poverty is hidden , then this is a problem that we must solve. We have to look at the differences in the cost of living in the Netherlands and the BES, ” says Segers .
Segers is of the opinion that there should be a study on the increase of prices in supermarkets since 10-10-10. ” Is it because of taxes, the legislation or maybe the supermarkets abusing the U.S. dollar, that is the question. ”
The Island Council has also referred to the high cost of the customs on Saba . Bosman says to understand that the number of controls on Saba does not justify the costs of the customs . “The Island Council thinks that they would save more money if there would be no foreign customs officers employed.”