Bonaire. nu reports that on Kingdom Day, December 15, the day on which the Constitution is the Kingdom of the Netherlands is celebrated, the Common Court of Justice rules in the appeal case on the equalization of pensions in Bonaire, Statia and Saba and the Dutch pension.
The date is a coincidence, but, indeed, the Statute regulates the relations between the countries in the Kingdom. The premise is equality. Lawyer Michiel Bijkerk has been fighting a second time in the courtroom on behalf of three pensioners (Will Johnson, Reginald Aubrey Zandaam and Sealy) against the Dutch government.
Many retirees on the BES islands have no extra income. The full retirement money is $ 577 per month. Many people get less because they have not worked continuously on the islands.
A report by the National Institute for Budget Information (Nibud) shows that the pensioners on the BES islands receive an AOV pension that is only 40% of the AOW that their peers in receive in Holland. In effect, a penshonado on the BES islands, who is single, should get $ 1451.
Bijkerk used the report of Nibud in his argumentation. He is of the opinion, that it is important evidence indicating that the minimums are very low on the islands.
Bijkerk used the word “apartheid” to indicate that the differences in pension received is discriminatory. He appealed to the judges not to be cautious and to judge the unlawfulness.
Luigi Virginia Lawyer acting for the Dutch State and Ministry of Social Affairs announced that the AOV is not contrary to the principle of equality and that it is non-discriminatory. Moreover leveling would have profound implications for economic development of the islands, such as wage increases, increasing prices, more unemployment and deterioration of the competitive position of the BES islands.
Interesting case. I think it is difficult to make a clear decision. Especially because the court may have to deal with jurisdictions from different countries.