On January 16th, 17th and 18th, 2017 a Working Conference “Social Security Bonaire”, took place at which representatives of the Public Entity of Bonaire, stakeholders and the Kingdom were present. This conference was very constructive, whereby it was agreed that a socio-economic agenda will be drawn up. A number of topics that will be covered are, among others, the consultation between employers and employees to see if the statutory minimum wage (WML) can be increased; preparing local labour force better for the labour market; solving bottlenecks in the social benefits and based on an investigation (research) determine a benchmark for the social security, as requested by the Public Entity and the members of the Senate and House of Representatives.
Social benefit to increase
There is a positive intention of both the Public Entity of Bonaire and of the Kingdom to, as quickly as possible, ensure that people living in poverty are relieved. A start is already created by increasing the basic amount of the general assistance on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba effective March1st, 2017.
“I am very pleased that we could implement this increase on such short notice,” said Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment. This means for Bonaire an increase of the basic amount of the assistance with 61 USD per two weeks, to the tune of 151 USD. Those who receive assistance on St. Eustatius, can count on 185 USD every two weeks from March (74 USD more than presently). On Saba, the assistance will increase by 72 USD to 181 USD per two weeks. For persons, who are completely and permanently disabled and who for this reason receive on top of the basic amount of the assistance a disability allowance, the increase does not apply. They will maintain a social benefit on the same level.
The Conference was set up in an integral manner so that all the bottlenecks could be mapped out. Present were the Commissioner and various employees of the department of Society and Social Care Bonaire. The Kingdom was represented by, the Commissioner of Economic Affairs, the Tax Department, Social Affairs and Employment, Public Health, Welfare and Sport, and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. Once the socio-economic agenda has been determined, this will be announced. All parties will continue further building the future of Caribbean Netherlands to guarantee each person a decent existence .