KRALENDIJK- The cabinet will structurally invest 30 million extra in Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius from 2023. In addition, the ministries themselves will also contribute to combating poverty. This amount will be increased every year to 12 million euros structurally in 2025.
According to the cabinet, these extra investments are desperately needed. Poverty and the standard of living have been the major issue in the Caribbean Netherlands for ten years now. A hurricane, inflation and a pandemic made the costs of daily living a lot more expensive. A total of 23 million will be added in 2022 and from 2023 that amount will be further increased to a structural 30 million. With the investment, the government is fulfilling the promise for structural investments in the coalition agreement.
“Life in the Caribbean Netherlands is expensive. The costs for drinking water, electricity, telecom and housing are high. It is difficult for many people to make ends meet. With this investment we can first of all ensure higher incomes and benefits and lower monthly payments. In concrete terms, this means, for example, increasing benefits and the minimum wage, but also lowering living costs, such as drinking water and energy costs. Together with the government, I will continue to make efforts to ensure that everyday life becomes more affordable. In addition, we make agreements in consultation with the islands about, for example, nature, climate and tourism,” says State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.
In the coming years, among other things, child benefit, benefits and minimum wages will be increased. The Public Bodies will also receive more budget due to the increase in the so-called free benefit. In addition, there will be a structural subsidy to bring down the costs for drinking water.