Cft wants Sint Maarten to use economic recovery to put budget in order

PHILIPSBURG- A significant budget deficit is expected for the year 2022 for Sint Maarten, despite a real economic growth of 7.5 percent. 

The Board of financial supervision Curaçao and Sint Maarten (Cft) urges Sint Maarten to limit its expenditures and increase its tax benefits in the short term by taking compliance-enhancing measures, and collecting the ground leases and the license fee for casinos and lotteries. It is important that a number of targeted investments also take place.

Sint Maarten’s economy has grown with 8 percent in 2021. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects a growth of 7.5 percent for the year 2022. This is largely due to the recovery of (cruise) tourism. Sint Maarten should utilize this economic recovery to put public finances in order, meet repayment obligations and make necessary investments.

Financial management

Cft stresses that the financial management of Sint Maarten is still seriously deficient. “This is reflected in the quality of the annual accounts. Measures have been agreed in the Country Package and the underlying implementation agenda to improve financial management”, according to a release from Cft. Cft considers it prudent that Sint Maarten has started to implement improvement processes.

On June 27th and 28th, 2022 the members of the Cft spoke with the Governor, the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Finance and the Finance Committee of Parliament of Sint Maarten. The Cft also met with the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and the Sint Maarten Harbor Holding Company N.V. (SMHHC). On June 27th, the Cft Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba met virtually with the Executive Council of Saba.

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