Island Council of Saba critical of the Dutch Social Security bill

Members of the Executive and Island council together with Acting Island Governor Shamara Nicolson. Photo: Public Entity Saba

THE BOTTOM- The Island Council of the Public Entity Saba wants more time to respond adequately to the Dutch government’s bill on social security. In addition, it would like to respond to the proposals together with Bonaire and St. Eustatius.

The Island Council adopted a motion regarding this issue last week. The motion is a response to law proposal for social security that the Minister of Poverty Policy, Participation and Pension Carola Schouten sent to Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba on July 14, 2022.

The motion of the Saba Island Council points out that the islands have asked for the social minimum to be set, to ensure that the level of social security benefits is set at an amount that guarantees a decent standard of living.

However, the bill submitted by Minister Schouten for input does not refer to a social minimum or a reasonable standard of living and does not create a social security system that is equal to or acceptable in the Netherlands.


“In The Hague we have been knocking on all doors for years and 12 years later there is still no social minimum. Nevertheless, the Dutch government wants to pass a law on social security and pensions that affects everyone in one way or another,” said Vito Charles, one of the authors of the motion.

The motion also states that the draft law deviates significantly from the social security provisions of the Netherlands, and this has only increased the inequality that exists within geographically different and remote parts of the Netherlands. “The inhabitants of the islands are treated as second-class citizens and that is not acceptable,” said Charles.

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