Saba Island Council Adopts Motion calling on establishment of Social Minimum

The Saba Island and Executive Councils in a joint meeting (archive photo).

THE BOTTOM, SABA- The Island Council of Saba in their meeting of Wednesday adopted a motion to request the Government ‘formateur’ and the political leaders working on a new coalition, to ensure that the new Government establish a so-called Social Minimum.

According to a letter of the island council, sent along with the mothion the Caribbean Netherlands “deserve a clear place” in the new coalition agreement. The Island Council advocates the establishing of a social minimum as soon as possible based on the actual cost of living. Pending this decision-making and implementation process, citizens who need it should receive a supplement to cover their subsistence costs.

“Despite the many studies and pleas which indicate the establishment of a social minimum as an urgent matter, political The Hague has persistently refused to address the unacceptable socio-economic situation in the Caribbean Netherlands. Through this way we express our common message and concerns to you once again. We urge that this undignified treatment of citizens in the Caribbean Netherlands be corrected,” it was stated in the letter, which was read by Island Council Member Carl Buncamper during Wednesday’s meeting.

Unequal treatment

The motion notes, among other things, that reasons used by the subsequent Dutch Governments not to establish a social minimum -based on the actual cost of living- do not hold. The motion further mentioned that the Dutch Parliament has repeatedly asked the Dutch Government to eliminate the unequal treatment and to establish a social minimum based on the necessary cost of living. The strong opinion of the National Ombudsman with regard to this issue was stated in the motion as well. 

All three Caribbean Netherlands islands have now passed a similar motion, the driving force behind this being that they are in agreement that the social minimum should be set and that by adopting these motions, a strong signal is sent to The Hague.

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