KRALENDIJK – The Thodé Committee, appointed by the government to investigate the social minimum for the BES islands (Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius), has presented its findings. The report indicates that a third of the residents of the BES islands have been living below the minimum wage or with inadequate benefits for years. Unkobon, the consumer association of Bonaire, urges the government to adopt the committee’s recommendations, including an increase in the minimum wage and adjustments to social benefits. Furthermore, Unkobon advocates for the establishment of a task force to implement the social minimum by the summer of 2024.
In its report, the committee emphasizes the fundamental right of all residents of the Netherlands, including the BES islands, to a dignified existence according to the constitution and international treaties. The recommendations include support for employers, affordable public transportation, and free childcare, among other things. Unkobon, which has been advocating for a dignified existence on the BES islands for years, had previously filed a lawsuit against the Dutch State due to the absence of such a social minimum.
Now, with the clear recommendations of the Thodé Committee, Unkobon hopes for prompt action from the government and insists that the Second Chamber oversees this. The committee emphasizes that further delays in the implementation of its proposals should not be tolerated by the government or the Second Chamber. “The government cannot once again ignore the findings of a committee it has appointed or push for further delays. The Chamber must not allow that to happen now. The ball is in the court of politics!” according to a statement from the association.