Published On: Thu, Sep 26th, 2013

Last subsidy for Caribbean parts of the Kingdom was in 2012

Ronald PlasterkTHE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD – Member of Parliament for the party PVV, Sietse Fritsma wants the Minister of Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk to explain how it is possible that Dutch tax payers are still paying for subsidies to the former Netherlands Antilles islands, while the islands are supposed to regulate their own affairs. Plaster replied in a letter to the MP that the subsidies were stopped this year.

“The last collaboration funds were made available to the Dutch Caribbean countries (Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten) and the public entities (Saba, Sint Eustatius and Bonaire) in 2012,” according to the Minister in his letter. “This is not a direct subsidy, but the funds administered by the Development Foundation Aruba (FDA), Netherlands Antilles Development Foundation (SONA) and Foundation Antillean C-Financing Organization (AMFO). The implementation of the cooperation policy will continue until the end of 2013 for AMFO, until 2014 for SONA and until 2015 for FDA. Then it is up to the countries themselves to continue with their policies in the field of education, socioeconomic development, good governance and security and to reserve sufficient funds for these policies on their budget.”

In addition, the MP for PVV wants to know how it is possible that the former Sona-treasurer was appointed State Representative in May 2011, while it was already known that the period during which he served as treasurer, the accounting surrounding the grant funds was a mess. Plasterk refers to earlier reports which he indicated to maintain confidence in Stolte. In addition, the Minister indicated on 13 September that the Government’s Representative is stepping down in May next year. Plasterk then gave as a reason that staying in that position for more than three years too long.

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