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Lengthy budget debate ended on Friday with UPP Members voting against for the 2017 budget.

7 motions also passed.

PHILIPSBURG:--- After nine days of budget debate 10 Members of Parliament, those forming the current coalition NA, USP and DP MP’s voted in favor of the 2017 budget, while three of the UPP MP’s voted against. MP Tamara Leonard said even though she asked several questions and got the necessary answers she could not support the budget because whatever government does, she also will be held accountable for it.
During the budget debate seven motions were presented, one being giving full attention to financial situation on St. Maarten by ensuring measures are taken to ensure taxes are being paid. The second motion aimed directly at foreign investors that has director’s license. In that motion it stated that foreign investors that holds a director’s license should pay NAF.9.000.00 annually. While 13 MPs that were present voted in favor of the motion MP Sarah Wescot Williams voted against the motion stating that is discriminatory and goes against the governing program that was prepared by the incoming government. Despite voting against along with MP Emil Lee, the motion the motion to implement a fee on holders of foreign director’s license was accepted. Parliament also voted on a motion to have the prosecutor’s office conduct timely prosecution which was carried unanimously.
Giving the police more tools and having them conduct more controls to curtail the amount of armed robberies is another motion that was passed unanimously, while the government was mandated through a motion to allocate NAF. 5,000.00 to put in place a plan of approach to implement the English Language and have documents and laws in the English Language in order for Members of Parliament and the people of St. Maarten to understand what the laws of their country are.

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