WILLEMSTAD – Yesterday morning during the Central Committee meeting of Parliament, several agenda items were discussed including parliament’s own budget for the year 2018.
One of the Members of Parliament noted that the Parliament is asking for 22.6 million guilders for 2018 and the budget for 2017 is 19.8 million guilders. This is an increase of 2.9 million guilders. According to Curtley Obispo, MP for PAR, Parliament is asking the people of Curaçao to give them 2.9 million guilders more while the economic situation of the island is not at its best right now.
According to Obispo, what the MPs are asking is to take funds away from other important posts of the national budget to cover the cost of running Parliament. For salaries an extra 1 million is being requested, for consultancy fees, Parliament requests an additional 1 million and for public relations, 0.27 million.
This increase has been calculated based on the 2016 numbers and also the 2017 budget till March. This is also the reason why Obispo requested an overview of what really took place in 2016 and the real numbers until March 2017.
Obispo also asked what Parliament has accomplished since December 23, 2016, up until now. “Parliament’s real task is to create laws and to keep a watchful eye on the government’s policies. So my question is, does this budget really reflect what the Parliament does? Does it comply with the principles of good governance?
Obispo also wants to know about the impact the two Independent MPs have on the budget. Both have their staff that needs to be paid. Parliament also has a staff of 35 employees that are on a fixed contract. “Every time and MP declares himself or herself independent, this will have an impact on the budget. The people choose for a political party, not for independent MPs. This issue of having independent MPs is costing us a lot of money,” said Obispo in his dissertation yesterday.