MP Lake prepares legislation agenda for second half of 2015

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – United People’s (UP) party Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Maurice Lake, says he has drafted a legislation agenda which he will be working on during the second half of 2015 after parliament returns from recess.

“Government has already started working on abolishing the Expat law in the public sector and making changes to the law for the private sector, and this will save Government approximately one million guilders.  This is a cost savings measure for the people and I commend the Minister of Finance with respect to this.

“I stated during the budget debate 2014 that the law on this topic is incomplete, no limitations on how far back one can claim, and therefore persons were employed without this agreement are now requesting it retroactive in court.

“I am looking forward to see the final changes made to the law by Fiscal Affairs and the Minister of Finance. I am also looking forward for Government to look into improving their “instroombeleid” incentives policy to encourage our young professionals to return home to work.

”Presently, the National Ordinance Amending the Ordinance on Admittance and Expulsion (LTU) and Fee Ordinance (AB 2014, no. 23) which I brought up during the Budget 2014 debate is by the Council of Advice to be reviewed, and then to be sent back to the Council of Ministers and back to Parliament.

“We need to amend this law because an application or processing fee should be non-refundable.  Nowhere in the world is an application or processing fee refundable to the applicant. The ministry has to do administrative work whether you get the permit or not and government saves money.

”It’s good to see Government is working on the recognition of the University of St. Martin this year and to increase their subsidy on the Budget 2016.  I am very pleased with this development as it will benefit our youth and the country overall.

”I plan to schedule a meeting with the Police Department to start looking into amending the law into noise levels at bars and night clubs, as well as the breathalyzer test and other legislation that just needs to be amended in the interests of the people.  I have been busy since January working on some amendments.

“Another piece of law change is abolishing the land tax article in the law.  Land is an asset to native Sint Maarteners and certain articles need to be eliminated because they do not fit into the Sint Maarten situation.

“There are laws on the books that are outdated and don’t serve the interests of the Sint Maarten people,” MP Lake said on Sunday.

“I am very pleased to see the Ministry of VROMI has carried out a public bid for trench cleaning for a period of two years for local contractors in the different districts. This has been a very successful project which creates work for the boys in the different districts to provide for their family, and at the same time our environment looks better and cleaner.

”I however would like to see more Capital Investment projects on the budget for 2016 to stimulate economic development in the community.  This is very much necessary.

”As a member of parliament, I would continue to legislate and amend laws and educate the nation in the best interest of our people.  MPs have to know and understand their roles as well as the powers that they have as Parliament.

“The focus now must be more on legislating rather than asking all the time questions.  We need to get serious with the people’s business and show more political maturity,” UP MP Maurice Lake said on Sunday.