PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — “The lack of empathy knows no boundaries with this Prime Minister,” said Independent MP Christophe Emmanuel in reaction to Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs’ celebratory claim of “vindication” after the Constitutional Court upheld three income cutting laws that her government imposed on the people of St. Maarten.
“The Prime Minister is celebrating being wrong and making people lives harder,” the MP said.
MP Emmanuel said it should surprise no one that the Prime Minister would have that sort of reaction considering that her government did not consider the immediate and long term suffering workers would have to endure as a result of the cuts. This consideration could not be demonstrated to the court prompting the court to issue a statement of “hope” that the Dutch government and the government of St. Maarten consider the people.
“The Prime Minister actually found a way to strike a celebratory tone after the verdict. All of this while we have police officers getting their electricity cut, and parents getting letters from schools about non-payment of school fees. How do you find the heart to strike a tone of celebration while people suffer?” the MP asked.
“The Prime used the word ‘vindication’ as if there was something to be proud of. She did not use the opportunity to tell civil servants and others when or if they can expect anything going forward or how long these “temporary laws” will be on the books. No, she chose instead to say; you see, we are vindicated! As usual the poor tone and severe lack of empathy was on full display again,” he said.
He added that the government of St. Maarten has never “to this day” divulged what its negotiating approach was and what alternatives were presented to the Dutch government. The government, he continued, also has never answered if it was the Dutch government that actually came up with the 12.5% cut or was that a recommendation from “other sources” that St. Maarten simply went along with.
“Bottom line is this government operates in the shadows. You do not know what to believe since they have been caught in lie after lie. The Prime Minister of St. Maarten has shown in the past and has re-enforced recently that she will condone and say anything to protect the wrong actions of her government, which apparently is “stable” based on deals being cut. So it should surprise no one that she would celebrate being wrong and claim vindication on the backs of the people of St. Maarten,” the MP concluded.