Leader of USP party Pamela Gordon-Carty, argues that salaries and pensions neither reflect economic reality nor honor people’s contributions to Sint Maarten
PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Leader of USP party Pamela Gordon-Carty, who served as Sint Maarten’s Minister of Health, Social Development and Labor from 2019-2020, today stated her position on laborers’ wages and pensioners’ incomes in the country. In her view, the current government is excessively focused on other projects and investments, while neglecting to pay suitable salaries to people who work for a living. Nor is the government adequately honoring retirees’ contributions to making Sint Maarten what it is today.
“Sint Maarten can do better. Indeed, we must do better,” explained Mrs. Gordon-Carty, who is the leader of the United Sint Maarten Party. “I stand with the laborers and pensioners. We of the US party say to the current government: Laborers, the elderly and pensioners have to be respected and not neglected!”
From Mrs. Gordon-Carty’s point of view, current wages do not reflect the effort and value of Sint Maarten’s people. She added, “With great dismay, I’m following the news and realizing that I’m not hearing enough about the pensioners’ and laborers’ wages. Rather, I am hearing too much about projects and investments. Their priority should be set to the peoples’ interests first.”
Mrs. Gordon-Carty further remarked on the apparent lack of gratitude the government is showing to the people who have enabled Sint Maarten to become known as “the hub in the Caribbean” and “the pearl in the region.” She said, “Their meager poor people’s pensions do not reflect the reality of their awesome contributions and sacrifices toward developments of Sint Maarten as a country. The constant abuse on all levels in all sectors more reflect that others are being put above the people who are active contributors to the flow and growth of this economy. Their insignificant pensions and wages could be seen as more of an injury, an injustice done to pensioners and laborers who rightfully deserve better.”
As former interim Minister of VSA, which lasted only six months, Mrs. Gordon-Carty discovered upon entering office that yearly indexing had not been performed at all in the previous three years, which created a huge gap. Mrs. Gordon-Carty, with her financial background, knew this could not be left unnoticed, as it would create more damage in the future. She, therefore, performed the neglected calculation within the 6 months period of her short tenure.
Whiles others want to ridicule the 1 cent without proper understanding of what really took place, focus here should be that her predecessor did not execute the indexation for the past three years before her term. This led to the 1 cent when the calculation was performed, which should not even be called an increase as others want to make people believe.
“As usual, people want to play politics,” forgetting or not realizing that it is thanks to this exercise performed by Mrs. Gordon-Carty that the present government can now conveniently say they increased the salary, which is still lacking some cardinal steps during execution. She added, “While the effort is commendable, it’s important that things are done in an organized, step-by-step order rather than haphazardly so the desired result can be achieved. If we only stop playing politics and focus on the interest of the people, the country would be better off.”
Laborers and pensioners in Sint Maarten need higher incomes so they can buy basic items like food, shelter and utilities. Mrs. Gordon-Carty, the leader of the US party, went on to comment, “We as a country can only become successful when we start putting the focus at the right place. Improvements in life on Sint Maarten will only happen when we start valuing our elderly and those who labor for our overall success—when we start taking into consideration that businesses cannot prosper without their employees, when we start recognizing that the future of this country will be wasted if we cannot create employment opportunities for our young graduates and young adults. Then we will be on the right track. Actions always speak louder than words.”