Lower special allowances for Caribbean Netherlands

The amounts that the Dutch government is making available in special allow­ances for Bonaire, St. Eu­statius and Saba is going down in the coming years. This seems to be in contra­vention of the promise of The Hague to invest more in the islands.

The Rutte IV government announced in its coalition accord earlier this year that it would invest an ad­ditional 30 million euros per year in the Caribbean Netherlands. At the same time, however, the budget item “Special allowances” will go down in the coming years.

This became clear from a letter that Dutch State Sec­retary of Kingdom Rela­tions and Digitisation Alex­andra van Huffelen sent to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Mon­day. The letter contained two overviews: the special allowances per ministry and the special allowances per public entity.

For 2022, the total amount of special allowances of all ministries combined has been set at 22.3 million eu­ros. In 2023, the amount increases to 27.8 million euros, in 2024 it goes down to 23.1 million euros while the 2025 budget shows a total of 22.1 million euros and the 2026 budget 10.2 million euros.

In 2021, the ministries spent a combined 45.3 mil­lion euros on or for the three islands. The larg­est amount came from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK with 13 million euros, followed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management with 12.9 mil­lion euros.

The special allowances per public entity are also going down the coming years. Whereas St. Eustatius re­ceived 10.6 million euros in special allowances in 2021, this amount is slashed to 1.6 million euros for 2022 and two million euros for 2023. For both 2023 and 2024, 1.7 million has been allocated in special allow­ances for St. Eustatius.

Aside from the special al­lowances for the individual islands, there is also a bud­get item for the entire Caribbean Netherlands. The amount for this budget item increases from 9.5 mil­lion euros in 2021 to 11.3 million euros in 2022 and 15.6 million euros in 2023 and the two years thereaf­ter.

The special allowance for the Public Entity Saba was 3.5 million in 2021. This in­creases to 4.3 million euros in 2022 and 2023. For 2024 and the two years after that, the Dutch government has allocated 1.3 million euros in special allowances for Saba.

In total, the Dutch gov­ernment will be spending almost 23 million euros less in special allowances in 2022 compared to 2021.

The Daily Herald.

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Island Council attends course in Bonaire

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