|Wiels has respect for interim-cabinet|
|Monday, 25 March 2013 10:23|
WILLEMSTAD — PS-leader Helmin Wiels looks back on the work performed by the Hodge-cabinet in the first three months with satisfaction. “I have respect for the difficult work they’ve accomplished. They had and still have to implement important measures. This is not an easy task.”Wiels came up with the idea of the interim-cabinet (not a cabinet which is not supported by a parliamentary majority) after the elections last year. The proposal of a cabinet consisting of experts that is to stay on for a specific period to perform specific tasks was made after attempts to form a cabinet of Pueblo Soberano – which party had won the elections of October 2012 – with the former partners MFK and MAN had failed. Glenn Camelia (the person charged with forming a new government) succeeded in reaching an agreement with the fractions of PS, Pais and PNP and independent parliamentarian Glenn Sulvaran to form a non-political interim-cabinet.
The cabinet, led by Premier Daniel Hodge (PS), was installed just before the end of last year. This cabinet could count on a minimum majority of 11 of the 21 seats in the Parliament. The parties agreed that it would stay on for three to six months and then be succeeded by a political cabinet.
The first task of the new cabinet of PS-persuasion was to have the Parliament approve the national budget for 2013. A budget this cabinet had not made but still had to defend in the Parliament. The Parliament approved this budget with support from the PAR-fraction. The cabinet then had to present several stiff dossiers to the Parliament. It regarded the basic medical insurance (bvz) that became effective on February 1st; the controversial adjustment of the Pension Insurance (aov) whereby the retirement age changed from 60 to 65; and replacing the land-tax with the property tax (ozb) whereby landowners are to pay tax on the entire value of their land and all buildings on that land, rather than only on the value of their house.
Wiels admits that the members of this interim-cabinet had to perform several difficult tasks. “I have respect for their accomplishments under such circumstances. They are hard workers. It’s not easy, but we in the Parliament will continue to support them. Although they have accomplished much there’s more work to be done. The problem is that it takes so long to prepare laws. Something must be done about this.’
The law regarding the Budgetary Chamber is important, according to the PS-leader, and must certainly be introduced in the coming months; an own organ that supervises the entire budgetary process. Wiels sets great store by this organ. “Many people don’t realize the importance of this organ but once its operational we no longer need the Council financial supervision (Cft). The supervision can then be done by our own people and organs. The Budgetary Chamber must be included in the Constitution, or at least become a high Council of State. It will contribute significantly to the development of this island.”