Published On: Mon, Aug 14th, 2017

Misleading messages

elton-jones-526x500Dear editor,

If we listen to members of government tell it we may be just a trifle below Utopia. By their data everything is tipsy turvy and no stone is left unturned to protect our country and defend our people. In short giving meaning to the campaign slogans of “people before self and a promise made is a promise kept.”

But just as in previous governments we are hard pressed to believe for it doesn’t show in the employment market, or the food basket or our ability to pay the school fees and meet our obligations to Gebe and other household necessities. Let me be perfectly clear: it is beyond any doubt quite a feat to put all these high councils in place in six years, it is awe inspiring to balance the budget and rid our people of the Nancy stories of the Dutch and the Cft with their instructions and threats of higher supervision.

But what are we supposed to think when we hear that our government has recently approved hundreds of residents and work permits for foreigners while our young people cry out for gainful employ? How are we to accept that these jobs are mostly in sales persons, hotel help and car rental agents when we are told we don’t qualify? How are we to reconcile the fact that out of every ten people in stores on Front Street and Back Street all are non-nationals and eight are directors?

If our education system is not producing what the business community needs maybe we should be better informed on these requirements and adjust our curriculum to suit. Even then there will remain a degree of doubt as we are told we can’t tell the school boards who are subsidized by the tax payer how to set the curriculum. We have in this country requirements for directors of our NVs. Maybe we can be informed about the need of directors in jewelry stores, tee shirt shops and electronic equipment outlets.

I know you see where I am going. the same urgency and maximum input you attach to the implementation of the asset confiscation team can be put into the eradication of the abuse of short term contracts. We can also ask the overzealous prosecutor’s office to apply the law on businesses who employ illegals and try to circumvent the law on taxes and social security. I am sure the treasury can use an extra 100,000 guilders.

It would be nice if our INS can check on the many Venezuelans who have refugee or other humanitarian status on the northern half of the island now taken on most of the jobs in the hotels in the Maho area. Our government has been very busy with a myriad of issues but none that directly affect the life and livelihood of the small man what a friend of mine referred to as the “bread and butter” issues.

We are also still concerned about the Pearl of China project and the guarantee of jobs to our people and we are hoping that we will know before they start up to avoid hearing we don’t have what they need or that our education system is inadequate.

We may be able to pre-empt that by finding out now what vacancies are available to us or what percentage of the project we will be able to fill. Ladies and gentlemen of honor the messages coming out of your weekly press briefings are at the very least misleading. When you declare that we are giving too much work permits to outsiders for jobs locals can fill and then issue a new batch of permits is very misleading. When you omit to finalize laws promised since 10-10-10 and expedite others that don’t directly address the cries of our people is also misleading. And when you proudly announce the education budget including your pride in the successful candidates who leave to further their studies, but fill all positions in the public sector with outsiders while giving the private sector more permits to import foreign labor it is at the very least, downright confusing.

Elton Jones