News Social Improvement
On the 10th of January, 2022, the new central government of the Netherlands was inaugurated under Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The new cabinet is a continuation of the previous third Rutte cabinet and immediately has a plethora of challenges to face and deal with, including the Kingdom's climate ambitions, the overheating of the real estate market in the European Netherlands, and of course, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For the Dutch Caribbean, the appointment of Alexandra van Huffelen as Staatssecretaris Koninkrijksrelaties en Digitalisering (State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalization) is of particular interest, and she is expected to visit the region in the very near future.
€ 113 million for the Dutch Caribbean
In the new cabinet's so-called startnota, or Project Initiation Document, which you can find here, the new government announces an additional investment of € 113 million in the Dutch Caribbean over the period 2022-2025. This year, about € 23 million is reserved for investment in the region, which will be followed by € 30 million annually up until the year 2025. The additional funds are aimed at restructuring and reinforcing the labor market, fighting poverty in the region, and stimulating economic development overall.
On top of that, the Dutch Ministerie van Landbouw, Natuur en Voedselkwaliteit (Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality) will be reserving another € 35 million for the protection and preservation of nature on Bonaire, Sint-Eustatius, and Saba. This year, the Ministry will invest € 8 million, followed by a planned € 11 million in 2023, and € 16 million in 2024.
The startnota concerns a first estimate of the different budgetary frameworks and their respective economic consequences for the Kingdom of the Netherlands as a whole. After further studies and once the CPB (Centraal Planning Bureau) publishes her new macroeconomic estimate in March of this year, the fourth Rutte cabinet will present an updated estimate of the budgets and frameworks presented earlier this week.
The basis for this article was originally published on www.statiagovernment.com in January 2022.