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Thousands of families can expect compensation after tax office fraud probes

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The chairman of a committee investigating a heavy-handed anti-fraud campaign by the tax office says thousands of families will eventually be entitled to compensation.

Piet-Hein Donner has already said the tax department should pay compensation to some 300 families who faced financial ruin after being wrongly accused of fraud. ‘They lost their jobs, had their wages sequestered,’ Donner said at the presentation of his committee’s findings.

‘You can never make up for that. This is the problem with compensating for damage, so you will have to be generous.’ The tax office stopped the child benefits of over 300 families after wrongly accusing them of committing fraud.

Most were dual national families, who not only lost benefits but were ordered to pay back money stretching several years. Donner’s investigation said officials had been far too strict in their interpretation of fraud and that the families should be repaid all the cash wrongly clawed back.

In addition, thousands of other families are likely to be in the same position, Donner said. They too have the right to compensation, he said. Asked if he felt real fraudsters could go unpunished, Donner said: ‘that is likely to be no more than a few’.

Claw-backs

Last Friday, tax minister Menno Snel halted the claw-backs of a further 8,500 families who had also been accused of wrongly claiming child benefits pending further investigation.

Ministers are due to discuss the report’s findings at Friday’s cabinet meeting. The investigation was started after a daycare centre in Almere and childminding agency in Eindhoven reported their concerns to the Dutch privacy watchdog AP.

Dual nationals

The agency had noted that a tax office worker was keeping records about dual national parents, while the daycare centre realised half its parents lost their subsidy, almost all of whom had foreign backgrounds.

The tax office has denied using nationality as a basis for deciding to investigate fraud. In 2014, 230 families were left in serious financial trouble after the tax office stopped their child benefits overnight because of ‘indications of fraud’.

They were also forced to pay back the cash. Last year, officials admitted that fraud was involved in just 27 cases.

(DutchNews)

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Caribbean Toastmasters organizes three-day event

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - This three-day event will start Friday 15, November at 7 pm and is open to the public with a spectacular feat of international speakers and Caribbean Toastmaster speakers, the organization announced on Thursday.

Chair for District 81 November’s Virtual Event, Kareem Rombley, ACB, ALS, has managed to assemble a fantastic line up of presenters. 
 
“World champion of public speaking 2001, AS Darren LaCroix will open the event on Friday November 15, with a presentation on how to have better presentations. Allowed by DTM Johnny Campbell on Embracing the winds of change which will take place on Saturday, November 16, at 10 am and DTM William Brown at 2 pm, followed by Toastmasters Accredited Speakers (AS) program trainer Sheryl Roush at 7 pm,” the organization statement said.

The Caribbean Toasmasters is asking the public to join in on a Tall Tales competition, where speakers is presented a topic and there have to speak impromptu, starting 7 pm. 

All presentation will be live on zoom at: 

https://zoom.us/j/343659171?pwd=M2xTTFIyZkM5WGRsaTBIU2VycHF1dz09

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Permanent Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter-Parliamentary Relations to meet about IPKO and Tripartite

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The Permanent Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter-Parliamentary Relations (CKAIR), will meet on November 14, 2019.

The urgent CKAIR Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 9.30 hrs. in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is: Discussion on ratified dates for IPKO and Tripartite Curaçao January 2020.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1 www.pearlfmradio.sxvia the internet www.sxmparliament.organd Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten

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MHF organizes Family Support Meeting for Saturday

CAY HILL - Next Saturday, November 16th, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) organizes the sixth edition of the Family Support Meeting!

“Would you like to know more about mental health in general? Or do you have a friend or family member who is having a hard time or could need help? The support of the people close to you can make a huge difference!

“Besides the opportunity for everyone to share whatever is on their heart, the additional topic for this meeting is: How to deal with addiction and aggression.

“Are you interested in this topic or want to know what you can do to help? Come to the meeting at 5-6PM. As always, refreshments and snacks will be served,” MHF said in a statement.

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CARIBBEAN AIRLINES FLIGHT BW 526 DIVERTED DUE TO ENGINE PROBLEM

SINT MAARTEN/TRINIDAD – Caribbean Airlines confirms that flight BW 526 bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York from Guyana, diverted to Nassau, Bahamas due to a mechanical issue with one of its engines, the airline said in a press statement on Sunday.

There were 134 passengers and seven (7) crew on board. The flight landed safely at 10.51 p.m. and was met by airport services. The aircraft taxied to a gate where customers and crew deplaned normally.

The aircraft has been withdrawn from service and all appropriate inspections and procedures are in progress to return it to service in good time.

Caribbean Airlines assures all stakeholders that safety is our number one priority and thanks its valued customers for their continued support and understanding.

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Ministry VROMI Traffic Alert: Police Escort of Trailer on Sunday

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), announces that on Sunday, November 10, the police will be escorting a trailer from Orange Grove road in Cole Bay to Mullet Bay Beach.

There will be an interruption in the traffic flow at 3.00AM on the following roads: Orange Grove road, Union road, Causeway Bridge, Airport road and Rhine road.

The temporary disruption will be approximately 25 minutes Motorists are advised to be vigilant and observant of the police escort and the trailer.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Central Committee meeting of Parliament regarding the current financial status of SZV and the revenue losses post-hurricanes Irma and Maria

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The House of Parliament will sit in a Central Committee meeting on November 8. The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor will be present.

The Continuation Central Committee meeting no. 09 which was adjourned on February 22, 2019 will be reconvened on Friday, at 11.00 hrs. in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is: The current financial status of SZV and the revenue losses since the passing of hurricanes Irma and Maria (IS/116/2018-2019 dated September 26, 2018).

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1 www.pearlfmradio.sxvia the internet www.sxmparliament.organd Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten

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Central Committee meeting of Parliament about the draft National Ordinance revision pension civil servants

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The House of Parliament will sit in a Central Committee meeting on, November 8. The Minister of General Affairs will be present.

The Central Committee meeting which was adjourned on October 22, 2019 will be reconvened on Friday, at 14.00 hrs. in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is:

National ordinance amending the National Ordinance on Pension for civil servants, amending the National Ordinance age limit civil servants, and repealing the Long-term Allowance regulation pensioners 1943 (National Ordinance revision pension civil servants) (Parliamentary Year 2018-2019-121)

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1 www.pearlfmradio.sxvia the internet www.sxmparliament.organd Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten

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Ad Hoc Committee Electoral Reform of Parliament to meet about the National Decree about the dissolution of Parliament

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The Ad Hoc Committee Electoral Reform (AHCER), will meet on, November 7.

The Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 11.00 hrs. in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda points are:

  1. Terms of Reference Electoral Reform
  2. National Decree dated October 3, 2019, no. LB-19/0675

(IS/106/2019-2020 dated October 4, 2019)

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1 www.pearlfmradio.sxvia the internet www.sxmparliament.organd Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten

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