Follow the money

Dear Editor, In response to the article in The Daily Herald on Tuesday, where George Pantophlet MP states that the habit of politicians giving money to the electorate “needs to change,” I have to agree.

Politicians giving cash to voters is considered as buying votes no matter how genuine the intent is and is no different than the allegations of giving away BlackBerrys, fridges or airline tickets that cropped up during the last elections.

If, however, the politicians donated say 10 per cent of their salaries to an independent charitable trust to set up a co-operative not-for-profit bank, this capital could be used to make micro-loans available to the neediest citizens at minimal interest rates. Such a scheme would show the outside world that St. Maarten politicians are not corrupt, that they care about the communities that voted for them and would also negate the need of people having to turn to loan sharks or ‘gold for cash’ establishments to make ends meet.

This could serve as a social model that could be followed throughout the Caribbean and give St. Maarten’s government a much needed boost of good publicity too.



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