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8/18/2010

UNITED PEOPLE’S PARTY

UPWARDS AND BEYOND 10-10-10 Taking St. Maarten beyond 10-10-10 |


Table of Contents

A word from the leader. ........................................................................................................ 5 Vision Statement .............................................................................................................. 6 The Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure ................................................................. 7 Travel & Tourism .............................................................................................................. 7 National Tourism Organization ......................................................................................... 7 Agriculture ........................................................................................................................ 8 Aviation & Maritime ........................................................................................................... 8 Technological Knowledge Export ...................................................................................... 8 Improved Transportation ................................................................................................... 9 Utilities .............................................................................................................................10 Consumer Protection Laws ..............................................................................................10 Small Business ................................................................................................................10 Financial and Tax Structure.................................................................................................11 Simplification of Tax Laws ...............................................................................................11 Management of Tax System ............................................................................................12 Social Security .................................................................................................................12 Plan for the Simplification and Restructuring of the Tax System ......................................12 United Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party | <

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Government Owned Corporations ...................................................................................13 Education and Culture .........................................................................................................14 Language of Instruction ...................................................................................................14 Putting Our Children First ................................................................................................14 Not Leaving Our Teachers and Administrators Behind ....................................................15 Tertiary Education Financial Assistance ..........................................................................15 Restructuring of USM ......................................................................................................16 Adult Literacy ...................................................................................................................17 Technology ......................................................................................................................17 Culture .............................................................................................................................18 Music and the Arts ...........................................................................................................18 Law Enforcement & Justice .................................................................................................19 Law Enforcement .............................................................................................................19 Judicial Process ...............................................................................................................20 Language ........................................................................................................................20 Community Crime Prevention ..........................................................................................21 Rehabilitation ...................................................................................................................21 Prison System ..............................................................................................................21 Expansion of the Rehabilitation Department .................................................................21 Youth Correctional Facility ...........................................................................................21 United Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party | <

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Housing ...............................................................................................................................22 Health Care .........................................................................................................................23 National Health Care Insurance Plan (NHCIP).................................................................24 Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation .......................................................................................25 Preventive Health Care ....................................................................................................25 Mental Health Care ..........................................................................................................26 Elderly Care .....................................................................................................................27 Youth and Community Services ..........................................................................................28 Development of Youth Programs .....................................................................................28 Parks and Recreation ......................................................................................................29 Development of Sports ....................................................................................................29 Sports Facilities ............................................................................................................29 Recognition of Athletes: ...............................................................................................30 Community Outreach .......................................................................................................30 Labor and Immigration ........................................................................................................31 Labor ...............................................................................................................................31 Immigration ......................................................................................................................31 The Environment .................................................................................................................32 The Civil Service and Kingdom Relations ............................................................................33 The Transition .....................................................................................................................34 United Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party | <

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A word from the leader. In this 21st century St. Maarten is challenged with a new constitutional status, which will require proactive, experienced, knowledgeable and visionary leadership as it steps out of the shadow of the Netherlands Antilles and onto the bright stage of the world. The United Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party (UP) is an organization built from the ground UP to meet such challenges. UP is a modern party with the vision necessary to work in a complex global economy and an organization based on values that keep us in touch with the everyday needs and concerns of the people. Together, we will build a proud and strong St. Maarten! We cannot afford the old and divisive politics that at times have crippled our government and cast serious doubt on our ability to successfully govern ourselves. UP is a party that believes in good governance. UP is the viable alternative to the tired and stale politics. The name of the new party is itself symbolic to the needs of the people. We, the United People, believe that a government or political party should never lose touch with its people. UP will focus on the essential principles that will guide St. Maarten on its path ever UPward. Selfish pride and foolish egos have no place in the business of the people. We know what is important to the people, and with this in mind, the UP party was born.

United Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party | /A word from the leader.

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As you peruse our Plan of Action 2010 you will get a clear picture of the party’s objectives and position on various issues that matter to all of St. Maarten’s people. The United People’s Party is like a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room. I, the leader of the party have teamed UP with some of the most talented and dedicated individuals who are ready and eager to serve the people. So in this coming election we ask for your support by teaming UP for St. Maarten.

Vision Statement The United Peoples’ Party envisions a St. Maarten as an economically sustainable country that embraces freedom and equality, promotes solidarity and citizenship, and provides justice and integrity while building a unified and healthy nation.

United People’s Party | /A word from the leader.

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The Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure The economic development of St. Maarten depends on a sound financial structure and economic growth plan. The record of the leader of the United People’s Party demonstrates that he has the ability to maintain a stable economy while expanding it in a planned, steady and secure manner. The United People’s Party knows that it is vital to closely monitor the health of the economy and to research new development for further enhancement. A free enterprise system with economic benefits for all is key to economic sustainability. Listed below are key areas essential to the development of the economic growth of St. Maarten:

Travel & Tourism  The United People’s Party believes that Travel & Tourism must be placed high on the island’s priority list, driving forward policies already under consideration and ensuring that the interests of the industry are integrated into broader policy decisions within the economy.

National Tourism Organization  The objectives and purpose of the National Tourism Organization (NTO) should be adjusted and expanded to broadly represent the primary variables of our economy. The NTO will serve as the focal point for cooperation between government and the private sector. The United People’s Party will work with NTO to : o Protect and keep foremost in everyone’s mind that tourism is everybody’s business by creating tourism awareness programs on TV, radio, billboards and in the schools. o Further develop the tourism pillars such as stay-over visitors, cruise passengers, marine trade, timeshare and condominiums, as well as convert cruise passengers into stay-over visitors. o Continue to promote distribution through the Internet, e-commerce and other emergent technologies and utilize monitoring technologies. o Study and propose government incentives, fiscal and otherwise, for the establishment of brand names and 5 star properties. o Create and promote environmental, health, safety and security guidelines for travel and tourism developments. o Prioritize improvements to airline connections and connectivity to a wide range of markets. Airlift from Latin American and European markets must be increased. A focus on enhancing and increasing Caribbean tourism, as well as opening up the island to sports and cultural events in this area, will further strengthen visitor numbers.

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o Create a consensus within government to ensure that user fees collected from travel and tourism are channeled into the development of our island’s infrastructure. o Promote incentives for existing hotel and timeshare properties and other related service providers to improve the quality of product and service, expand promotional coverage and increase operating efficiencies bringing existing properties in line with internationally accepted standards.

Agriculture  Agriculture in St. Maarten should be supported and enhanced to reduce the need to rely on foreign suppliers. The United People’s party will: o Encourage the production of locally grown products for everyday consumer needs. o Provide incentives for utilizing modern growing techniques such as hydroponics and aqua-ponics. o Establish a slaughter house, with sanitary controls and regulations; a necessity that will allow for greater purchase of meat and meat products from domestically raised livestock.

Aviation & Maritime  Aviation and Maritime treaties, laws and policies are established for the enhancement of ports, airports, and harbor facilities for transshipment. The United People’s Party will: o Require a review of the treaties, laws, and policies for Aviation and Maritime Affairs. o Establish aviation and marine directorates for the enhancement of St. Maarten’s airport as a hub for airlines and its harbor facilities as a transshipment point for goods from Europe and the United States.

Technological Knowledge Export  The UP Party believes that as tourism was a bold step that the leaders of St Maarten consciously lead the island towards over fifty (50) years ago, the leadership of St Maarten will need to make a similar choice to develop a new economic pillar for St Maarten to take us beyond 10-10-10.  We plan to accomplish this by creating a new government owned corporation tasked with developing information technology solutions initially for the government enterprise.  Eventually this new corporation will be in a position to export knowledge, thereby increasing our gross domestic product (GDP).  This sector will be specifically supported by government policy including but not limited to e-zone legislation to grant preferred tax rates.

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Improved Transportation  There is need for an island-wide passenger and product transportation network research study to provide improved transportation. The United People’s Party will: o Carry out a study to analyze the transportation challenge and make improvements. o Construct bus terminals and bus stops for transportation and provide adequate parking both free as well as paid parking. o Generate funds from parking.

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Utilities o An updating of the GEBE tariff structure will be given priority.

Consumer Protection Laws  Consumer protection laws are required to protect the consumer in our complex society where the opportunity for the activities of unscrupulous individuals exists. The United People’s party will: o Ensure that the consumer protected laws are implemented. o Review the function of the Rent Committee will be carried out and recommendations made. o Review the products presently covered under price control is much needed and will be undertaken.

Small Business We believe and understood that small and micro enterprises are not only a sign of selfsustainability in a society but are the fuel that keeps the economy growing. o UP will establish (and support where existing) small business and entrepreneurial programs that will provide the opportunity for participation into the island’s economy. o Further support for entrepreneurship programs will come through grant and loan funding.

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Financial and Tax Structure An efficient tax system where legislation, execution and collection are realistic and efficient is vital for the future of St. Maarten. An efficient tax system produces the revenue for government to properly execute its tasks. An efficient tax system is the primary tool to be used by government to regulate and stimulate the economy. Responsible taxation is required let citizens and companies alike enjoy the fruits of their labor, while providing the services that will keep St. Maarten healthy, productive and secure. The United People’s Party will: o

Establish progressive legislation for both private and corporate taxes.

o

Ensure that a realistic budget is put in place reflecting the needs for governing country St. Maarten with evidence of the sources of support for the budget.

o

Review the tax structure with the purpose of simplification, rationalization and upgrading.

o

Implement a restructured tax system that will lead to improved compliance, fair distribution of the tax burden.

o

Restructure tax system that provides for an acceptable standard of living for all.

Simplification of Tax Laws  The numbers of taxes, tax exemptions, direct vs. indirect taxes, simplification of the tax laws, guidelines for the execution of the tax levying and collection tasks are all areas of great concern.

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The United People’s Party will: o Study, revise, and simplify the tax laws. o

Collect reliable information and other data that will accurately calculate the consequences of changes in tax laws, tax rates and the shifting of taxes.

o

Offer citizens information sessions, on a regular basis, on tax compliance, and tax filing to ensure that they know their rights and obligations.

Management of Tax System  Taxes, social security premiums and other fiscal contributions are the foundation of the financial, social and economic structure. Sudden and drastic changes to this foundation may result in negative consequences or a collapse of the whole structure. The United People’s Party will : o Upgrade the departments involved in the levying and collection of taxes to better handle the demands of the existing tax structure. o Prepare the departments for the demands of the restructured tax system.

Social Security  Social security obligations must be an integral factor for consideration when looking at the simplification of the tax system or the implementation of a new tax system. The United People’s Party will: o Provide assurances and guarantees to ensure ongoing social security obligations. o Establish a St. Maarten Pension Fund without taxation for our retired elderly citizens to have the comfort and security they deserve.

Plan for the Simplification and Restructuring of the Tax System  A simplification and restructuring of the tax system is a priority and United People’s Party will: o Prepare an explanatory document on tax simplification, its aspects, and general identification of possibilities set within the framework of financial, social and economic policies. o Establish the physical and financial means required to execute the core tasks of the study. o Establish the amount of taxes needed to be collected on an annual basis. United People’s Party | Financial and Tax Structure

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o Establish a council comprised of tax and finance experts who are capable of making a decision on the proposed package of changes and the consequences to the changes. o Implement the changes to the tax system. o Implement small business tax-breaks for small business in designated fields.

Government Owned Corporations  Government owned corporations, to the extent allowed by law, are required to render services that are efficient and affordable. These corporations should be well run and managed. At all times, there must be a balance between profits made and cost of services rendered. The United People’s Party will: o Establish agreements where a portion of dividends is allocated to general government operations. o Give priority to the creation of jobs, while balancing the cost thereof by the directorate of government owned corporations.  The United People’s Party will continue to research, study and inform the people of the advantages and disadvantages of Dollarization.

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Education and Culture Education and Culture are inseparable. The United People’s Party believes in an education system that is based on culture that is supportive of all students through affirmation of their culture, which helps them to be aware of their heritage and to value their accomplishments, while developing a sense of pride and self-esteem. A sound Education Policy should be the primary tool for establishing a system of education and creating understanding and appreciation for culture and nationalism. The United People’s Party believes in Progressive Education, which aims at integrating the school with society and the processes of learning with the actual problems of life, applying the principles and practices of democracy. The school system should be compulsory and open to all without discrimination of color, race, creed, national origin, sex or social status.

Language of Instruction  St. Maarten is considered a language lab and therefore multi – lingual. English is the native tongue and must be considered the most important of all languages spoken on the island. However, Dutch plays a major role in governance of country St. Maarten. Hence, a strong Dutch curriculum is expected in all schools to allow students to master the Dutch language at the end of secondary school. o The United People’s Party supports the English language system with a strong Dutch component throughout the education system. Students seeking the protected professions (lawyers, civil servants, judges) will follow alternative programs in Dutch.

Putting Our Children First  Our children are our greatest asset. Educating our children, our future, takes first priority. The United People’s Party plans to: o Have a seamless transfer of education from primary to secondary to higher education. o Set higher standards and demand higher expectations from students o Research societal needs of the workforce and link to scholarship policy. o Establish Career Expos for job exposure to students, internships for job experience and opportunity. o Test students of all schools each year on their academic ability. This test will be based on the required curriculum for that grade and will serve as a marker to determine to what extent students have absorbed the subject matter. o Create preventive programs to combat drop out and illiteracy at the early stages. United People’s Party | Education and Culture

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o Develop programs that assist parents and students of learning disabled and gifted students. o Allow students the opportunity to have programs of study via Virtual Learning Environments. o Promote the involvement of students in the Math and Science fields. o Research the possibility of instituting alternative behavior programs and schools. o Introduce Conflict Resolution programs to teach children better ways to communicate and handle disagreements when they arise. o Revisit the Community School project for full implementation. o Support and encourage organizations that provide non-school hour programs for our students, it is imperative that our children spend time out of school productively. o Adaptation of Foundation Based Education to meet the needs of the children of St. Maarten.

Not Leaving Our Teachers and Administrators Behind  The noble teaching profession calls for effective leadership, quality delivery, consistent review, and accountability. The United People’s Party will: o Recognize master teachers and principals. o

Support services for teachers such as counseling to alleviate the stress levels in the work place.

o

Provide leadership programs for the improvement of schools.

o Implement Teacher - Student ratios according to law. o Implement technological standards to be met by teachers and administrators to ensure that students are prepared for the dynamic world of technology. o Evaluate administrative and teaching performance in all schools. o Recognize, at the end of the school year, those schools with the highest academic achievement scores.

Tertiary Education Financial Assistance  The present scholarship policy does not cater, to its fullest, student empowerment and excludes many students from scholarship opportunity. The United People’s Party will: o Ensure that students seeking further education must first complete the first two years (mandatory) at the University of St. Martin (USM) if the program of study is offered at USM. United People’s Party | Education and Culture

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o Establish a school loan program with a low interest rate repayment and or incentive plan from government after graduation. o Grant scholarships based on needs of the country, economic need and academic merit. o Ensure there is a choice for selection of country for further study after the first two years completion at USM. A balance will be established among countries of choice in the Caribbean, the USA, and Europe. o Provide financial assistance to adult continuing education students.

Restructuring of USM  The role of higher education lies in its ability to contribute to the development of knowledge – based on democratic and equitable societies, which promote social and economic development, social inclusion, peace, stability, justice and decent living standards for all citizens. The United people’s Party will ensure that: o USM’s goals are embedded in the community and relevant to St. Maarten delivering the necessary human resources to the country. o Accreditation of USM is a priority. Students must graduate with credible degrees. o Improvement of university affiliation and alliances will allow for easy transfer to accredited institutions as an interim agreement. o Marketing strategy for expansion and growth of USM supported by government is necessary for its sustainability attracting, in addition, students from the region. o Establishing of dormitories for our students and to attract regional students is a part of student life. o Development of programs that are relevant and meet the demands and changing environment of country St. Maarten, requiring regular curriculum review and upgrade, consistency and relevance in adult education programs, programs that meet the economic, social, cultural, civic, and political needs of St. Maarten. o Establish communication structures for input from organizations such as: SHTA, WIFOL, Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Development, Pride Foundation, and various business associations. o Continue to promote and establish relevant twinning and affiliation programs that will have reciprocal benefits. o Establish collaboration between the local library and the university to assist with literacy and advancement of library media.

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Adult Literacy  It is important that we begin to take strides to elevate the education level of all citizens of St. Maarten. Combating illiteracy and high dropout rates must be a priority in the education arena. United People’s Party understands the importance of these overlooked issues. The United People’s Party will: o Plan literacy programs to help the illiteracy rate of St. Maarten o Develop English Language and Dutch Language Learning programs for adults

Technology  It is understood from well documented results throughout the world and the Caribbean region that as usage of technology increases and is encouraged to penetrate a society, the gross national product of that society increases exponentially and the overall quality of life of the citizens is likely to improve. The United People’s Party will: o Form a Technology Task Force team that will work closely with the United People’s Party to develop a sound technological plan with standards to be met by governing bodies, school administrators, teachers and students. o Stimulate the development in information communication technology in a cost effective efficient, productive, and profit generating manner. o Table and support policies that set baselines for all technology and specifically bandwidth providers in terms of bandwidth penetration to attract global support from large already existing initiatives (e.g. One Laptop per Child) to ensure that in the short term every home has access to internet service, at reasonable cost, and that high-speed broadband with equally high speed up- as well as down-load capability are made available at significantly lowered prices than exist now.

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o

Work towards obtaining improved quality and availability of bandwidth which will open up education opportunities to more of the citizens and at lower costs than are currently available. This effort will be a fundamental part of our poverty alleviation and social assistance programs.

Culture  Every student and person should have the opportunity to be informed about culture to enable and develop nationalism. In addition, all residents of St. Maarten should have knowledge and understanding of the St. Maarten culture. The United People’s Party will: o Include culture and local heritage in all curricula from Primary to Higher Education and through Adult Education. o Re-organize of the Social and Culture Department as an umbrella foundation to encourage and support local cultural organizations and efforts. o Institute a state of the art Archeological Center to serve St. Maarten and the immediate region. o Create a state of the art National Library, National Art Gallery and National Museum. o Enhance the St. Maarten Carnival with cultural and educational standards. o Protect St. Maarten’s culture and heritage. o Development of St. Maarten based social studies and history textbooks for primary to tertiary education.

Music and the Arts

 St. Maarten has a rich culture that is reflected in the diversity of its music and art. Many of our youth are musically and artistically talented. The United People’s Party will create opportunities to allow them to foster their talents from mere hobbies but to levels of professionalism to be admired throughout the Caribbean and the World.

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Law Enforcement & Justice Every citizen is entitled to live in a safe and secure environment. Government, mainly through Law Enforcement Agencies, Judicial Process and Correctional Institutes, is charged with the responsibility to ensure that its citizens are not living in fear but in safe communities. The law combination of physical law enforcement presence, the judicial process, and support services and programs must be emphasized by both government and citizens to provide a safe a secure community. ď&#x192;&#x2DC; To enable safe and secure communities the United Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party will work to upgrade and realize the following areas:

Law Enforcement o

Continuously recruit members for the police force and other law enforcement, such as prison guards and immigration officers to enable an adequate number of law enforcement officers to protect and serve the people of St. Maarten.

o

Establish adequate salaries and benefits, health and physical programs.

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Provide better equipment in order to build a safe and secure St. Maarten for all.

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Continue to train and upgrade the law enforcement, justice institutes and employees.

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Work towards new views and better incentives to increase the visibility of law enforcement officers in the districts.

o

Support services for police officers such as counseling to alleviate the stress levels in the work place.

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Restructure the law enforcement recruitment program to meet the needs of St. Maarten.

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Promote greater law enforcement presence in areas where the risk of becoming a victim is high.

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Facilitate border controls through effective law enforcement at all ports of entry. United Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party | Law Enforcement & Justice

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o

Promote joint local and international law efforts to effectively tackle drugs and cross border crimes.

Judicial Process o

Motivate the judicial process to foster a get tough on crime attitude. Review the legislation pertaining to the terms of prison sentences with the aim of providing longer sentences involving additional punishment such as community work, i.e. road and beach cleaning, painting of public areas, etc. Crimes against women and children must be dealt with in a harsher manner.

o

Promote a swift punishment system for non capital offences where lesser offenders are not made to spend time with the hard-time offenders in order to help avoid having a prison system that actually promotes criminals rather than convert them.

o

Review the laws that guide The Court of Guardianship and its function. Not paying alimony and child support will have serious negative effects on family life. Coupled with the absence of two parents in the home, the results are often disastrous.

Language ď&#x192;&#x2DC; A deviation from the strict requirement of having mastery of the Dutch language would provide for: o Twinning agreements for the exchange of personnel and expertise with neighboring islands in the Caribbean. o The recruitment base would be immediately expanded as well as opportunities for training. o Local, regional and international interaction with other law enforcement agencies would be made easier and more efficient leading to a greater understanding of criminal activities. o Efforts to integrate ethnic groups will be given greater possibility. United Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party | Law Enforcement & Justice

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Community Crime Prevention  Police presence should only be a part of the efforts made against crime. Steps can be taken and efforts made to strengthen and broaden police presence. The United People’s Party will concentrate on: o

Fighting crime by providing and implementing a comprehensive system involving, all segments of the community and keeping all avenues open to finding solutions.

o

Teaching members of our communities to also protect each other through a community watch.

o Having greater law enforcement and active involvement in the schools and communities which will have immediate benefits in reducing crime but will also create a more positive image of police in the long run. o Ensuring that social skills development is consistently offered to police officers to assist in solving problems without the immediate use of force.

Rehabilitation Prison System  The Pointe Blanche Prison is inadequate both in terms of size, control and rehabilitation efforts. o The United People’s Party will pursue plans to improve the prison.

Expansion of the Rehabilitation Department  A formal rehabilitation department utilizing psychological analysis, discipline, coordination with the prison and training is presently not available. The United People’s Party will: o Ensure that graduates from this program reintegrate into the community. o Expand the youth rehabilitation department jobs and in doing so avoid return to prison.

Youth Correctional Facility  Correctional Facilities for the youth are missing. o The United People’s Party will establish a well equipped disciplinary center focusing on juvenile delinquency, school drop outs and re-integration programs. The center will directly combat juvenile crime but will also provide data to assist the appropriate ministry in government in dealing with juvenile delinquency. United People’s Party | Law Enforcement & Justice

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Housing The United People’s Party knows that having a comfortable place to live is one of the pillars leading to security, safety and personal happiness. Providing adequate and affordable housing should be a top priority of any political party that is serious about the needs of its people. The challenge for government is to be creative with its limited finances, and scarcity of land, yet, finding ways to raise the quality of life for its people. The United People’s Party will strive to provide a steady flow of new housing sufficient to relieve the most urgent of our people’s needs. We will offer policies aimed at creating the opportunity for having a suitable place to live – whether owned or leased. The United People’s Party will: o Establish financial assistance programs for the purchase of homes or land, and the building of homes. o Create ownership programs for residents and returning students. o Plan for future developments, which reflect creative thinking and new ideas based on limited land. These developments must be built in a manner that improves community spirit and stays in touch with St. Maarten’s cultural values.  The United People’s Party will review and, where necessary, improve on present policies,

including a review of the St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation’s policies and scope of responsibility.

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Health Care Healthcare and the general social needs of St Maarten remain important to the United People’s Party. We believe that quality and affordable healthcare is a basic right of every citizen of Country St Maarten. We further believe that universal healthcare coverage for all workers is both a moral imperative and sound economic policy. It helps reduce the cost burden on the private sector, thus making businesses more profitable and competitive, while promoting the health and happiness of workers, thereby boosting productivity levels.  The United People’s Party believes in a broad -based -comprehensive and innovative approach to the health and general services industry on St Maarten because there is a broad umbrella of social needs that require our focused attention, from the emergency room to mental health to special care for the elderly.  The United People’s Party is committed to a Master Healthcare Plan (MHP) with its major objectives investing in and the expansion of the St Maarten Medical Center (SMMC). The United People’s Party will: o

Provide the necessary sophisticated and updated medical machinery and equipment for advanced medical specialist services.

o

Emergency evacuations by air ambulance, as well as standard medical referrals abroad, would be drastically reduced.

o

A comprehensive rotation scheme for medical specialist from Aruba, Curacao as well as Puerto Rico would provide those medical disciplines which the SMMC currently doesn't have and those insufficiently staffed by medical specialist. The rotation scheme of specialist to the SMMC would not only provide elective surgery and outpatient services but would also ensure that the best professional health care is provided in the first critical 40 minutes in the emergency room of the SMMC.

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o

Establish St. Maarten as a regional health care center in the Northeastern Caribbean. With the hospital expansion plan for the SMMC and a comprehensive long-duration rotation scheme of specialist from abroad to the SMMC, this can very well be achieved.

o

Introduce Health care tourism - a combination of the provision of advanced medical services with a relaxed rehabilitation plan in a prime Caribbean tourist destination - is in demand and St. Maarten should benefit from this while expanding our tourism base.

National Health Care Insurance Plan (NHCIP) Health care insurance is a basic need for a healthy community and the United People’s Party envisions a healthy nation. The United People’s Party will: o

Consider the establishment of a National Health Care Insurance Plan

o

Allow citizen to have supplementary medical insurance of his/her choice under the NHCIP

o

Provide additional health insurance coverage to the basic healthcare package thereby ensuring that private medical insurance providers also partake in the National Health Care Insurance Plan for all citizens. The basic package or coverage would also ensure that health insurance coverage is available for all of St Maarten’s workers. (people)

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Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation  Removing drug addicts and alcoholics from our streets will have positive benefits in reducing crime and, at the same time, enhancing our image as a prime tourist destination in the Caribbean.  Support all drug and rehabilitation programs  Assist existing drug and alcohol establishments

Preventive Health Care  Although a marked increase in public health services in general will be achieved under the MHP, enormous challenges will still be placed on a small island like St Maarten with limited resources and cost constraints. A creative approach will be necessary to maximize the benefits of our health and general system. Taking preventative measure in health matters is a certain way of avoiding health complications and high medical costs in the future. The United People’s Party will : o

Support the efforts by community clubs and groups who provide free diabetes and hypertension testing will provide benefits both in terms of health and in terms of the cost of providing health care.

o

Provide services designed to educate and assist people on better nutrition and active lifestyle, educating the youth, in particular, on the dangers of poor diet and obesity, which will help to reduce future costs by preventing potential ailments and illnesses. This awareness and services provided will mean less stress and strain on the island’s health care system in the long run.

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o

Establish a working relationship with The American University of the Caribbean in Cupecoy (AUC) as it offers a great opportunity for future cooperation and joint exercises between our SMMC and the school. Fostering research and internship programs between the AUC and the SMMC could be of great assistance and contribute greatly to St Maartenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Health.

o

Ensure the information flow to government pertaining to the labor market, to ensure that everyone is contributing their fair share to the maintenance of the system and everyone is adequately covered.

Mental Health Care Mental Health Care has been on the backburner for too long. As St. Maarten becomes more aware of the need for this care, general support services with direct benefits to the people will be considered o

: The United Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party will o

Place greater emphasis on community planning. The direct benefit will be a greater sense of community spirit as well as safer places to live.

o

Consider Tax adjustments for day care costs for single parents raising a child or children. Support services aimed at helping single parents, in particular young, single moms who are economically vulnerable must be enhanced and improved upon.

o

Expand and upgrade the services for children with special needs, both physical and mental.

o

Establish services for those with mental health problems. Not all health needs are purely physical. United Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party | Health Care

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Elderly Care o

Create fiscal incentives for home care of the elderly by family members in order to ease the overall cost on St Maartenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s medical infrastructure.

o

Establish benefits for seniors

o

Assist and support organizations for the care of the elderly.

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Youth and Community Services Communities are the foundation to every society. Healthy communities are the key to a successful society. The health of a community is affected by the daily activities and events that occur. Communities are often plagued by youth that lack structure and guidance. The development of comprehensive youth, sports, and community programs that promote community pride and unity lead to healthy societies. The United People’s Party plans to pay close attention to the development of stronger and better communities which in turn builds a stronger and better St. Maarten.

Development of Youth Programs The future of St. Maarten depends greatly on the island’s most valuable resource, OUR YOUTH! The United People’s Party has faith and confidence in our youth. With the right encouragement, persistence and guidance, we can properly guide our youth in the direction to become future leaders in our country. Cooperation between the public and private sectors will ensure that the youth receive proper training placing them in a position to fill the many positions that will be made available in country St. Maarten.

o

St. Maarten is crying out for structural solutions to the challenges faced by our youth. The United People’s Party will address the issues by focusing on: o

Creation of an umbrella organization to support and promote our non-profit youth organizations.

o

Development of more community youth centers that offer low cost activities

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o

Establishment of Youth Unemployment Registry, entrusting community centers and youth organizations to gather information on youth unemployment, family circumstances, financial situation and housing conditions of youth in need of assistance; such a database will be used as a guide to develop programs based on the current needs of our youth, including but not limited to job training programs.

Parks and Recreation Currently there are very few places for our children to play throughout the districts. Children who play outdoors and are able to partake in physical activities are healthy and typically perform better in school. The United People’s Party will examine the possibility of the creation of playgrounds/ parks in all districts where land is available.

Development of Sports Sports development in St. Maarten in essential for several reasons, to build national pride, promote healthy living, and foster community identity. The United People’s Party (UP) will: o Utilize and train experienced and retired athletes to work as trainers, coaches, and physical educators in our schools o Develop a comprehensive sports policy that promotes sports for all citizens regardless of their physical ability, financial status or age to participate in sports activities, whether it is recreational, competitive, or international sports.

Sports Facilities  Our current sports facilities, especially the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex, are in need of serious repair. The United People’s Party will repair and upgrade, providing a modern multi-purpose facility that can be used primarily for school sports and afterschool sports programs, but also for competitive sports and to a certain extent sports tourism.

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Recognition of Athletes:  Recognition of athletes will bolster national pride and stimulate young athletes to excel. The United People’s Party will recognize sports achievements on all levels. o Develop sports scholarships for athletic students  Talented athletes will be given the opportunity to develop their skills but also strengthen their bodies through nutrition, and training under the guidance of certified trainers and a sports doctor.

Community Outreach  Community program are essential to a strong society, however, we cannot do it alone. There are more community needs that can be met by the resources available here in St. Maarten. The United People’s Party will encourage local St. Maarteners living abroad to form St. Maarten Associations that will assist with the needs of St. Maarten by tapping into financial resources in their area of residence. o

Offer Tax breaks and fiscal incentives for corporate support of foster homes and orphanage.

o

Establish incentives and tax breaks for businesses that employ the disabled, the elderly, youths and ex-cons.

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Labor and Immigration Labor Labor regulations are necessary to accommodate economic requirements as well as adapt existing labor policies in accordance with the needs of the island. The United Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party will: o Ensure employment for returning graduates. o Review employee registration requirements and simplify the process of registering and updating employees to be more efficient. o Promote the introduction of flexible working practices to increase industry responsiveness. o Review the data gathering system as the basis for the formation of any labor policy. Policies and procedures for data gathering on unemployment must be reassessed. o Prioritize professional development to increase worker productivity and performance. o Ensure that service level in the labor industry is of high standard. o Improve on the job safety regulations and policies. . o Provide training programs in areas of employment requiring specific training and skills.

Immigration o Ensure that the immigration policy accommodates the employment of qualified locals o Provide a continuous review of the need for non-locally available labor. An immigration policy with the necessary moratoriums required for adjustment will be established in order to meet the needs of the country. o Establish clear, unbiased immigration policies for permits, renewals and amendments. o Simplify and reduce the level and detail of the bureaucratic process involved in the granting of work and residence permits. o Improve the time factor on procedures for application review and response. o Implement the use of advanced technological systems for smoother running of the immigration/visa and border control procedures. An effective data processing system should be implemented at points of entry in order to affect proper immigration controls. o Develop fair, regular and consistent immigration controls to be executed in a humane manner while protecting the rights of those being controlled.

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The Environment Everyone deserves to live in a clean and safe environment. Balancing the needs of economic development and preserving the natural heritage of the land for future generations has always been a great challenge for St Maarten. The United People’s Party believes that there are two overriding reasons for protecting the environment in which we live. One is a moral imperative to St Maarten for future generations to enjoy and the other is to protect St Maarten’s environment. To ensure the protection of our environment the United People’s Party will: o Establish a permanent environmental committee consisting of government representatives, business, and local environmental groups, because the best way to make things better is through mutual cooperation and understanding. o Upgrade governmental efforts, input, and awareness on environmental issues. o Educate the public on reducing waste and better methods of consumption. o Support a viable recycling program o Charge shoppers for the use of plastic shopping bags while promoting the use of reusable shopping bags. o Establish a recycling plant. o Expand our public sewage system and thus minimizing or eliminating the impact of sewage contamination in our waterways and eco-system. o Explore alternative, eco-friendly energy options such as wind or solar power. o Introduce laws for the protection of marine life encompassing no fishing zones, fishing seasons, and greater regulation on the use of chemical products near or on our waters. o Propose, enact, and enforce laws that make environmental violations a crime.  The United People’s Party will execute a thorough review and overhaul, of the Loud Music ordinance and policies. Not all pollution is chemical or manufactured. Noise pollution also violates the rights of citizens and affects their wellbeing.

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The Civil Service and Kingdom Relations  As St. Maarten changes its constitution, greater responsibilities will be placed on its civil service. St. Maarten will finally take all responsibilities of a government apparatus. St. Maarten will need an effective and efficient civil service and a professional diplomatic corps knowledgeable in external relations. The United People’s Party will engage in the improvement of the civil service and will: o Seek to improve our public administration system by simplifying and streamlining the bureaucratic processes, making it more user-friendly. o Ensure continuous training in best practices and state of the art quality assurance for civil servants so that the population is provided with the best possible public services. o Improve government productivity by establishing standards and deadlines. o Evaluate the performance of civil servants for accountability and productivity. o Immediately provide for increased utilization of technology towards the goal of better, faster and more efficient service to the general public.  The United People’s Party will review and renew treaties of cooperation within the Kingdom and at both the regional and international level.  The United People’s Party will establish a system of regional representation to benefit from relationships within the Caribbean (CARICOM, OECS, economical treaties, etc) and for the broadening or creating of treaties of greater economic and political cooperation among our fellow Caribbean islands and regional partners, such as the United States and Latin America.  The United People’s Party is committed to establish an educated, trained and professional diplomatic corps of St. Maarteners - equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out the above objectives of the United People’s Party.

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The Transition The United People’s Party recognizes the challenges that St. Maarten faces with the implementation of the changes stipulated in the Constitution. Therefore, the United People’s Party will prepare the people of St. Maarten with the necessary support for smooth transition as these changes take place. The United People’s Party will:  Provide support for departments to plan systematically and comprehensively for the changes to be met for the implementation of the constitution.  Disseminate information to the public on how the changes affect them.  Inform the community via The UPdate, an UP online publication, of how the UP party plans to educate the public on the constitutional changes

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UP Plan of Action 2010  

United People's Party 2010 manifesto, 10-10-10 and beyond.

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