Newsletter August-October 2021

After an unusually long holiday period, you are finally receiving another Unkobon newsletter.
In this newsletter: Autumn meeting of the Federal Council 17 November, research into postal deliveries, foundation of mini-credits for building your own house, court case on the social minimum, Unkobon is here for all consumers.

Autumn meeting Union Council
All members of Unkobon are invited to the public autumn meeting of the Union Council on Wednesday 17 November 2021. You are welcome from 18:45 at Hòfi Kultural in Antriol. Members will receive an additional invitation and agenda one week before the meeting.

Research into postal delivery
By order of the Ministry of Economic Affairs the Curaçao bureau Indigo Blue has conducted a thorough investigation into the quality of the (inter) island mail delivery. This was done after pressure from Unkobon and questions in Parliament. The research bureau’s report has been sent to Parliament. It is now clear who is responsible for the postal delivery problems. There is work to be done for the ministries of EZK, BZK and I&W, for Post NL, for OLB and also for the local FXDC postal delivery company.

Mini-credit foundation for building your own house
Until 2010, people who wanted to build their own homes could turn to the Fundashon Kredito Boneiriano if they could not go to a bank. In this way, around 1,000 people have been helped to build their own house. After the constitutional change, the FKB no longer provides loans. Member Michiel Bijkerk asked attention for this. The Finance working group has started working with Michiel. A sketch of a Fundashon Mini Kredito Boneiru has been presented to the BC. During the discussion, the deputies showed their interest. In cooperation with OLB the plan will be elaborated.

Action social minimum
It has been known since 2012 that the poverty problem in the Dutch Caribbean has increased. Partly thanks to Unkobon, there is regular attention for this in the Dutch Parliament. The National Ombudsman and the Human Rights Commission also pay much attention to it. Nevertheless, there is still no solution in sight for the poverty problem in the three southern municipalities of the Netherlands. The measures announced with much fanfare by the government have not reduced the problem so far. Over 40% of the population of Bonaire live below the social minimum. The Netherlands gets away with it because the social minimum for the islands has still not been formally established. The Island Council has also woken up and recently adopted a motion calling on Dutch politicians to ensure that a social minimum based on the actual cost of living is established for the islands. Given the political developments in the Netherlands – expected to be a government with the same parties that have been in power in recent years – Unkobon expects little progress. Unkobon is therefore considering initiating legal proceedings in the Netherlands against the State of the Netherlands. A small committee is working on it. A reputable law firm in the Netherlands has been asked about the possibilities. A possible procedure is expensive and will have to be financed externally. The committee is also considering how to raise the necessary funds. Although the committee already has concrete ideas, it is good to have members who can think along with us about the possibilities. Together we know more. Members can expect a message from the committee in the coming weeks.

Unkobon is here for all consumers on Bonaire
Chairwoman of the Fundashon Tienda pa Konsumidó Boneiru, Mrs J. Daflaar, recently made incorrect negative statements about Unkobon in the Island Council and on the radio. Unkobon responded with a press release containing factual information. Mrs Daflaar subsequently apologised to Eric Booi, former chairman of Unkobon.