Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Andrew Fahie called upon Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith to “come clean” and tell the people of the Territory that the economy is not robust.
Hon. Fahie in calling out Hon. Smith said: “The Premier at some point in his administration must come clean to the people of the Virgin Islands. The days of perception management must end.”
Additionally, the Leader of the Opposition noted the recent appointments of United Kingdom (U.K) nationals to positions such as Commissioner of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, Auditor General, Director of Prosecutions, and Head of Her Majesty’s Prison, and announced that this is not a good sign. “The U.K. has now appointed personnel to each of the seven primary posts and more are pending,” Hon. Fahie declared.
Chief among Opposition Leaders’ concerns are alleged issues of accountability where he mentioned reports of missing funds: “Thirty million dollars is still unaccounted for at the Pier Project. Seven million dollars flew out of our Treasury’s doors without any accountability for an airline, and now we have fights and not flights… The illegal transfer of eight million dollars from a loan approved by the House of Assembly to do, among other things, the East End/Long Look sewage project. Without the approval of the House of Assembly these funds were transferred to the Cruise Pier project and to date no accountability of how these funds were spent.”
Nonetheless, Hon. Fahie declared that the current financial issues are not an excuse for the implementation of more taxes: “If the NDP government failed to recognize the dire state of our financials, then how can they be expected to offer solutions or programmes which will get us to a position of strength once again. Seeking to tax your way into prosperity is a failed attempt. Credible cost saving operational measures must be a subject of debate.
“The sudden increase of every tax known to man has created undue hardship to the business community,” he further noted on the issue of raised taxes,” he added.
- Source: BVIHotpress.com