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FS: Public servants will have to do more with less; cuts to save gov't $13M

GIS - Thursday, January 12th, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Financial Secretary Neil Smith

Wednesday, January 11 – Public Officers were able to learn more about Cabinet’s decision for the 2012 expenditure cuts at an HR Talk yesterday, hosted jointly by the Department of Human Resources and the Ministry of Finance.

In a Ministry of Finance and Human Resources Circular issued to all public officers, it was announced that Cabinet has made the decision to reduce performance increments by 50% in the 2012 fiscal year and reduce the operating expenses of ministries and departments by 7%.

According to the information shared in the Circular, “We are all very much aware of the fiscal constraints with which the Government of the Virgin Islands has been faced with in the past few years and of the Government’s commitment to ensure that we are able to treat this reality in a manner that is responsible and sustainable.

Deputy Governor Mrs. V. Inez Archibald speaking at the HR Talk said, “I am not sure that this comes as a surprise, to any of us. We know we have been talking for some time about the fiscal condition of the Territory and I personally was gratified that the cuts in relation to public officers mean that they retain their jobs.”

Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith explained to the public officers that over the past five years we have been faced with the fact that our revenues within central government have not kept pace with our expenditure growth. Revenue growth has stopped as a result of the financial crisis in the United States and the global recession that followed as a result. Each year since that has occurred we have been faced with an ever more increasing problem where the difference between the funds available and the expenditure expectations are slim.”

The Financial Secretary shared, “Every effort has been made to insulate public officers from the reality of the financial situation but for the past two and a half years it has become clear that we are no longer in a position to do so. The margin between the funding available to do the work and the expenditure needed to do the work has disappeared.”

Mr. Smith said, “Whereas our operational expenditure, the cost to run the public service, has been growing at a rate of 10% annually, our revenue has remained the same for the past three to four years. We are now faced with the choice of whether we continue to depend on existing cash balances or make the decision to reverse that trend and build up our cash reserves to ensure we have funds available to sustain Government operations for at least three months.”

The projected savings from the cuts is estimated to be approximately $13 million, which will be used to augment the reserve fund. The operational side of this year’s budget is estimated to be $260,000,000, which indicates very little growth in revenue based on projections.

“Public officers will now have to do more with less. I am encouraging all public officers to do their part to implement cost-cutting measures. Anyone with ideas on what we can do to cut cost in the public service are asked to share those ideas with the Ministry of Finance, the Department of Human Resources or the Deputy Governor’s Office. No idea is too small,” the Financial Secretary added.

Acting Director of Human Resources Mrs. Michelle Donovan Stevens explained, “On the administration side of the performance increments, the Department of Human Resources will make the adjustments to those increments received thus far and the Ministry of Finance will provide us with a revised salary scale. The 50% reduction in performance increments will not affect persons being promoted.”

Mrs. Donovan Stevens added, “I am encouraging all public officers to support Cabinet’s decision to ensure that we are accountable for contributing to the sustainability and success of the public service.”

The cuts in both performance increments and operational expenses are consistent with Government’s agenda to improve fiscal management practices and reduce expenditure levels.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by bvinews.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of bvinews.com, its sponsors or advertisers.



17 Comments

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  1. OOOK
    January 14, 2012
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    Can someone clarify PERFORMANCE INCREMENTS@! I do not think this means cutting salaries. DOES THIS MEAN BONUS!! PLEASE STOP FOOLING THE PEOPLE OF THE BVI BECAUSE I DO NOT SEE WHERE ANY OF THESE POLITICIANS GOING TO CUT THEIR SALARY OR SOME OF THE PERKS THEY GET. PURE RUBBISH AND HOGWASH.

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  2. glad
    January 14, 2012
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    i am glad that non of us are GOING HOME AND being able to keep our jobs, there was a statement made at hr talk where the gentleman said they are cutting increments because the simply cant afford it. he also said we will have to start living within our means the thing is for what some of us is making we cant even afford to live within our means. some of us aren’t even livIng within our basic need our kids go to school hungry we cant pay basic bills that cut maybe nothing to u AT THE TOP BUT US WHO IS LEVEL 1 2 AND 3 IT HURTS A HELL OF A LOT

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    • Hmmmm
      January 15, 2012
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      How can people count something they don’t have, or don’t know they will ever get? An Increment. Increments are suppose to be on performance, and only if you are sure you perform, but besides that we still weren’t sure. Try be grateful you have your 100% base salary which you should be using to take care of business. The 50% should have been counted as savings. You all ridiculous

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  3. S.R.
    January 14, 2012
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    Hope this is true! If so NDP for me. I would suggest less cars and less people in public/official places that do nothing. Too many behind counters laying on elbows and reading catalogs. Everytime a car is ready to be replaced, do away with it. If the person driving deserves another, take from someone who does not. 1/2 cars gone would releave traffic!

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  4. Davita
    January 12, 2012
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    If public servants increments are being cut by 50% it would have been a good gesture for legislators to also cut their entertainment allowance by 50% and not 25% or measley $500 as reported.

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    • Wellmeboy
      January 14, 2012
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      A proposed increment..meaning it is not guaranteed. Elected Officials did not get an increment but their salary was cut $500.00. They did not cut a proposed raise for elected official, they cut their salary..it’s a big difference. Like some of us want these elected officials to work for nothing. Some of you who talking I am sure mking more than the legislators. Salaries are not hidden..ou can find them in almost any government papers.

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  5. vince
    January 12, 2012
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    we have people wanting to invest in a drag strip here in the bvi, and no one is not listening. The the only thing the government has to do is give the location.

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    • Real Talk
      January 12, 2012
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      Tell them invest in the hospital first! Then we good to go!

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      • PENG
        January 12, 2012
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        real Talk…when they donate the land an buid it…who AYE PPL LOO CRITIC AKA VIP LOYALIST IS BACK!!!!will take care of maintenance, marketting, and upkeep!!! will u accept govt introducing a new tax on your salary to pay for the upkeep?

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        • vince
          January 12, 2012
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          did you not see what i wrote? INVESTORS WILL DEAL WITH THE TRACK, NOT GOVERNMENT CAN’T YOU PEOPLE UNDERSTAND ENGLISH, NO WONDER PEOPLE LEAVE THIS COUNTRY AND GO ELSEWHERE TO LIVE. SMALL MINDED PEOPLE.

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  6. critic
    January 12, 2012
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    all these ndp’s showing their true colours now

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    • January 12, 2012
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      shut up ndp is doing their job,cleaning up after vip bad spenders.they spend an spend and borrow to spend more

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  7. 2cent
    January 12, 2012
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    Good start to correcting the problem but dont stop there lets take some or all of the entertainment money they have allocated to the reps. serious times require serious measures let get it going.

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  8. Not2Sure
    January 12, 2012
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    I am encouraged, but like GG, I will believe it when I actually see it. A few less cars with Government driving around on weekends would be good too…

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  9. not fair
    January 12, 2012
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    am still not convinced. public servants need to use their own vehicles more often. its not fair to tell the govt they should compensate you for using your car when most use govt vehicles for personal use and still charge govt for gas.

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  10. gg
    January 12, 2012
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    It’s left to be seen whether this is just talk. I am happy the work has started.

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  11. julio l
    January 12, 2012
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    good going NDP

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