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Premier promises economic growth, no undue hardship

BVI News Online - Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Premier Dr. Orlando Smith. (File photo)

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. D. Orlando Smith, has said that Government plans to implement a series of medium-term revenue generating and expenditure efficiency initiatives, aimed at improving its bottom line without bringing undue hardship to the populace.

He said government would continue efforts to enhance its provision of services to the public and remain on a current path of improving the public finance management system.

Addressing the House of Assembly this morning, December 17, Dr. Smith said the strategies and initiatives to be embarked on over the next three years, would ensure the fiscal sustainability of the Virgin Islands while fostering economic growth, social development and continued investment in physical infrastructure.

“We are aware that given the demands being placed on our scarce financial resources it is important to maintain a delicate balance between improving our fiscal balances and promoting economic growth,” he told the House.

“The approach that we have taken is to first clearly articulate a development strategy which embraces Social, Economic, Environmental and Direction/Governance (S.E.E.D) themes and which provides the platform for advancing the promises we made to the people of this Territory.”

The Premier did not give specifics, but said the strategic undertakings include channeling resources to health, social development, business and entrepreneurship development and education.

He said the three-year Capital Investment Plan identifies the potential cost and funding arrangements of infrastructural development priorities such as the Airport expansion project, the Sewerage project and the Cruise pier project.
“We have identified areas where we can make simple, but effective changes to the way Government conducts its fiscal affairs,” he said.

“Over the medium term we will continue with our efforts to enhance the Government’s provision of services to the public and remain on our current path of improving the public finance management system.”

Added the Premier: “We have included measures to put us back in full control of our finances. We are well on our way to meeting the reserve requirements by 2015 and this Medium Term Fiscal Plan clearly identifies the annual reserve contributions needed to be in full compliance with the Protocols.

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3 Comments

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  1. Albion
    December 18, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    “The Premier did not give specifics”. Pretty important sentence – lots of promises, but no concrete detail about how cutting costs without any resulting hardship will be achieved. Just as well politicians always tell us the truth!

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  2. NPolitico
    December 17, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    The Hon Dr. Smith, Premier and Minister of Finance, is decent and likeable. However, his staff is doing him a disservice with all the spin and generalities. Dealing in hope and generalities are common political staples; they are noncommittal.

    Instead, in these tough economic times, what the populace needs is straight talk and specifics, ie, what are the proposed programmes, how will they paid for, how much will they cost and what is the opportunity cost, ie, what will not get done.

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  3. ooooo
    December 17, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    2 years gone and a half a billion dollars blown

    Reply to this comment