Days before he moves a motion of no confidence for Premier Dr D Orlando Smith to lose his job as finance minister, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie is claiming that a number of entrepreneurs have been complaining to him daily about the state of the territory’s economy and its impact on commerce.
According to Fahie, the poor management of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) economy is among the reasons he wants a new finance minister appointed.
“I am taking this course of action on behalf of you the business people – especially the small businesses who complain to me every day about how stressful it has become to do business in the BVI,” added Fahie.
“You complain to me daily about the increasing challenges being met in conducting business in the BVI, the numerous government-imposed taxes and increases in existing taxes. You have complained that these new taxes and other government decisions are removing the joy and prosperity of doing business in the BVI.”
Fahie further claimed that the government still owes a number of the businesses it continues to pressure ‘mercilessly’ with additional taxes and fees.
“I am taking this course of action for the many businesses that are not paid in a timely manner or not paid at all for services and goods rendered to our government, while at the same time [you the businesses] are being required to pay your suppliers, employees, National Health Insurance, payroll taxes, Social Security – among other Government fees.”
“The same government that wouldn’t pay you are hunting you down without mercy when you are unable to pay government fees on a timely basis. I am doing this for you,” Fahie further reasoned.
Doing it for others too
Fahie said his move to have the finance minister replaced is also inspired by many other people who have been feeling the effect of an economy that he considers to be in free fall.
“My fellow Virgin Islanders, residents, and well-wishers, I am taking this course of action on your behalf… [I am taking it] on behalf of the many bus drivers that take our children to school and can never get paid in a timely manner. I am taking this course of action on behalf of the many public servants who are still awaiting their full increments that they have already worked so hard for years prior.”
Fahie further trumpeted: “I am doing this for the many contractors that cannot get paid in a timely manner or not paid at all after doing work for the government, yet you have to pay for the materials, your workmen, and of course all government fees.”
“I am doing this for the police, Customs, and all our law enforcement agencies who have to deal with the rapid increase in crime – especially serious crime, but your urgent needs take second priority due to poor financial decisions and management…” Fahie said.
He added: “I am taking this course of action to save our economy that is now in a free fall. I am taking this course of action to save you, to save me, and to save our beautiful Virgin Islands.”
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