BVI News

Gov’t not rushing recovery plan for election — Pickering

Dr Kedrick Pickering

Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering has moved to dismiss chatter suggesting that government’s Recovery and Development plan is a ploy to get re-elected.

Remarks coming out of the public space are that the National Democratic Party administration is trying to fast-track recovery initiatives in time for the next general election.

But, Dr Pickering said that is far from true.

“This whole Recovery and Development plan is going to take a couple of years. It’s not something the government trying to rush for an election or anything like that. It has to be done coordinated and within a sustainable way and only time can help us to get that,” he said while calling for the support from the public.

“Nobody has written a manual to say when you have a ‘category 7’ hurricane this is what you should do to recover … That’s why we need everybody on board. We need people to be supportive. Criticism is important but we want constructive criticism, not destructive criticism,” added Dr Pickering at a public meeting in the Third Electoral District this week.

Plan looks like a campaign manifesto

During the said meeting, Third District representative Julian Fraser called for the recovery aspect of the plan to be separated from the development aspect so residents don’t confuse the current plan as an election manifesto for government.

He said: “I believe strongly that we need a recovery plan. I have problem when it comes to the development section of the plan … We need to put the brake on that area.”

“I think this whole plan needs to be broken into two different sections where this development area is one that is treated with a lot of care and protection because it can be viewed as an election campaign model. It can be viewed as a manifesto for a party, the government, and all the rest of them,” Fraser said.

Barring any snap elections, the next general election is slated for 2019.

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  1. Really!!!! says:

    “Nobody has written a manual to say when you have a ‘category 7’ hurricane this is what you should do to recover. Here’s a news flash…. it’s call a Contingency Plan. Seems as though no one in government thought of that.

    • Garbage says:

      So where was the contingency plan for the people themselves? Only Government should plan? We expect this level of responsibility from Government but never expect it of ourselves? How many of us are now relying on Government because we didn’t plan for ourselves? Didn’t save? Spent stupidly? But we want to tell Government about responsibility and contingency? Where was ours as a people?

      • Really!!!! says:

        Helllo!!!! That on you if you didn’t plan for yourself. BUT We talking bout the Government and their responsibility of getting the country back to being better than before. They should have a plan in the event of even a category 20, point is they didn’t even have have one for a CAT -1

    • Bosang says:

      There’s no category 7 on the scale. 5 is max.

  2. Diplomat says:

    It would be earth shattering news or it will be tectonic shift in local politics if the Deputy Premier had publically admitted that the recovery plan was being rushed ahead of the election. But would it be out of the realm of possibilities if a sitting government took actions to benefit it at the polls. However, hopefully voters are not so out touch to just look at actions just before an election and ignore other actions or lack of action for the prior 3.75 years in their decision making in the polling booth.

    Why does the Deputy Premier feels he has to rationalize the roll out of the recovery plan. Is it not clear that having been hit by a “Cat 7” that a recovery plan is needed? Should not government just lets action speak? Is confidence in government so low or its credibility so low that it must chase every rabbit down its hole? Moreover, no doubt voters are more mature and will make informed decisions that are in the best interest of the territory.

  3. Albion says:

    The other big problem with Government’s plan is that it only deals with the one thing Government likes to do – spend more money.

    Nobody has crafted detailed plans about how we improve the dramatically reduced functionality of key Government departments – none of which have worked properly since Irma, and most of which are developing huge backlogs: labour, immigration, ports, education, post – these departments are functioning very slowly or not at all – where is the remediation plan for them that does not cost $700+ million dollars?

    • nalyd says:

      As far as I understand, there is a more detailed plan that has NOT been given to the public for discussion that speaks to reformation to reduce the inefficiency in government, which, as we all know, has existed long before the storms. I also believe that there is no way that the U.K. would give us any money without seeing some fundamental changes in our structure.
      I look forward to seeing more information on the plan come to light.

  4. Well Sah says:

    DR. Pickering go sit down. you was better of just being a doctor. Dr. Smith too

  5. Eagle eye says:

    You need to hurry up and fix the main road into going east

  6. guy hill says:

    The late Randall “Doc” James of the USVI once said “A society which pays little attention to the preparation and nurturing of its future leadership, forfeits the control of its own destiny.”

  7. The real Boo says:

    no money is the problem

  8. Longshanks says:

    No worries Doc, doesn’t appear from here that anything is being rushed.

    As someone said, would have thought that we would all be deaf by now with the sound of work going on. As it is, we are at risk of the current situation of Road Town becoming the new normal. Could do with a bit more rushing.

    Also, as noted above, key govt departments are not really functioning and while acting chiefs of departments are making noise complaining, their staff seem to be enforcing and interpreting policies in a manner designed to make such an issue of things that they get brought to a head, govt itself seems to be asleep. Wake up please for the sake of the territory.

  9. True tolian says:

    What the govt should do now is
    draw a line now,so people who are joining govt just for a paycheck should now be asked to
    pay into their pensions that can
    help free up some of the money they has to pay out.Some of you
    complaining are working for govt
    spent recklessly and now have problems and expect to be bailed
    out willynilly.Want to do something chip in with govt and get the ball rolling even if you
    commit two hours a week that is a help after all it is your country as well or shut up.

    • E. Leonard says:

      @True Tolian, agree. Currently, civil servants as far I know do not directly contribute anything towards their retirement; retirements are paid from currrent revenues. There is no define contribution but there is a define benefit after so many years of service. Labour charges are a significant part of the budget; it is approximately 43% of the 2017 budget estimate. The etimated 2017 employee compensation per posted budget is $121M; estimated total expenditure is $280M.

      This appears to be unsustainable number. Additionally, retirement is an unfunded liability that is approaching $300M+; this too is unsustainable. Action is needed to address this retirement unfunded liability run away train.

      Government needs to establish a retirement sinking fund. Current employees with 10 or more years of service can be “grandfathered” under the current retirement system. Employees with less than 10 years of service and new employees can be required to contribute 5-7% of their salary (true employees are already burdened with taxes and fees but this is an investment to retirement) towards retirement; contributions will accrue interest and government can match contributions 1:1 or 1:2 or 1:0.5.

      Moreover, if an employee leave the civil service before retirement, he/she can recoup their contributions plus accrued interest but not the government match. Further, if the employee is vested and leave the service before retirement, he/she can leave contributions plus accrued interest to continue to accrue interest until an established retirement age or an can withdraw sooner as he/she chooses.

      This is just an on the fly suggestion. Therefore, an actuarial entity can be engaged to develop a sinking fund and employee required contributions to feed and sustain the retirement sinking fund. Further, though no politician may want to touch the huge elephant in the room——the size of the civil service——with a 10 metre pole, it can only be put off for so long. The size and functioning of the civil needs to be reviewed and adjustments made as needed.

      Undoubtedly due to the territory’s small size and small economy and by necessity(59 square miles, 30,000 population), government will always be a major employer. Nonetheless, to the maximum extent practical, it must operate effectively and efficiently.

      • Anonymity says:

        Yep, could start with cutting that fat pension the politicians getting, lead by example, eight years and a pension, crazy…

        • Disinterested says:

          @Anonymity, agree. It is retirement inequality. Civil servants have to serve 20-30 years while politicians draw a fat pension for a mere 8 years of service. Which aspiring politician was a drafting lead on the constitution? In any event, politicans will not change the overly generous retiirement system. If it is going to change, the electorate has to demand it.

          While we are it, we need to rescind politicians housing allowance. Why should we pay them to live in their own homes? The Premier needs to reside in the Premier’s Residence. Again, nothing will change if the electorate does not demand it. Politicians are about self interest, not public interest.

      • RealPol says:

        Real talk. This is a good start to fixing the civil service retirement system. Does this suggestion need a looksy?

  10. Talk says:

    For sure this alleged recovery plan is not going to get anyone reelected. A bunch of nonsense . What about the recovery money that is being taken daily for overpriced work and payoffs .

  11. Mango says:

    Waste a time…

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