Government House last week commented on the recent politically driven statements that have been in play on the public airwaves recently regarding the overall economic state of the territory and the steps that have been taken to avoid a complete financial collapse of the Virgin Islands government.
Government House Director of Communications Jean Greaux said the administration fully understands the expressions of concern by the union leaders as all in the government’s workforce have been called upon to undertake a shared sacrifice as the lingering effects of the Great Recession continue to wreak havoc on the government’s fiscal health.
“What is beyond all understanding, however, is that at a time when many Virgin Islanders realize the need to sacrifice for the overall good of the territory, some senators, clearly motivated by petty politics, would take aim at the administration’s efforts,” said Greaux. “It is beyond reason that Senator Neville James would criticize the eight percent cut in pay to all government employees. This is the same senator who thumbed his nose at the administration’s proposal to dismiss employees and implement unpaid holidays, while also thumbing his nose at his colleagues who developed the 8 percent pay reduction that we will experience on next Thursday’s payday.”
“Given his lack of effort and the fact that he didn’t approve any proposals, he appears comfortable firing government employees,” said the Government House director of communications.
“No matter how Senator James spins his criticism, we cannot get away from the fact that the governor is obligated by law to present a balanced budget,” Greaux said. “We have to bridge the $17 million shortfall in revenues by September 30. The Senate rejected the administration’s proposals to reduce the shortfall and what we have today is the product of the 29th Legislature.”