Beautiful Virgin Islands

Sunday, Feb 05, 2023

Gov’t to build another complex to accommodate workers

Gov’t to build another complex to accommodate workers

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has revealed that the government is looking to build another complex to accommodate government workers.
The Premier gave that indication at a recent press conference while discussing issues related to government spending.

“We should have built another complex in the past. That’s something we have to do now to cut down on all the rented spaces that we have. We have so many other things that cause our recurrent expenditure to balloon,” Premier Wheatley told reporters at a recent press conference.

The Premier’s disclosure comes in the wake of concerns raised by residents over the many rented office spaces that the various government departments have occupied since the hurricanes of 2017 caused major infrastructural damage to the Central Administration Complex, rendering it unusable. 

The current government complex, since renamed in honour of former Premier, Ralph T O’Neal, has been under repairs following the storms of 2017.

Government expanding like crazy

During the press conference, Premier Wheatley acknowledged that the ‘government has expanded like crazy’, even as the territory’s recurrent expenditure continues to balloon.

The recurrent expenditure — pegged at $335.08 million for the 2023 budget — is just about $10 million more than the previous year’s budget and relates to the government’s expenses for all purposes except capital costs.

“Government has gotten bigger. We have more persons working in the civil service than any [period] before. We rent more accommodation than ever before,” the Premier said.

Dr Wheatley’s statement also comes on the heels of Deputy Governor David Archer’s denial that there are moves afoot to make cuts to what some observers have referred to as a bloated public service sector. “Right now there is absolutely no credibility to that,” Archer said on the Talking Points show recently.

Instead of cutting jobs, the Deputy Governor said the government is focused on providing new technology for public officers to work with and developing the public workers.

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