Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, Sep 21, 2023

Public Service Compensation Review is an election bait

Public Service Compensation Review is an election bait

Damion Grange, one of the hosts of the Talking Points radio show, said he questions whether the Premier is using the Public Service Compensation Review to gain the favour of the public ahead of general elections that are constitutionally due in May 2023.
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley signed the contract for the long-awaited public sector review on September 27 and the government held a launch event earlier this week.

But Grange, a public servant himself, said he doesn’t understand why this review was sanctioned when the government is having trouble paying money it owes public officers.

“The government is having trouble paying monies they already owe to people and now you’re going to come with this false bait, dangling it over the heads of the people — getting people excited because we’re possibly on the verge of an election,” Grange said.

“So now I’m going to question the Premier’s motive, wondering if this is part of his re-election quest. You’re going to raise salaries and you still can’t pay what you owe? How does that work?” Grange questioned.

Co-host of the show, Elvin Grant questioned why the government is paying for a constitutional review now when they’ve stated that they are cash-strapped and may have to borrow a $50 million loan soon.

“Why are we trying to get that (loan) by the end of the year? So that we can just turn money loose in the economy just before a possible election. The whole thing may be unrelated but the cynicism in me tells me there is a relation,” Grant said.

He added that elected leaders need to stop paying lip service just to get the public on their side when it is convenient.

The government as well as public servants have long expressed the need for improved compensation in government. Many leave the public service for better salaries and benefits in the local private sector as well as in Canada, the US and the United Kingdom.

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