Governor John J. Rankin, CMG has said the first round of Public Service increments is expected to be paid by June 2023.
He was at the time speaking during an interview on Talking Points on ZBVI 780 AM and live-streamed on Facebook on May 1, 2023.
During the discourse, one of the hosts, Elvin Grant, alluded that Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) had indicated that the matter is now out of his hands and that the monies for increments have already been approved by Cabinet and should now be made payable.
Asked whether the ‘ball is now firmly in his court’ Governor Rankin agreed, noting that he bears responsibility for the Public Service.
“If my memory serves me correctly, the agreement in Cabinet was that the first…of the increment payments should be made by June, and I’m confident that those payments will be coming forward within that time period,” the Governor posited.
Did the Governor's Office drop the ball?
Asked by one of the hosts, Damion C. Grange, if he believes his office ‘dropped the ball’ in terms of advocacy for increments for public servants while assenting to the Retirement Allowance Act, popularly referred to as the ‘Greedy Bill’, Governor Rankin made it clear that the Act was not unconstitutional nor was it in breach of the Territory’s international obligations.
“In those circumstances, as Governor I could advise as to the Westminister legislation, I could advise as to how this may be perceived by other persons but it is not a circumstance in which I would normally refuse assent. The judgment on the merits or otherwise of that piece of legislation were not primarily for me to make.
“On the question of increments, again, I will leave it to others to judge why again this was something which was left to shortly before the election, but it does depend on the money being made available and it was only once Cabinet and the Minister of Finance agreed to make that money available...” Governor Rankin stated.
Premier and Minister Dr the Hon Natalio
D. Wheatley (R7) speaking on the VIP Let’s Talk radio show on ZBVI 780
AM on April 18, 2023, when he addressed the issue of increments.
VIP administration paid increments for 2016, 2017 & 2018- Premier
On VIP Let’s Talk on April 18, 2023, Premier Wheatley had emphasised that the Virgin Islands
Party had to pay the increments for those years that the National Democratic Party was in power.
He reminded that the VIP administration paid the increments for 2016, 2017 and 2018, “and in Cabinet we made the decision to pay increments in 2018 and 2019 with arrears. And for 2020, 2021 and 2022, we moved up the steps.
“So when persons coming to you with nonsense telling you there has been no increments paid, you tell them that the Virgin Islands
Party (VIP) in this administration made sure that increments will be paid for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 years, two of the years in arrears,” Dr Wheatley had stated during the campaign trail.