Smith denies pushing new agenda after elections campaign
Deputy Premier Lorna Smith has denied pushing an agenda during the elections campaign that is contrary to the one she currently oversees as Minister for Financial Services, Labour & Trade.
The Deputy Premier was asked at a press conference yesterday about the degree of difficulty in adjusting to a different agenda than the one she reportedly pushed while running for office for the first time.
“I was not pushing a different agenda. I was pushing an agenda for greater efficiency,” Smith responded.
She added: “I’m meeting a situation where there is need for improvement and that is what I was saying and everybody recognises that there is need for improvement in the services that we deliver.”
According to the Deputy Premier, issues such as the lengthy nine-month waiting period for work permit processing and the inordinate time taken for trade licences to be issued were just a few examples of this.
“One of the things I said that I would work towards is cutting red tape, and that is what I plan to do,” she stated.
“So it’s the same agenda, and I’m so happy that I have the opportunity as Deputy Premier to make sure that I can follow through on this promise.
In the meantime, Smith pointed out that Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley spoke about the BVI becoming a more business-friendly country. She pointed to the island nation of Singapore and juxtaposed its level of success with that of the BVI.
“I always use the example of Singapore, which only has services. That’s what they offer,” she said. “And it is so easy to do business there. Yes, they have millions of people living there, so it’s a little different, but in terms of the concept, there is no reason why this country, with less than 40,000 people, cannot become a more business-friendly country.”