Next month will mark one year since the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) took office and the Andrew Fahie led-government is being accused of blurting plans to improve the economy which lack substance.
Members of the opposition believe that they are like car salesmen who give a lot of smooth fast talk, hoping that the buyer misses out on the important details.
“The issues that we are facing , if we are not careful, the amount of talking that is happening, the amount of chatter, every opportunity that is given and sometimes even not given…it’s like a car salesman trying to get you to buy a ‘lemon’ and they just keep talking fast, fast , hoping that you don’t pay attention to what is actually going on,” Hon. Melvin Mitch Turnbull, Second District Representative said at a press conference held on Thursday, January 23.
“We are just blurting out these things without details and the whole fanfare happens and by the time it comes down... nothing happens…I hope we don’t just buy into these pomp and circumstance,” Hon. Turnbull said, adding that the opposition intends to fact-check the government.
One of the planned initiatives which the opposition said lacks substance is medical marijuana.
“Like everything else, the programs that the government are announcing, the backgrounds and details don’t filter down to the opposition,” Hon. Julian Fraser, Third District Representative stated.
He added, “I am not saying they are hiding it from us but maybe they don’t have it themselves, but its (medical marijuana) popular, it sounds good to start talking about the millions of dollars that can be derived from such an initiative. We too would be interested in knowing more about this programme they are talking about.”
He said there is no clear path with the plans.
Hon. Marlon Penn, Opposition Leader said many persons are hurting and needs to hear about real plans to create jobs and get the economy jump started. He mentioned that major drop in revenue from the main economic pillar—financial services in 2019.
“The people of the BVI has to pay attention to what is happening in this country. We have an issue where our economy is on a decline, financial services is down by $30M from last year. We are blacklisted from France, no telling what will happen with financial services this year as a result of that blacklist,” he told journalists.
“There is no clear path where we could fill that gap of $30M…we don’t see a vision, you see a lot of fast talk, you see a lot of pie-in-the-sky, smoke-in-mirror plans that has no substance behind of them. You are yet to see something that is initiated that brings or garners any real revenue, or real benefit or jobs for the people of this territory,” the Opposition Leader lamented.