Rajah A. Smith who contested the 2015 General elections under the Virgin Islands Party banner as the Second District Candidate issued a statement to the media on 20 June blasting the government for alleged mismanagement.
Smith said that he is most concerned about reported overspending of public funds, which he implied affected the economy: “A lot has happened over the past year but the economy is issue number one. The actions and reckless over spending by some ministers of government have many to wonder if people who are running our Territory are “educated fools.”
The aspiring politician was critical especially of the leadership style of Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, who – he said – was not seeing the hardship of residents: “The Premier over the course of the election campaigned on the slogan, leadership matters, what leadership? A man who never knows anything, is that leadership? Our citizens and residents are facing real hardship economically, small businesses struggling, people losing their homes, their land, something that’s becoming the norm,” he said.
Smith discussed the various revenue generating measures that were announced by Government and said that the plan was not a fair one: “This government continues to ask those who make less to pay more — example the raise in work permit fees, the majority of people on permits are minimum wage earners; but yet still they made a decision to give tax break on the import duty for merchants with no relief to the consumer,” he said.
“The National Democratic Party was successful in their quest to kill the petty contract system. However, their alternative method in my opinion creates a dependent people instead of opportunities. How did we get here? As a Territory starving for money, where were the voices of the other elected reps when the overspending on the controversial cruise pier project when in my opinion will exceed near $100 million on completion, the reckless and questionable mismanagement and misappropriation of taxpayers money,” he added.