As government tries to fund the rebuilding efforts and cope with the reported 40 percent revenue loss Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. Orlando Smith announced that austerity measures are being discussed. However the BVI Leader did not disclose what the measures are.
While speaking to the media Premier Smith pointed out that belt tightening might be implemented soon. He said: “There are some things which we not necessarily be able to do. For example we have to look at costs overall. As we go forward we have to look at things and ways to make government more efficient.”
Nonetheless, Hon. Smith stressed that no firm plan on saving money: “We have been discussing many things but we have not talked about or concretized those discussions as yet but there are many suggestions that are being discussed that would make government more efficient.”
Additionally the Premier did not disclose what some of the measures discussed entailed. He also noted that nothing has been finalized.As a result of the 2017 disasters Hon. Smith also admitted that the economy is not as robust as it used to be but explained that the situation is not grim.
Back in 2016 following the Panama Papers scandal and the de-risking situations the Territory’s revenues were affected and as a result Premier Smith considered tightening the belt. At that time the BVI Leader explained that austerity measures were needed to ensure stability y:“We will focus on making our Government operate as efficiently as possible. We will ensure that every dollar we spend is directed toward areas that will deliver the greatest future returns. And we will look for other ways to increase Government revenues without placing undue burdens on the people of the Territory. But rest assured, whatever belt-tightening we must do it will not come at the expense of the common man or woman.”
At that time the Premier also said: “We will not be cutting core services or reducing our investment in your children’s schools, in your healthcare, in your roads or infrastructure, or in helping grow your businesses and your economy. And we will continue to work hard to protect our environment that is so critical to our ongoing development.”