Virgin Islands Party Chairperson, and Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser told his constituents that he was tricked out of participating in the Budget debate that occurred in December, and also called out other members of Government who did not debate the 2015 budget.
While giving his presentation at his annual District holiday party on 10 January, Hon. Fraser said: “You would have noticed that in the 2015 budget I didn’t participate in the debate, as a matter of fact I think I was tricked out of participating in the debate.”
Hon. Fraser stated that attention should go to the Ministers of Government who did not debate as well: “What is most telling is that three Government Ministers did not debate the budget, and these are the people who control millions of dollars in the three ministries under their budget. What does that tell you? Where is the regard for the people? You cannot be master controller of millions of dollars between the three of them and not come to the people and explain how you are going to spend this money. What are you going to do with it; so in that regard you are left standing trying to figure out where do we go from here,” Mr. Fraser said.
After calls from the Speaker of the House, Hon. Ingrid Scatliffe Moses for contributions, Hon. Fraser indicated an interest just as the Premier was called to wrap up the debate. The House was then recessed and resumed with an address from the Speaker, who said: “From the time we started this morning, I kept calling for members to indicate whether or not they are making contributions to the debate. The members, as far as I can see, who wanted to contribute to the debate, indicated so. And, before the Honourable Member for the Sixth started speaking, I reminded members to not play the waiting game.”
The Speaker added: “The public has actually complained about me having to constantly repeat to members about whether or not they are going to contribute. It makes us look like we are just sitting here not knowing what we are supposed to do.”
Prior to the closing of the debate Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith said that he wished more members had participated: “I too would have liked to have all the members of the House give their contributions, but, unfortunately, this is where we are Madam Speaker.”