Premier, and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith lashed out at what he said is a constant call from Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser for spending more money.
Speaking in the House of Assembly on 17 April, Dr. Smith said that there are calls for monies to be spent but little solutions for the monies to be added: “I recall on several occasions here in this House my colleagues saying spend the money, spend the money….What concerns me is that for four years before we came into office, I said it before, the Member of the Third District thought that in order to make the economy all you had to do was spend and spend and spend…. if you were to do that…after a while the coffers become empty and that is why when we got here the coffers were empty.”
Hon. Smith told the House: “As a Government we are trying to get this economy going by keeping taxes down, introducing projects to get the economy started…And all we get is criticism and all we get are attempts to try to stop the projects from certain circles. That does not seem to me to be in the best interest of the BVI.”
One of the main calls for the Premier to spend money was during Hon. Fraser’s No-Confidence Motion that was taken to the House of Assembly on 25 July and defeated following a heated debate on 26 July. In that Motion Hon. Fraser berated the Government for its decision to raise certain fees and repeated his call for the Premier to inject funds into the economy and cause stimulation.
He further accused the Premier of having his priorities mixed up by having money in the Reserve Fund while there is a need for it to be used to help the present economic situation: “The Premier said he has $24M in the Reserve Fund and from that $24 million I am sure he is going to put in more. Probably looking at putting in more right now, but that is not going to do us any good sitting on the fund while the economy is bottoming out,” Hon. Fraser said in July.