Leader of the Opposition Hon. Julian Fraser expressed concern that vendors are still being owed for services rendered to the Government, and accused Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith of being disingenuous in the statement he made to the public on Tuesday.
In expressing his concern about the nonpayment issue Hon. Fraser said: “What a farce, to be blaming the refusal to pay vendors and other services providers for work done, on a shortfall in revenues at the Commission, when the Premier himself assured the public in the House of Assembly that a $25 million loan/overdraft facility he entered into with CIBC First Caribbean was to eliminate that eventually.”
“As a matter of fact I was particularly upset, to learn that this travesty still persists, and appears to have worsened, when a young man understandably outraged, approached me about not being paid for some drain cleaning he did back in August. But yet, the Premier in his address could tell us, “rest assured, whatever belt-tightening we must do, it will not come at the expense of the common man or woman,” Hon. Fraser added.
The Leader of the Opposition further accused the Government of using other people’s money to fund its operations: “One must wonder what he thinks this is doing. Him not paying for services rendered is exactly that, using other people’s money to finance his government’s operations.”
Meanwhile, Hon. Fraser noted that he is being approached by employees of Statutory Boards with complaints about nonpayment: “Earlier this week an employee of Peebles Hospital called me from the bank seeking my assistance in getting their salary which was yet to be paid into the bank. I also know of complaints from employees of the HLSCC about getting their salaries late.”
“The audacity of our leader, to make a national address, telling us that “we are living through challenges that can best be described as the new normal,” and at the same time promising that his government will ensure that the common people and core services are not negatively affected by whatever belt-tightening measures may be implemented! When truly, all along he has been telling us that the economy is robust. And not only that, but he has already raised every imaginable taxes which already places the burden on us the so-called “common people and core services,” Hon. Fraser