Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Neville Smith has jumped to the defence of the VIP government following new claims of victimisation. He said disrespectful behaviour towards an individual’s superior should never be rewarded.
Smith’s comments came less than 24-hours after Opposition Leader Marlon Penn raised questions in the House of Assembly as to whether outspoken resident Cindy Rosan-Jones’ termination from the BVI Tourist Board was an act of victimisation.
While he did not name the persons of which he was speaking, Smith addressed the matter stating that the previous NDP administration has victimised more persons while elected than any other government.
He said: “I hear some members come in here talking about how this government victimising people. Who’s victimised more people than the last administration? You talking about somebody who doing wrong and you now want to come here talking about we victimising people because they’re doing wrong? Disrespectful!”
“If you have a boss and you cursing your boss and you go and tell your boss, that is not freedom of speech, that is being disrespectful. Then you want to reward the person for being rude and doing wrong? That’s wrong,” Smith added.
The Deputy Speaker further said that while the victimisation claims are being repeated, there are persons in the civil service such as Acting Accountant General Laurel Smith, who has been performing exceptionally in the Treasury Department for years but have not yet been rewarded by being appointed full-time to the post.
He said he believes persons in similar situations as the Acting Accountant General are the real victims as they are made to act in positions for far too long.
“We have people doing right, you don’t want to praise them and lift them up. Like Honourable Fraser said, the Accountant General is doing a great job but we still try to keep her down. We have been through over five, six Accountant Generals, not one ain’t stay and you still here talking about victimising?”
The Deputy Speaker said VIP administration is a government of the people and consider themselves equals amongst the population.
“We feel what they feel. You could reach out and touch any member in here because we are just like you. We are not above nobody,” he added.
Meanwhile, other members of the House of Assembly including Opposition legislator Julian Fraser and government minister, Kye Rymer also lobbied in favour of having persons who have been acting in senior positions for years, officially appointed.