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Hon Penn hammers Throne Speech as lacking real economic support

Hon Penn hammers Throne Speech as lacking real economic support

Opposition Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has criticised the Government’s Speech from the Throne delivered by Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert on November 5, 2020, as one lacking an action plan and real economic support for the people.

“I think it's relevant and I think it is important for us to innovate and do things differently in this COVID-19 era, however, I'm concerned that I didn't really see where we're going to innovate,” Hon Penn said in an interview with the Government Information Service (GIS) shortly after the delivery of the speech.


Hon Marlon A. Penn however, commended the administration on its plans to push electronic legislation to support the digital transformation of the public service and improve e-gov services.

Digital transformation a must – Hon Penn


He, however, commended the administration on its plans to push electronic legislation to support the digital transformation of the public service and improve e-gov services.

“I know that we have the digital platform that is moving forward and I want to commend the Premier for continuing that process of ensuring that we put the legislative framework in place to digitise the way that we do business, which is important for us moving forward.”

“We also have to look at what is happening on the ground right now with people with COVID-19 and I wanted to hear more in terms of how we're going to address the issues persons face in the economic devastation from COVID-19,” Hon Penn said.

Turning attention to Food Security, the Opposition leader further criticised the Virgin Islands Agriculture and Fisheries Marketing Authority Bill, which will seek to establish a statutory authority to serve as the primary authority on VI’s Food Security as one that would be too lengthy.

“Now at the time where financial resources are scarce I'm trying to figure out how we're going to get that done in a quick enough time to really get the support of the people that need the support,” he said.


The Opposition Leader has said the Speech from the Throne also needed to focus on more economic issues, such as unemployment and support for persons who were displaced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More Support for those in backyard farming


Hon Penn further remarked that supporting persons in backyard farming at lands in Paraquita Bay would be one way to immediately ramp up support for food security rather than the long labourious process of creating a statutory organisation.

He said the speech also needed to focus on more economic issues, such as unemployment and support persons who were displaced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wanted to hear more of that type of discussion in terms of legislative agenda which I didn't hear, but I’m hopeful that we could still move forward and ensure that those persons who have been displaced in the tourism economy get the support that they need moving forward,” Hon Penn said.

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