Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has condemned the misinformation he said was being spread on billboards during the election campaign.
Dr Wheatley made the comment while speaking on the Virgin Islands
Party (VIP) Let’s Talk radio programme recently where he promised to set the record straight about the misleading signs which were telling residents that his VIP government had not paid public service increments.
“I’m going to set the record clear because I saw a billboard, a shameful billboard speaking about not paying increments,” Premier Wheatley said. “And I got from good sources, the National Democratic Party put up that billboard, that’s talking about the VIP is a government of mistakes…”
Premier Wheatley promised to address the issue at his party’s closing rally. “You don’t miss that closing rally because I’m going to be talking about ten glass houses at that closing VIP rally… you don’t want to miss it, it’s going to be fire,” he said.
According to the premier, the previous National Democratic Party (NDP) administration had not paid increments for three successive years from 2016 to 2018. He argued that it was his government that had to pay the increments for those years that the NDP was in power.
Dr Wheatley said his government has already budgeted the money for increments to be paid to public servants and has also made the Cabinet decision to pay increments for five years.
“When persons come to you with nonsense telling you that there has been no increments paid, you tell them that the Virgin Islands
Party in this administration made sure that increments will be paid for one, two, three, four, five, six, seven years – two of the years with arrears – 2018 and 2019 with arrears,” the premier said. “So, don’t listen to the misinformation. Listen to the facts and these things are facts. You can look for it. It was a Cabinet decision. It was made public.”
Meanwhile, Education Minister Sharie de Castro shared that the ongoing salary review, expected to be completed in August, will also ensure that workers receive equitable pay. She explained that this is one of the reasons it was important for the government to bring increments for public servants up to date.
“Our people would be at their correct salary range going into that review so that they wouldn’t even be considered at a lower scale than where they should be,” she stated.