The Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government has boasted about keeping public servicing employed even as other countries were forced to cuts staff and salaries during the economic downturn due to COVID-19.
“Mr Speaker, the accounts show that your Government did its best to support our public officers during this ongoing era of COVID-19,” Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie stated during his budget presentation on Thursday, November 12.
He told the House of Assembly, “Sacrifices were made to ensure that Government workers were able to keep their jobs and have an income to care for their families.
According to Premier Fahie, in many instances, Public Officers worked from their homes, fulfilling many administrative tasks to keep Government services running smoothly for the rest of the residents. He thanked all public officers for their commitment and dedication.
He shared that innovative and remote working saw small increases in expenditure on mobile communications. Additionally, spending on computer software increased by 81.3 percent or about $1.2 million more than similar spending in 2019.
However, at the same time, the premier outlined that the suspension of travel for Public Officers due to the pandemic resulted in significant savings in costs associated with foreign travel.
These funds, he said, along with managed cuts in most expenditure heads, allowed Government to redirect funds to priority areas and treat with emergent needs.
“One benefit from this is that it has pushed the Public Service forward in the adoption and greater use of technology, which is a change that we intend to sustain as far as practical,” Premier Fahie stated.