Questions? I’ve got questions. Are there any answers?

Is it not strange that the premier was willing to talk about contingent liabilities when reporting on the borrowing guidelines agreed with the United Kingdom government, but not when asked a specific question? Well we all know the answer now! The letter circulating is hardly likely to be a forgery, and in fact it seems that the premier had not seen the letter before, possibly due to some administrative error.

Has our government run out of money? How long before it is unable to pay government salaries?

Is it true legislators are considering giving themselves a pay raise?

Has the Ministry of Communications and Works overspent its budget?

Why has so much surface been taken off our roads?

Is the tarmac just to be overlaid on the existing mess?

Why doesn’t the concrete strip next to the Nanny Cay wall have any reinforcing steel in it?

Will the Nanny Cay wall have to be extended past the new private excavations?

Who will pay for this? Government or the landowners? Will the extension match? Will the proposed sidewalk be completed?

Why have those doing the new excavations been allowed to fly-tip just a few yards down the road?

Sewerage questions

When will the East End sewerage work actually begin? We have heard various answers: “It’s already started;” “it may start soon;” “we hope it will be completed by … .”

Why is the East End sewerage work being given to inexperienced petty contractors? Is it because government is looking for votes, or because it doesn’t have the money to pay a main contractor?

Will connection to the main sewage system be compulsory? Is there legislation for that?

Will householders and business owners have to pay for connection?

Will they have to pay an annual fee for sewage services?

If “persons” in government are stonewalling on the paperwork for the Biwater contract, how will they ever get the treatment plant ready in time for the abovementioned connections? And if they don’t, where will the sewage go?

Why doesn’t government know how much the project is to cost? Why has only about a third of the possible cost been obtained in bank loans, and other loans “could be obtained?”

Why was a previous contract for the job abandoned after considerable expense and provision of unused equipment? Will this equipment be included in the new scheme? If not, what is to happen to it?

How can the VIP and NDP pledge “no politicising” when they have already cancelled each others plans?

Cost of living

Why is it that for the last four years government has no idea of the changes in cost of living here? Have they have been budgeting and adjusting salaries in the dark?

If government has no idea how much the greenhouse project will eventually cost, how have legislators allowed for this in the present budget?

If government has no idea how much the Purcell “flood” works will eventually cost, how have legislators allowed for this in the present budget?

How many other surveys of Anegada lands from previous years were cast aside before a $607,000 survey contract was awarded?

How much will it cost to make Gun Creek a port of entry? Is it budgeted for?

Why spend all that money renovating the Adina Donovan Home for the Elderly when it should be relocated to a more bucolic location?

Why, oh why, does it take so long to bring relatively minor, and major, cases to court?

What is the point in planning to extend the airport runway when we are completely at the mercy of the airlines, and they are at the mercy of the economic climate?

Shouldn’t auditing be completely independent of those being audited? What happened to the Public Accounts Committee, which was supposed to be chaired by the leader of the opposition? Wasn’t that supposed to keep an eye on government spending?

Infrastructure

Why do we have so little to show in the way of infrastructure projects for the huge sums of money poured into this tiny territory over the last 25 years or so? We should have the most superb roads, parks, malls, hospitals, schools, airport, water and sewerage systems, non-stop electrical supply, and waste disposal facilities.

When is the question of what we are called — Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands or Virgin Islands (UK) — going to be settled once and for all?

That’s more than enough questions to fill a House of Assembly session!

Meanwhile, while Rome burns, ministers play with statues in the park, and gender and immigration policies.

Why not end on something positive for a change?  Well … what?


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