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New fee sends positive message abroad

Deputy Premier and Minister of Labour Dr Kedrick Pickering. File photo

Minister of Natural Resources and Labour Dr Kedrick Pickering. File photo

Minister of Natural Resources Dr Kedrick Pickering said the imposition of a $10 environmental levy on visitors to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) will send a positive message overseas about the BVI, adding that it may result in the Territory getting assistance from international donor agencies.

According to the minister, the fee will make it clear to international partners that the BVI is serious about protecting the environment.

“When people see you helping yourself, they are much more willing to help you,” Dr Pickering said.

He made the remarks shortly before the House of Assembly, this week, passed the Environmental Protection and Tourism Improvement Fund Bill 2017, which includes the new fee.

Under the proposed law, the new fee is to be used for matters affecting the environment and tourism.

Dr Pickering, during a debate on the Bill, said international donors are usually reluctant to assist the BVI because the Territory is believed to have a high per capita income.

“We are victims of our own success because, when the international donor community looks at places like Cayman Islands and Bermuda and British Virgin Islands, they claim that our per capita income is too high, so they are not giving places like us money. But what they don’t recognize is that those figures are oftentimes skewed and monies that we have are limited – as I pointed out for infrastructural development, education, and health,” Dr Pickering told the House of Assembly.

He added, that, by imposing the environmental levy, international donors would be more willing to help.

“By doing this (imposing the fee), what we are demonstrating to international donor agencies is that we are taking responsibility; we are taking actions that are directly responsible for helping ourselves, and then can attract the help from others.”

Dr Pickering added, “Without funds – without legislative frameworks like these, no one pays us any attention.”

He noted that the aforementioned Bill has far-reaching implications for the future of the environment and the territory’s tourist industry. Dr Pickering reiterated that, without the environment, there can be no tourism industry.

Copyright 2017 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

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15 Comments

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  1. hope says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

    But we are not helping ourselves, if we were we would have stopped pumping raw sewage into to the water next to Prospect Reef. Any idiots can just raise prices and add taxes but it take brains to actually do something.

  2. International Donor says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    So the BVI looking for handouts?

  3. Hmm says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

    You are correct. You get more assistance when anyone notice you are trying to better yourself rather than just sitting asiking for help.

  4. Really says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    Govt taken the trump stance of fake news.

  5. Yup! Yup! says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    Yes it really does send a message. Positive? that remains to be seen.

  6. smdh says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    These people does speak to different people than who the common man does speak to. SMDH.

  7. Curious says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    This is Bull SHT!!

  8. What a waste says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    And that you are helping your damn self. Time will tell.

  9. ... says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    this government is so delusional its baffling…..u taxing ur ppl and visitors is going to send a positive message abroad????

  10. rastarite says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Another move to increase inflation. NHI… Work permit fees… Now this. Look at prices in the shops just so expensive already. BVI heading down a slippery slope to impoverish the average man… No vision!!

  11. Visitors says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    I have a family of eight and we have being coming to the BVI for the past seven years. Now we will just spend our time in St John… it’s is just too costly to stay in the Bvi…

  12. Bohannon says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    @visitors. You know you are lying straight from hell.

  13. Stella says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Hope that them no looking at the pollution from da garbage burning, plastic one mart water bottles and the amount of Styrofoam containers in the bvi. Controlled them then add a fee!!SMH….!!!

  14. Mendomon says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    How about putting some tarps over the garbage trucks carrying the dumpsters to the disgraceful incinerator that pumps chemical pollution into the air.
    Don’t get me started!

  15. viewpoint says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    If Dr. Pickering wants to protect the environment, he should stop destroying the seabed grass and fish spawning area at Brandywine bay. Stop peeing on our backs and telling us it’s raining!

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