BVI News


Premier: I won’t give up finance ministry

 Premier Dr D Orlando Smith (left), and Ronnie Skelton

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith (left), and Ronnie Skelton

Following calls from senior National Democratic Party (NDP) member Eileen Parsons for the Ministry of Finance portfolio to be handed over to Ronnie Skelton, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith has made it clear that the ministry will remain under his leadership.

Dr Smith however noted that there may be changes in terms of the other ministerial portfolios and responsibilities.

“Any government changes from time to time in portfolios of ministers for the good of the people. What I can say is that there may be changes but certainly not regarding the Ministry of Finance,” he said.

The premier, who was speaking on ZBVI radio this morning, did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, in a leaked letter addressed to the 11 elected NDP officials in November, Parsons said: “It has become obvious to all, outside, that all is not as well as it should and could be in our State of BVI. For instance, it is being said louder and louder that our finance portfolio would be better served by being moved from the Office of the Premier to his Minister of Health [Ronnie Skelton]. It would not be a ‘loss of face’ but it would be a good service to the country.”

Eileen Parsons

Eileen Parsons

Parsons – an NDP stalwart – also lamented that there is a ‘lack of structure’ in the political organization.

“All of you have known it forever,” she added.

“For years, it has been known and sho-shoed that the party needs leadership, and more serious leadership… While we expect the 11 of you to manage our affairs and manage them well, we cannot expect you to also manage the affairs of the body politic.”

While conceding that the NDP is a male-dominated organisation, Parsons also made suggestions that a woman should be considered to head the party.

“It is obvious that it is a man thing at the head and heart of my selected party, but it does not seem to be working at the head of the organisation. It is women who work their butts off to get you gentlemen elected, and we are in serious need of a leader,” she asserted.

Parsons went on to remind her colleagues that BVI voters need ‘constant stroking and that is what the NDP organisation is failing to do’.

“We are not a group that is alive and well, and we are not perceived as feeling our brothers’ pain. All that can and should be adaptable to change.”

Parsons continued: “I know all of the above (in the letter) will ruffle all feathers, but who cares? I care for the country for which I gave up an American passport.”

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  1. call a snap election now says:


  2. ndp heckler says:

    They asked for 2 back 2 back terms and they got them now it’s time for the NDP to exit the stage

  3. BVI Lander says:

    I am very proud of Dr. Smith for standing up to this underhanded attempt to hijack his good name and legacy.

  4. Leadership says:

    What we need is solid longer term plan that is clearly communicated to the people.

    For example, we should have created a regional transportation plan before investing $7M in a startup airline or $200m for an extension to the runway. (The two investments appear to be contradictory, as the airline if it every takes off, can land on the existing runway.)

    We also need more financial oversight. The $50M cost overruns with the pier project are inexcusable.

    Have our leaders calculated the impact of increasing the landing fees on the number of passengers who will be willing to pay them? Why won’t they share the plan with us? Do they even have a plan?

  5. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Is it a surprise to anyone that the Premier is not giving up the Ministry of Finance, in response to the request in a scathing letter from Eileen Parsons, a hardcore supporter, and backed by another so called supporter, John Cline. It would be a sign of weakness.

    There are 2-3 primary forces to driving the Premier from retaining the Ministry of Finance. The first is a majority of the electorate calling for him to do so.

    Second if there were evidence of gross waste, fraud and abuse. And third if he were to have to have list 5 of 11 caucus members. The 4th may be if the boss lady demands that he does.

    Moreover, the Premier is digging in his heels and thumping his nose at Eileen, John and others ( many in silence).

    However, what is earth shattering and rather surprising is that none of his caucus members is out front beating his/her chest in support of the Premier. The silence is deafening and speaks volume. What a supporting cast!

    Moreover, it is encouraging that the Premier is thinking about reshuffling ministers. He needs to do more than think though; he must act with alacrity. The only question is who goes where. IMO he needs to send Ronnie to MCW, Kedric to MHSS, Myron to MLNR, and Mark to MEC(?).

    Assign Archie as Junior Minister to MCW and Marlon as Junior Minister in MoF. Another consideration as Junior Minister is Delores at MEC or Alvera as Junior Minister at MLNR. Move aviation to MCW.

    Still need a territory wide address on the state of the territory. The core of the address should be on skyrocketing property and violent crimes, economy, transportation, including, roads, air lift, sea lift (ferry); utility services…….etc.

  6. granny says:

    “who don’t hear will feel”

  7. Hmmm says:

    Ministry of Finance is the one that really needs to change!

    The other Ministers appear to be handling their portfolios fairly decent with the exception of Kedrick who hasn’t done anything really noteworthy in his 5 years as a Minister.

    Put Kedrick on travel leave and give Marlon his Ministry.

    • P says:

      The Financial Secretary is the one who should be FIRED. He is the one responsible for the finances of the country.

      The Financial Secretary, have more signing power of the country’s finances than any other Civil Servant including the Premier.

      It is a down right shame, but the country is being destroyed by a VERY WEAK YES MAN in the form of the Financial Secretary.

  8. smh says:

    he is putting his ego before what is good for the country

    • P says:

      @smh You are wrong. This have nothing to do with the Premier’s ego.

      If you want to see this island totally and completely bankrupt put Ronnie and Neil in charge of the country’s finances.

      Then you will all know what wanton spending is all about.

  9. Law Abiding Citizen says:

    It seems like there’s a power struggle here.

    • Yes Siree says:

      Without doubt, there is clearly a power struggle going on, BUT we have not heard from THE BVI MASTER MIND, who is playing his cards very close to his chest, and biding his time.

      Don’t be surprised if he decides to start his own Party. HE WANT IT THAT BAD………..Believe Me.

  10. WTF says:

    Dr. Smith is weak. The First Lady implied that he is not the Head of Household in her house.

    So, this guy is not qualified to be Premier or Minister of Finance. He should step down from both positions. He is justifiable not a leader.

    Can he run his household? He can’t run our country. Dr. Smith, we the people want you Gone immediately.

    Under your bad Governance, Corruption, Mismanagement of the people’s money, to bring darkness on our once beautiful Nature’s Little Secrets. NDP government is pathetic.

  11. Interested says:

    The Bible says that if a man cannot manage his own household,he cannot be in charge of the church.I apply the same principle to the management of the Government.Do you mean to tell me that for the sake of pride the Premier chooses to hold on to a portfolio that obviously he is not successful at ?

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