While declaring that the government should not be afraid to charge for its assets, Minister of Education and Culture Myron Walwyn said people who own BVI-Based boats should also lose a seasonal privilege they are being allowed regarding cruising permits.
Based on current and proposed legislation, people who operate BVI-Based charter boats are charged much less during the ‘out-of-season’ period – from May 1 to the end of August each year.
But Walwyn said the seasonal fee should be abolished, and operators of BVI-Based boats be made to pay the higher fee regardless of the season.
A proposed law now before the House of Assembly is for the ‘out-of-season’ fee that operators of BVI-Based boats pay to be increased from 75 cents per person per day to $2.25.
Walwyn wants that increase to go beyond $2.25 and settle at $6 per person per day, throughout the year.
“…There should be no discrimination between in-season and out-of season rates. It should just be one seasonal rate. And the rate of $6 per person per day is a reasonable rate throughout [the year]… The very same issues that we have to address; we have to address them all year round. So, why should we be afraid to charge for what we have? We should not be afraid of doing that,” Walwyn said.
“Get the out-of-season rate out of the equation totally and let it just be one rate – the rate of $6 per person per day,” the minister further told his parliamentary colleagues, adding that operators of BVI-Based charter boats are likely to pass the increase on to visitors.
It should be noted that operators of foreign-based boats are charged much more than BVI-Based boaters in and out of season for cruising permits.
Here are the current rates:
Here are the proposed increases: