BVI News

$15K tax exemption, increased salaries promised if Skelton becomes finance minister

Handing control of the territory’s finance portfolio to Ronnie Skelton if the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) is elected as the next government would mean a tax break for low-income individuals and better salaries for select public servants, Skelton has said.

Those are two of four plans the PVIM leader outlined at a political rally in the Second District community of Cane Garden Bay at the weekend.

“I can increase the tax-free amount to $15,000 probably for two years until we study it further,” Skelton said. Currently, persons are guaranteed income tax exemption for the first $10,000 they earn in a financial year.

According to a previous statement from Skelton, the NDP government wasted about $20 million during its term in office. While revisiting the issue on Saturday, the politician said a PVIM government would be able to reduce such wastage within the first term in office.

“If successful, [my administration will] implement a permanent 13-month salary for our protective public servants. This has been done in other countries and we are richer than these countries,” Skelton reasoned.

He continued: “We can begin discussions with insurance companies regarding escalated insurance premiums in order to come to a position where our people can once again afford insurance. We can work on getting government services and banking services back to our family islands. Those are the things we can do quickly without any problems.”

The PVIM leader also rehashed revenue-building initiatives such as medical tourism, which he said would not require any large investment from government.

He argued that the state-owned Peebles Hospital would facilitate such an initiative. The territory’s natural resources are other factors he said will support medical tourism.

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  1. in Need says:

    Did this man every had any math class in those days….Anything for a vote but our civi servants
    are not as incompetent as one already said
    You will hear the news….

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
    • BVI! says:

      Why Matt class if you can guess: “I can increase the tax-free amount to $15,000 probably for two years until we study it further,” In other words; he estimates that he needs 2 years of education before he can determine if this was a good move….but who cares, it’s not about what’s good for the people, it’s about what’s good to get elected.

      Like 3
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  2. Longshanks says:

    The giveaways are coming large and strong.

    How is this going to be costed, when the territory faces increasing revenue problems? What’s the point in giving civil servants (who are net costs, rather than contributors to the government revenue) a giveaway? Why is it required? Are we not able to attract the best people with the currently generous salaries, sick day allowances, and pensions?

    Surely the responsible approach would be to nudge the BVI main employer away from the government, cut down on waste and efficiency, promote private sector (net contributors) employment and success, and raise taxes rather than lower them?

    Magic money tree politicking at its best.

    Like 16
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    • Not2Sure says:

      For sure – lower taxes and extra pay for everybody! All you have to do is vote for me!

      Like 4
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      • On says:

        No one is voting for you if it was not for Dr Smith u would have never get in. Ronnie I know you was dead and God bring you back to life and you still bad mind

  3. yolo says:

    you will say anything to get vote

    Like 12
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  4. Diaspora says:

    It is election season and everyone is promising any and everything. The campaigns are saturated with promises, promises. What is next the sun will rise in the west? One of the tenets of political campaigns is to over promise even if the promises do not bear fruit, for most voters will forget what promises were made and there will be no painful penalty. On the other hand, if no promises are made, one probably is not going to get elected. What voters need to confirm is 1)how will promises be fulfilled, 2)how they will be paid for, 3)when they will happened, 4)what is not going to get done (opportunity cost), 5)will taxes and fees be raised and if so for how long……..etc.

    No doubt civil servants need to be paid a living wage and be recognized and rewarded for superb performance. However, the service is bloated (will get blasted for this but it is all good) and needs to be analyzed and changes made. The pension plan unfunded liability is a millstone around taxpayers next; it is a problem so we cannot pretend it does not exist. Nevertheless, if any politician touch the civil service issue, I will consider eating my shoes.

    • @ Diaspora says:

      You are 100% correct – ‘bloated’ is the right word for much of the civil service. We need to save costs, and that means a leaner civil service and using technology for greater efficiency.

      Don’t even get me started on the unfunded pension liability which everyone in Government likes to just pretend does not exist.

  5. Pies in Sky says:

    His party won’t form the new government anyway, so let him go on with his pie in the sky promises. I guess his bank account is fat enough to pay for it

    Like 16
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  6. Lelah says:

    Seven (7) years with out increment or raise in salary. The election pole will speak volumes.

    Like 7
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  7. WELLLL says:

    Well if you recall it was under Ronnie civil servants got their last raise when he was finance minister, Ronnie also was responsible for the 10,000 tax if he did that then i think he can do it again, i trust him with the finances over the others.

    Like 10
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    • No deal says:

      That’s a misleading comment. Even if he was finance minister, there is no way he could have single handedly given a salary raise. That could have only come from the Premier and Cabinet. In any event, things were a lot better with the economy back then. Where will he find the extra money? When he tells us that, I am willing to take another look at his proposal.

      Like 10
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  8. Blah says:

    Sounds good but under the section of 100 timely and effective solutions to improving our standard of living in the NDP 2011 manifesto, number 41 was “review the current tax exemption on payroll taxes with a view to increasing the exemption to $15,000” Ronnie was a minister under the NDP during that term. Why was nothing accomplished. OK so we got fooled once. Fast forward to 2015 once again exhibiting no shame for the BS in the previous manifesto under the section for “improving our standard of living at a glance, our commitment to you: number 29, “Revise the current exemption on payroll taxes with a view to increasing the exemption to $15,000 by 2017” Mr. Skelton, Archie, Mitch and yourself were members of NDP that made this promise. It is now 2019. You missed the date that your party set. You have lied and broken your promise twice yet you feel confident to make the same promise once again.

    Like 13
  9. lol. says:

    Mr. Skelturn, as you should be called, you had several terms in office to move the tax exemption. Man up and stop lying to the people for a vote,respect us more than that. you was part of the same government that misrepresented the people. In fact the white papers had the removal of income in stages.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The civil service is not really bloated, what is needed is efficiency and accountability.

  11. Barbie says:

    Question: Whoever has the right answer will receive a tax break. Just Kidding.

    How many election cycle this idea been circulating for?

    A. 1
    B. 2
    C. 3
    D. All of the above.

    Waiting to see the results.

  12. Eagle eye says:

    Is this the same man who implemented nhi and wants to implement more taxes.Ronnie and Frazer should hold hands and jump off beef island bridge.

  13. Captain Hook says:

    These statements dont mean a thing. Wheres the plan on how this will be executed? Our economy is already strained after the 2017 disaster; roads are still filled with pot holes and many of our schools still picking up the pieces amongst other issues still rampant.Where is this money going to come from? Even if it does, I believe it will cost us much more in the long run. Love of money & power has consumed the hearts of many and with these upcoming elections, we all need to be careful whom we elect. If we really want the BVI to be restored and flourish, lets vote for someone who has the wisdom and love of the people (BVI) at heart instead of choosing crooks to run our government.

  14. Legalize Prostitution says:

    Might as well. All these whoremongers running around promising money,free ice cream,appliances. People of the BVI need to stop and think this out: Do only greedy,ignorant people run for office, or do only greedy ignorant people vote? Think what’s best for the country this time,who will do the job, not who will buy you a TV.

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