BVI News

Fewer expats, less remittance, less taxes for government

As the government struggles to keep its COVID-battered income streams flowing, the BVI’s remittance sector, which was earning big bucks earlier this year, is likely to take a battering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest estimates published in the World Bank’s Migration & Development Brief show that global remittances will decline by 14 percent by 2021 compared to the pre-COVID-19 levels in 2019.

According to the World Bank, the foremost factors driving the decline in remittances include weak economic growth and employment levels in migrant-hosting countries.

This prediction is not in the BVI’s favour — a major migrant-hosting territory where expats make up some 70 percent of its workforce.

So far, many expats have returned to their home countries because businesses in the BVI have been struggling to remain profitable amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

These factors will have a corresponding negative impact on the BVI’s remittance sector which depends on migrants who send money earned in the BVI back to their home countries.

Remittance had started to earn major profits this year when the government imposed a seven percent tax on all monies leaving the BVI through money transfer agencies.

At that time, Premier Andrew Fahie confirmed that the government was projected to collect more than $1.7 million from local money transfers by the end of this year.

But according to the World Bank statistics, this could change drastically.

The World Bank says remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries are projected to fall by seven percent to $508 billion in 2020, followed by a further decline of 7.5 percent to $470 billion in 2021.

“Migrants are suffering greater health risks and unemployment during this crisis,” said Dilip Ratha, lead author of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief.

“The underlying fundamentals driving remittances are weak and this is not the time to take our eyes off the downside risks to the remittance lifelines,” Ratha said.

Recently, Premier Fahie revealed that the territory was able to avoid a $57 million budget deficit that was initially projected for due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said based on his government’s handling of the territory’s income streams, the BVI is now positioned to “significantly and almost totally” cut down the projected deficit.

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47 Comments

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  1. island man says:

    Duh!!!@!!

    Who does here does what??????

    Feeeeeeeel

    Like 17
    Dislike 6
  2. Rubber Duck says:

    The 7% is an evil, discriminatory and unjust tax that should be abolished. If there are non locals working in BVI they should be sought out and punished. The honest hard working ex pats already paying high work permit charges and normal taxes should not be made to pay. Shame on the government.

    Like 64
    Dislike 6
    • @RD says:

      That business went further underground when they introduced the stupid tax. Now the poor businesses are actually losing money and govt not getting anywhere near what they anticipated. DUMB!

      Like 26
      Dislike 2
    • Norris Turnbull says:

      How is it discriminatory Rubber Dick when anyone can utilize the service?

      Like 5
      Dislike 7
      • Is enough!!! says:

        Anyone utilize the device,but Who use more that service, the expats!!!

        Like 5
        Dislike 2
      • Is enough says:

        But who utilize more the service expats, thats why affecting us the most

        Like 2
        Dislike 1
      • Rubber Duck says:

        As you seem of the dim variety let me give you an example. If the government put a big tax on tampons then by your logic it wouldn’t be discriminatory against women because anyone can buy them.

        Now go and sit down and think about learning to think.

        Like 8
        Dislike 3
        • Sexist says:

          What you are suggesting is sexist
          AND discriminatory
          Because you are assuming that only women
          pay for tampons. It doesn’t matter who uses a product,
          It’s who pays for them.

          Like 1
          Dislike 1
  3. @island man says:

    Duh!!!@!! Everywhere I look I see expats. They are right here, but sending their money home through the banks. Taxes to the BVI Government? They will not pay that. Have been working three jobs and sending home every cent.

    A word of advice, if you are going to live in another man’s country, be cordial, be friendly, be kind. BVIslanders are not anti anybody, but the kind of nonsense spouted from non-belongers on the job and other places will create a push back eventually.

    Oh, and “hear” is spelt h-e-a-r. And the quote is “who don’t hear, does feel.”

    Like 15
    Dislike 28
    • Tolian says:

      How you mean they dont spend a dime here they pay rent at a 1000 month buy food at 400 a month buy gas at 200 a month go to the clubs and so many others but send home 200us a month to their families if you call that not spending a dime here you must be retarded or just jackass do the maths and do the calculations oh and those working 3 jobs it’s because they are not lazy they do what they have too to earn a living and take care of their family while a handful of our tolian men would do this the majority wait on their parents to pass on the apartments to them or sit down on the block dont forget we tolians also use the bank to send money to our kids who are studying in the us and elsewhere now locals like you make the expats feel we are against them if you have nothing positive to say hush your mouth thank you

      Like 12
  4. Chosen says:

    You all from here and born here looking down on expat and down island thinking you all are a continent it is coming to you all thinking people from other countries are trash

    Like 26
    Dislike 6
  5. Facts says:

    Down island ppl as they like to call other Caribbean countries……contribute by paying rent light water internet transportation ss nhi work permit fees…..after you force them or pressure them to go ……you should have your back up plan….

    Like 43
    Dislike 1
    • Chosen says:

      Don’t worry the born here and I from here will soon feel the pressure

      Like 27
      Dislike 2
      • Truth says:

        The born here and I from here are (in these days) most often the children of expats (not who you would consider to be an indigenous VIslander). I think that you guys tend to forget that. The people that you claim are discriminating against you are the offspring of your country folk.

        Like 4
        Dislike 1
  6. Wait! says:

    Apartments are emptied, taxes/ssb/nhi will be much lower, supermarkets, gas stations, bars, restaurants are feeling the pinch as there are less people spending. Add to that no tourists whether leisure or business and a hurting local economy and you don’t have to be a scholar to know what comes next. Oh don’t forget, not one civil servant will be laid off and they will also get their increment. The ‘good to great’ wagon forges on! Forward EVER!

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  7. Bill Goat Gruff says:

    WHO DRIVING THE BVI ECONOMY TO IT’S KNEES? #VIP. Baaaaa, COME ON KIDS, LET US CHECK THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL, MAYBE WE WILL FIND A PATCH OF UNEATEN GRASS FOR DINNER TONIGHT. BAAAAAA.

    Like 11
    Dislike 2
  8. Heckler says:

    Don’t worry “the economy is performing as expected” maybe we will have a Facebook Live soon to explain

    Like 19
    Dislike 3
  9. Sight says:

    Good article BVI News.

    Perhaps you could dig deeper and report how many persons indeed have left the Virgin Islands, how many jobs are lost etc.?? Since Government is failing to provide us with the real numbers.

    The monies the Premier is banking on from the 7 per cent tax will not materialize. It will be less.

    • Other Avenues says:

      It was easy to identify alternatives to the money transfer stores. Government pushed us into a corner, 7% tax for using a service of convenience. Now we push back.

      Set up an account for your off-island family and gave them a Debit Card to use as they need. They can withdraw cash and deposit in your account at home as well. There are other cash transfer protocols, PayPal, Zelle to name a couple, with no fees!

      We pay income tax, NHI, Social Security, Duties and Taxes on imports and imported goods. Massively inflated Work Permit fees were introduced after IRMA, and that wasn’t enough? Additional government fees and taxes are just pure avarice and greed to feed the Government Trough. Hogs can mire in their own filth now.

      Like 10
      Dislike 1
  10. Deflecting says:

    Don’t use Covid as the only excuse. Yes Covid but also because of the government’s greed people have found other ways to send money home and to circumvent the ridiculous 7% tax. Sadly now even if the tax is reduced or removed people will continue to use other means.

    Like 13
  11. Trouble says:

    Any way ! Many expats left, a few more leaving! locals evade taxes! Dear Govt what to do now!

  12. AHA says:

    JAMES 1 VS 19

    THE BIBLE STATE LET EVERY MAN BE SWIFT TO HEAR, SLOW TO SPEAK, AND SLOW TO ANGER

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
    • What!!!! says:

      “AHA”The Bible also instructs you how to treat your slaves. Tired of you “Christians” just picking out little pieces that suit you and pretending the rest is not there.

  13. hmm says:

    It appears to me that the BVI is in need of the expats. You all even recruit them with their degrees to come work in the BVI so why do you all treat them so badly when they come? If you all had the human resource to fill the jobs wouldn’t it mean the expats are not really needed? Another thing “downisland” belonger blah blah…why such the colonial way of naming human beings? Maybe the BVI need to do some self reflection.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  14. Norris Turnbull says:

    How is it discriminatory Rubber Dick when anyone can utilize the service?

  15. Anon says:

    This is the result of listening to people who prided their positions on being top executives in the states, before of course bailing out and changing names to try and cloak themselves. Hmmm, wonder how that turned out for people that they advised? Follow that trail and you will see they are the slipperiest of the lot, being as slick as snot on a doorknob, It won’t be them going to the pen in the end. The advisee should ask why you would listen in the first place, when you all know the answer, and the ruin that had generated wherever they have roamed. 7% was just another scheme to bilk the poor, with no clarity of accounting in the end.
    It is their motis operandi!
    I for one am glad that the people have found alternate ways of holding their own, without the ridiculous outright thievery in broad daylight!

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  16. Hmm says:

    According to what I read The BVI need these people to send home their money so that the BVI can make money. Read it again please.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  17. John says:

    The bvi just greedy 7% is too much all the other country’s take 2%, but they don’t like expat so they take 7%

  18. Foreclosure says:

    Houses and Apartment up for sale daily, Expatriates leaving and I heard rumors that many more are planning to leave before year end. No tourists coming, FSN up to there neck with people in Dire need of Food and people who can’t Afford to pay rent. Many unemployed the future seems Gloomy if something Magical don’t happen soon.

  19. Revenew down big time says:

    Thats why the turn their reopening border plan into a revenew generating plan with all these unnecessary measures that have to be paid for…They forget if people dont come because their plan is bad, there will be no revenew….

  20. Fatness says:

    I don’t understand the problem, every piece of money you expat work for in the BVI you all want to send out, stop and think for a few. You all sucking the hell out of the little island. What happen your family back home don’t work at all hello. When you venture out to better yourself you keep your place and do what you migrate to do. Some you all feel like you own the little island, you condemn it call it down talk bout where you from is better. That is not the right mindset and if so stay where you from and be content. Covid hit many places, stop stressing and let the Premier do his thing. He keep all you all safe thus far. Circumstances happen we just have to deal with it. And please keep off me little island if you don’t like the rules please excuse yourself

    Like 3
    Dislike 8
    • fatness u an *ss says:

      how we sending out all our money when we rent all you expensive *ss apartments, pay work permits, pay taxes, and afterbelonged! still made to not feel welcomed.

      You don’t expect for us to try to set up ourself so we can go home. We contribute more to your own economy than your fat *ss

      We already do our part we don’t owe the bvi **it.

      Do all you part now. after all u all are the belonger!

      Like 9
      Dislike 2
  21. ISLAND MAN says:

    YOU ALL PEOPLE FROM THE ISLAND NEE TO SHUT UP AND GO ALONG WITH WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING REMEMBER WE ARE NOT FROM HERE WE ARE ONLY BEGGIBG A FAVOR IT IS TIME TO SHUT UP AND ABIDE OR GO BACK HOME,I LIVE HERE FIR 37 YEARS AND CANNOT SAY ABIUT THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE THEY TREAT ME LIKE I WAS FROM HERE YOU ALL NEED TO SHUT UP AND I SAY GOBACK HOME. SOME OF YOU CANNOT GO HOME BECAUSE YOU ALL DO MOT HAVE ANY THING TO GO BACK HOME TO SO STOP CALLING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE OF THE VI, YOUR PROME MINISTERS DOES NOT EVEN WANT SOME OF YOU ALL COMMING BACKK HOME YOU ALL WILL BE A PRONLEM TO THEM SO LIKE OTHERS WHO ARE FROM THE ISLAND AND LIVING IN THE BVI KEEPP YOUR A** QUIET BECAUSE I A TELLING YOU THE TRUTH SOME DAY THERE WILL BE A CLLEAN SWEPT IT IS COMMING I FROM THE ISLAND TO BUT I KNOW TO LIVE IN ANOTHER MAN COUNTRY PLEASE TAKE WARNING NOW BECAUSE ROUNDING UP TIME COMMING

    Like 2
    Dislike 10
  22. Really??!! says:

    Who cares? Let BVIslanders pick up the slack, ain’t that what they want?!

  23. Lol says:

    Why complain now
    Isn’t this w****d Vincent say that he will make the bvi work force 70% BVI Islanders and 30% expats
    Always remember god don’t sleep
    And the bvi cannot survive with out the expats
    Today ppl are laughing at you stupid ppl lol
    A pack of i***ts in the VIP party

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