BVI News

Funding COI reforms ‘difficult’; belt tightening needed — Premier

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley

Funding the Commission of Inquiry’s (COI) proposed reforms has proven to be a financial challenge for the government of the BVI.

This is according to Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley, who explained that some mitigation measures may be needed in other areas.

“We’ve been funding it out of our existing revenues, which of course is difficult,” Premier Wheatley told reporters at a recent press conference when asked how the COI reforms were being funded.

The Premier said the Ministry of Finance is costing the reforms but he has not been given a final price just yet.

Funding for the reforms, Premier Wheatley noted, has already come from a Schedule of Additional Provisions (SAP) that was passed in the House of Assembly (HOA) recently.

“We made funding available for audits and investigations and some other things and what we’re trying to do as well is seek ways in which public servants can do some of the work which needs to be done,“ the Premier explained.

As a result of this, he said the government may have to send persons from various ministries to achieve some of the work instead of hiring persons to do so.

“In some instances there are some things which are required by the proposal where we have to hire persons and we are making that funding available,“ he stated.

“It (funding) is quite tight. We are seeking to take some measures to provide some more fiscal space to be able to fund the reforms as well as all of the other things that need to be done in the Virgin Islands,” the Premier added.

He said there will be a need for some belt tightening and some reprioritisation to be able to properly fund the reforms along with all the other challenges that the government has.

Premier Wheatley further stated that it is important the public and public servants understand that resources are required which may impact things that are done to collect revenue and may also affect projects that might have to be stopped for instance.

“We’re asking for the public’s patience and understanding as it pertains to navigating this very complex fiscal environment,“ Premier Wheatley said.


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  1. Sarah says:

    But somehow we found 8million dollars to pay for an attorney for a COI who has now distanced himself from the former premier and another 6million for fake fishers and farmers but we are having “difficulty” finding money to address corruption? make it make sense….

    Like 32
    Dislike 1
    • Well says:

      Here is an idea Slow One, fire public employees that aren’t working, don’t show up for work or do show up occasionally and do nothing. Fire the ones that take 2 hours to do a 10 minute job. You will then have all the money needed to hire people for the audits as you will have fired half the public service sector.

      Like 16
    • Deh Watcha says:

      No those were not difficult at all.

      They were all to happy to pay those figures out.

    • Slowandy says:

      Big news today on Bloomberg!! Work from a Tropical Paradise. What a thought. Only problem in the BVI is no internet. Lmao.

    • Slow Andy says:

      Yesterday was the deadline for many of the requirements of the COI. Has the BVI met the agreement that was signed? BVI News how about some real investigative reporting and let the public know whether the Slow Andy Governmebt met the agreement that they developed and signed. This news service is as good as the Unity Government. Useless!!!

  2. West says:

    Unity Government, put pack the unethical monies you just awarded yourself with and move the country along. GREEDY PEOPLE!

    Like 11
  3. Help says:

    Natalio please do not run again in the seventh. you will loose. Please run at large!!

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  4. just ask says:

    The Governor already told you that the UK would help pay for these reforms.

    • Licker and Sticker says:

      There is no free lunch. The more money the UK pays towards our affairs the more say they have in our affairs. Trust that Slow Wande, and his followers, will eventually figure that out by this time next year.

      Like 4
      Dislike 4
    • ?? says:

      @just ask.

      There are no free lunches. No government gives another ANYTHING FOR FREE !!! Not even your parents!!!

      You are either saying what you say just to embarass the Acting Leadership or you do not know anything about international politics and diplomacy.

  5. Belt tightening says:

    means reduce expenses. The obvious remedy is to lay off several thousand civil servants for the next few years. Hopefully a more competent slimmed down version of the BVI government civil service will emerge from this belt tightening exercise.

    Like 19
  6. Oscar P says:

    How about some of the ‘elite’ families put in some money to help improve the system they made a fortune off of? Mr. Clinic on the hill, Mr. Fish Bay concrete man, Mr. Purcell supermarket, Mr. Joe’s hill ‘free to certain families’ homes. The list is long of countrymen that has made tremendous wealth from these islands and never put a dime back in and care nothing for the people they have squeezed dry.

    Name me one prominent and wealthy born here that has given anything of substance back to their home?

    Like 22
    • Bulb says:

      Youre as ignorant as your comment. Do you even live here?? Or you do and you are one of the beggars who have bled the system dry because thats all you know. These companies pay all their taxes/government fees, assist those in need and sponsor numerous local causes etc.

      Now tell us, what have you done for the VI??

      Like 4
      Dislike 7
    • AReminder says:

      They gave priceless efforts to create the BVI that is the breadbasket of the ungratefulfreeliaders.

      Like 2
      Dislike 5
  7. HUH? says:

    You went behind all our backs with your proposal to the UK Ministers and now you ballin??

    You need to go. You clearly are incompetent and have zero vision.

    Please Governor Rankin deliver us from this man and his brother and useless non Unity Party. Look we the people of the BVI are sick and tired of hearing this man and his government whine about everything.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
    • Licker and Sticker says:

      Slow Wande and the Unified A**Clowns who have usurped power need to be held to account. We need new elections. Who ever running they need to get grilled like pepper in order to show that they have a clue and ideas to solve the problems of this Territory. Winning an elections shouldn’t be automatic

  8. Telling truth says:

    He is telling the truth. The past premiers have been constantly taking from an empty pot. Why do you think the government hasn’t been audited for years?? There is cash flow but no actual cash. The country is like most of us after Covid technically broke meaning our debts are more than our income.
    As stated above the BVI billionaires need to start giving back in a BIG way. They need to fix the schools and fund education for a bit.

    • Don't forget says:

      Don’t forget he was one of the ministers previously. He was guilty of all the fraud that was going on under Fahies government as well.

  9. YES TO UK says:

    @Licker and Sticker, Whatever the UK want in our affairs they have a right they own the BVI so stop talking crap.

  10. Honesty Tax says:

    Why not bring out an honesty tax , certain politicians blaming the voting public for voting them in and having the audacity to expect the elected to be honest . Voters are obviously to blame to cure this tax them some more and pay are government officials to be honest.

  11. Jane says:

    Implement the issuing of 3-year work permits as already provided by for by the Labor Code 2010 today. This will improve your cash flow and allow some staff reductions to be made given reduced bureaucracy.

    How about actively chasing the debtors? Any business not in good standing should be pursued vigorously, if necessary, sell the debt to a third party collection agent.

    How about introducing additional tax for high-earners? If you earn more than $150,000 per year, lets put a couple of percentage points on payroll?

    How about introducing a tax on luxury goods? Wine and spirits over $30 a bottle – put a $10 tax on them?

    How about introducing a tax on tobacco? Cigarettes are $12 per pack in NYC. Let’s tax them.

    How about introducing paid parking in Road Town, pay via an app, outsource operations via a tender process to a third party?

    Please raise the minimum wage too. People cannot survive on the current amount.

    • Correction says:

      There is already a tax on tobacco products.

    • woah says:

      We’ve had cheap alcohol for a very long time its not good to make big changes for small change.

      When people come here on vacation and the price differences adds to their experience. A major attraction to travel is the cheap cost of exotic goods.

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