BVI News

Politicians should not be giving $$ to constituents | Give funds to Social Development for disbursement — Vanterpool

Opposition legislator Mark Vanterpool.

Fourth District Representative Mark Vanterpool is calling for a ban on the $10,000 monthly allocation that each district representative receives to assist their respective constituencies in the British Virgin Islands.

Vanterpool, who was speaking in the House of Assembly on Friday, said: “I strongly recommend that we discontinue that practice and we find a way to fund the Social Development Department to assist those who really need help.”

He continued: “It is becoming a problem. [So] I hope we can find a time — it may not be in this budget [but] maybe in future budgets — to pay more attention to the Social Development Department and the Ministry of Health for where they can identify the needs of these people more and better, and for us to be able to address them through the budgetary process and not through our handouts.”

“I have to decipher between a long list every month. But the concern I have is that it shouldn’t be me. That shouldn’t come from us because once you have to help that person financially like that, it leaves that person beholden to you! It’s not right,” the Opposition legislator argued.

“At election time, you may go around, and they look into your face, and they say: ‘yes you help me with that and that and I am beholden to you’. They should be beholden to the country who should have a structure in place to support the social fabric of the country,” Vanterpool added.

The veteran legislator, however, said the issue he raised would no longer be a concern if the territory’s elected representatives were made to go through the Social Development Department for funds whenever they identify persons who require the support.

Vanterpool’s calls come on the heels of Fifth District Representative making an appeal for the $10,000 monthly allocation to be increased.

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  1. Hmm says:

    Mark I agree with you with the point, but these days you seem to be the biggest hypocrite. You want to bring about order of chaos you were the mastermind of. Hope it takes a burden off of government.

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  2. Please says:

    Marko you smart you mean since your interest in Politics is dwindling let the burden of assisting come off of you.

    Especially when the money is not enough and you have to dip in your personal funds. When it suited you so the people could feel indebted to you, it was not a problem.

    But in all fairness to you. You have given more than your share in helping people with your personal funds.

    Plus the people here, you will help them and still wont vote for you. Let them go to social development. That is how it should be.

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  3. Haha says:

    This is hypocrisy. What’s the difference with giving the district funds and giving your own personal funds. I am assuming that it is personal funds that were handed out due to this statement but I reread and realize that you are not denying assisting persons you are simply fed up of people consistently seeking you out for assistance. This is a double edge sword though because those same leeches are the ones that were vigorously protesting for your return to the HOA.

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  4. And I agree says:

    It brings a lot of confusion. I know of a person who cursed out a district leader and told him to go F**k his dead mother because the district leader could not assist the person with a washing machine.

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  5. Crab Lot resident says:

    When you were giving them yours, how come you did not think so.

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  6. Headless Chicken says:

    Why did you not preach this policy when you were Minister Sir?

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  7. IslandGurl says:

    Mr Vanterpool, maybe you can select someone from your district to assist you with that list. But I agree with what you are proposing. However, if Social Development is the route you are taking for the disbursement of these funds, then it has to be that route for everyone every time. Consistency.

  8. Diaspora says:

    The Hon Mark “Action Man” Vanterpool, long-term D-4 rep and former MCW, for decades has put a bushel under this bright political light. Now that he is exiting the political scene stage left, he has seen the light and wants to remove the light from behind or under the bushel. The parable of the lamp under the bushel is found in Mark 4:21-25.

    During Slavery, slaves were totally dependent upon the plantation owner/“masa” for their every need, ie, rags, slop, rickety shelter……etc. However, though Emancipation occurred on 01 August 1834, a new type of dependency has emerge——political patronage. Political patronage is rampant in the VI and up and down the region. Residents are totally dependent on government and politicians for everything.

    Moreover, VI politicians directly disbursing cash ($10,000 per month)to constituents is corruptible, vote buying……..etc. Further, it is not healthy for the political process. Constituents receiving cash feel beholden to the politicians whether they performed effectively or poorly. Some constituents have become dependent and addictive to the cash disbursement from politicians. On the other hand, politicians are tagged as useless and losers if they cannot come through on every request(s).

    Further, agree with the Hon Vanterpool that the monthly $10K allocation to elected members for direct disbursement to constituents be stopped. And that public assistance requests for the TRULY NEEDY be processed through the Social Development Department. Moreover, dependency is in the DNA and altering the DNA to eradicate or lessen it will be a huge challenge. It will take courage to effect this change but politicians depend heavily on political patronage so we should we hold our collective breaths? The reality is one is quicker to look out the window and see a green mule flying. Are there any mules still in the VI?

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  9. vg man says:

    why is mark sitting at the head of the table. he need fall back

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  10. I will say says:

    Some people in districts get more assistance than others, some gets no assistance at all.

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  11. Sorry Folks says:

    But that $10,000 is used for vote buying. It needs to be investigated and stopped. The money should be used to set up a Human Services Department. If in need of services, let the people apply for services thru the Human Services Department. That $10,000 a month in the District Leaders hands is asking for trouble.

    Like 12
  12. justforlaughs says:

    i know this is a serious problem and it has to be addressed by us who know how all this started with the handouts …

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