BVI News

Time to talk about self-determination, says Financial Secretary

Financial Secretary Glenroy Forbes.

The man largely in charge of managing the territory’s purse, Glenroy Forbes, has said the time is ripe for the British Virgin Islands to explore the idea of having greater self-determination.

The Financial Secretary said the territory needs to have a ‘collective discussion’ on what should be the extent of the United Kingdom’s power over the BVI in the coming years.

He said the questions the territory should begin to ask itself are: “What kind of future do we want to decree to BVIslanders yet unborn? What kind of social fabric do we wish to weave? What kind of political future do we want for ourselves … in terms of our rights and aspirations of self-determination.”

“My fellow BVIslanders, Belongers, residents I say to you: the time is now. Even in the midst of all the challenges that Hurricane Irma has thrown out, I repeat: Let us begin the dialogue,” Forbes said.

He was speaking at a ceremony to mark 40 years since the end of the BVI’s dependence on the UK to fund its annual budget deficit. The financing of the BVI’s annual budget was known as grant-in-aid.

In 1978, about a year after the UK handed over control of the territory’s finance portfolio to a Willard Wheatly-led government, the BVI ended the fiscal year with a budget surplus. This caused the UK to put an end to offering grant-in-aid.

The end to grant-in-aid has been described as a strong move towards self-determination. Forty years later, Financial Secretary Forbes said it is time to truly deliberate whether to move even closer to that goal.

Several months before the September 2017 hurricanes, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith had declared his government’s intention to formally ask the United Kingdom to give local politicians more power, thereby reducing the power now enjoyed by the governor.

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27 Comments

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  1. help says:

    WE NEED YOU TO COME AND RUN ATLARGE TO HELP US GET RID OF THOSE POLITICAL BANDITS

    Like 3
    Dislike 17
    • Anonymous says:

      He brings this up now when the U.K. is looking at where all the missing money has gone. I guess if you get rid of the U.K. you can then steal with complete abandonment as there is no one to watch the corrupt dealings of the politicians. I’m sure the U.K. would love to dump this Territory. The BVI does nothing for the U.K. except be a burden. The Territory however, screams for help at every disaster. Who you gonna call when your independent? You can’t wipe your asses without the U.K.!!!

      Like 18
      Dislike 7
    • Alicia says:

      Let’s learn how to put out the fires first. We been robbed for too long by bad decisions our ministers have made.

      Like 9
      Dislike 1
      • Elijah says:

        We are miles away this crazy a** idea. Look what has just happened. Our Premier/Finance Minister acknowledged that he gave a group of well documented con men 7.2 million of our money without even doing a google search much less any due diligence. What role did Mr. Forbes have in this great loss of public confidence?

        Our Minister of Education is being investigated for spending our money in ways that aren’t permitted. Our prisons collapsed during the last storm and violent murderers and rapists were wondering around loose. Our dump has been on fire for nearly a year. Our roads are heavily damaged. Our schools are in shambles.

        Look, our current leaders have robbed a whole generation of our children. Our leaders and many high ranking government officials like the Finance Secretary may better off. But the people have lost ground. Honestly, what has the Finance Secretary accomplished in the last 10 years? Our general audits were 7 years past due. Why?

        Time for a change. But, we certainly can not give more power to those that have ignored their responsibilities in the past 10 years.

        Like 8
        Dislike 1
  2. Penny Thoughts says:

    With all due respects, such a pronouncement should not be coming from him, but from the political directorate (Premier). It is almost as if the FS is trying to force the Premier’s hand and that is kinda awkward. Maybe he has political ambitions too

    Like 17
    Dislike 3
    • VICKIE says:

      MR FORBES WITH DUE RESPECT STOP TALKING LIKE THIS BECAUSE THIS PLACE IS TURMOIL. YOU ARE NOT THE ONE IN POSITION TO DO THAT YOU SHOULD BE HELPING TO RECOVER THE WASTEFUL SPENDING OF THIS GOVERNMENT .

      Like 23
      Dislike 1
  3. Hmmm says:

    You should have asked those questions in regards to our ‘unborn’ long before you threw away the monies we had! This Government has all but sealed our dependency on others for the foreseeable future because of their gross mismanagement on inefficiencies. If I was the Financial Secretary in this current environment I sure as anything would be staying quiet right now!

    Like 21
    Dislike 5
  4. Laura says:

    The right to self determination is the right of all peoples to determine their own destiny, but there is No right to”Self-Determination” when it is the wrong thing to do! Just because someone has “a right” to do something, does not mean it is the correct and proper thing to do.

    Self-determination is supposed to be a happy time of charting our own political, social and economic future. We nowhere ready for none of that, the right thing for us as a nation is to get our house in order, NOW, quick and fast!

    Like 24
    Dislike 2
  5. Keep it up says:

    Keep talking S..t dude. America is going to cut you all off real soon. The BVI is becoming a huge liability. People is watching and taking notes.

    Like 7
    Dislike 5
  6. Rubbish says:

    He need to stay silent now not the time to look spotlight. All you can’t even self determine you asses. Oh please negro.

    Like 19
    Dislike 3
  7. Political analyst says:

    ROFL

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  8. What Time Is It? says:

    In all due respect sir, and I mean that; the concept of Self Determination while sounding great, requires tremendous preparation, determination, effort and work. The questions you suggested that should be asked, should have been asked back in the 60s, when we open ourselves to tourism, competition and inbound migration. But let’s first make a comparison of the 70s years and now; in terms of where we were; population size, expected growth, condition of infrastructure, (school, roads, hospitals, clinics, health-care etc.) and the economy.
    The way we earned income was still limited to Tourism and Financial services. Financial Services actually came a bit later. We were similarly exposed then as we are now to natural disasters; (Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes). There’s no comparison between the late 70s and now in terms of the financial demands, responsibilities and needs of the country; still no real sustainable economic development; not even fishing and farming. Financial services and tourism are still ifie, ifie as we sometimes say. We have an older population, retiring population, which by themselves are quite challenging. Meanwhile the Caribbean environment and the world, for that matter, has grown and becoming tremendously more competitive.

    While there has been and continues to be some talk about Self Determination, even Independence, no one has put forward any know plan, ideas or methods of a step by step forward path towards its accomplishment. That in my opinion, would need to be step #1.

    Like 11
  9. Hisright says:

    What is wrong with him saying we need to think about self-determination? How long are we going to sit back and let England dictate for us, bringing in their people to rape our money we borrowed to rebuild our country.
    Many of you had you known your history, you would have hoisted your tail long time from England. What does England do for us when we have to be fighting to find money to run our country. Long be gone with the UK. If you give them a chance they will do the same they did back in slavery. Don’t trust the hands of the UK. Let us arise and look for our own destiny void of the UK. Talk, FS. One day we will understand.

    Like 2
    Dislike 25
    • Reasoning says:

      @Hisright, Mr. Forbes or anyone else is free to their opinion about BVIs status. Some will aggre and of course some will have other ideas and their own opinions, (especially coming out of the Foggy devastation of the August monday flood and the two hurricanes). Add to that, we are coming out of it broke and with an unprecedented financial debt that likely won’t be fully paid by us, but by the offsprings of many of us.
      But lets stop and consider that we have been, (at least our leaders) acting very much like self determined folks. The things that have been happening under the current government are very much the kind of things that happen in independent and self determined countries. Books not audited for several years in a row, moneys allocated for a project spent on others things and projects, abandonment of guidelines and protocols; especially under unbalanced governments (strong government, weak oppositions), members ignoring policies and standing orders of HOA, no-bid projects, the 7.2-million airline give away, multi-million over-run projects, Cronyism, many government positions Acting with civil servants being moved around because government wants to bend the rules in favor of some supporters or campaign contributors etc. Those acts my friend, sidestepping protocols, policies and procedures are in my opinion acts of self determined and unaccountable governments. Definitely not government in the sunshine.
      Perhaps some ideas or explanations of and modus operandi of what a Self Determined BVI,
      government and people would look like, since there might be some misunderstanding about the topic.

  10. Reality says:

    Self Anhililation more like, if the BVI went Independent anytime soon we would be screwed without the UK’s support….look at how they helped us after Irma even when we were bitter and ungrateful! We would be bankrupt in a few months with all the ministers living like fat kings on the hill!

    Like 16
  11. ms says:

    PLEASE PUT BACK ON YOUR THINKING CAP – YOU SEEM TO HAVE FORGOTTEN WHERE YOU WERE SEPTEMBER 8, 2017 IN A DEASTEROUS SITUATION – LIFE OR DEATH. THE ENTIRE BVI IN TOTAL HARDSHIP. WHEN ONE SPEAKS ONE SHOULD BE CONFIDENT AND BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR. WHAT LEG DO YOU HAVE TO STAND ON TO KEEP THE BVI STRONG IF TWO OTHER DEADLY HURRICANE COME AROUND AGAIN WITHOUT SUPPORT HOW WILL THE BVI MAKE IT. THE CHALLENGE IS MOR GRATER THAN JUST WORDS ABOUT SELF DETERMINATION. YES IT SOUNDS GREAT FOR THE BVI ONE JUST CAN’NT RUSH TO TALK ABOUT THAT WHEN THE ISLAND IS STILL TRYING TO REBOUND BACK TO WHERE THE BVI WAS BEFORE SEPTEMBER 2017. IT SO DIFFICULT SEEING WHAT HAD TAKEN PLACE THE ISLAND WAS BEING TESTED IN THE WORST WAY THAT ANY BVISLANDER HAD EVER – EVER – EVER SEEN IN THEIR LIFE TIME.
    ONE HAS TO TAKE THE BVI IN CONSIDERATION. THE BVI HAS COME A LONG WAY FROM WHEN THERE WAS LIMITED LIGHTS THAT I COULD REMEMBER. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO OFFER AS YOUR ECONOMIC EXCHANGE IN TRADE. THE BVI INPORTS ALL GOODS, FOOD, MANUFACTURING.

    WHAT WILL BE YOUR SUSTAINED ECONOMIC GROWTH WHAT IS YOUR (GDP)

    PROVIDING FOR SELF (SELF SUFICIENCY(?) BUT HOW WILL BVI BEGIN TO START.
    WHAT IS THE COMODITY FOR LEVERAGE AND EXCHANGE WITH OTHER STRONGER CARIBBEAN ISLANDS AND THE WORLD ECONOMY – BVI IS NOT PUERTO RICO, JAMAICA, ST. KITTS AND OTHER CARIBBEAN ISLANDS WHO HAVE SOMETHING TO EXCHANGE AND EVEN THEN WHEN THEY ARE MEET WITH THE STRUGGLE THE BVI HAD TO DEAL WITH AFTER JULY MUD SLIDES, IRMA AND MARIA DEASTERS. IT WAS NOT EASY SEEING THE PAIN AND SUFFERING THAT FAMILIES HAD TO ENCOUNTER.

    START WORKING ON GROWING OWN FOOD FOR BVI AND CREATING SOME KIND OF MANUFACTURERING AS A WAY OF ECONOMIC GAINS TO WORK ALONG WITH TOURISN, WE KNOW THAT IT CANNOT SOLELY KEEP THE ISLAND GROWING FOR THE FUTURE.

    SO CONTINUE DREAMING – WORKS SOUNDS GREAT – MAKE SURE YOU TAKE THE BVI IN THE WRIGHT DIRECTION AND NOT INTO A SINK WHOLE FOR IT’S FUTURE.

  12. E. Leonard says:

    Undoubtedly, at some point, the VI, an OT of the UK, must have a serious discussion on self-determination; self-determination does not necessarily mean independence though independence can be a path to self-determination. The VI has a right to political independence but IMO the VI is neither ready nor prepared for political independence. A precursor to political independence is economic independence; without substantial progress on economic independence, political independence may be just a pipe dream. In any event, the VI people should decide perhaps through a referendum the path to self-determination.

    Nonetheless, though the territory can walk and chew gum, the current priority must be the sustainable rebuilding/re-developing of the territory after the estimated $3.6B catastrophic destruction caused by the September 2017 hurricanes (Irma and Maria). Further, some challenges facing the territory are: a. small size (59 square miles spread over 36 islands), b. limited resources, c. external shocks, d. high imports/trade, e., high transportation (remoteness from major trade routes) and communication cost, f. high administrative and infrastructure cost, g. high dependence on fragile service economy (tourism and financial services), h.susceptibility to natural disasters,i. small population, j.First World infrastructure, k.skilled workforce …….etc.

  13. TurtleDove says:

    We have been running the government for some time now….The majority of people does not have confidence we can do this at this time. The state of our government is in questioned….The old people got us here with humility and common sense….and they were just good people…..

    What we have now is a bunch of big mouth demanding sh–…let’s see a balanced budget…roads…sewer…schools….etc fixed…..wit all this help we cant get these things done what will happen after?

  14. hello says:

    mr. Forbes boy it looks like you put your foot in your mouth…. you should have kept silent on this one.

  15. Hey there says:

    I guess this is his week to get roasted on the blogs. The people is trying to get their lives back in order and every week lt is drama. Yes people ROAST their behinds good.

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