BVI News

We must travel! Premier slams opposition narrative

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has dismissed what he dubbed as an opposition narrative created about his government’s need to travel frequently to attend overseas functions.

The government has come under heavy criticism from the political opposition and some sections of the community for constantly being away from the territory, with some suggesting that parliamentary proceedings are neglected as a result of this.

But Dr Wheatley said it was politically convenient for the opposition to spout such criticisms and argued that the need for governments to travel is a global phenomenon.

“It may be politically convenient to have a narrative that there’s something wrong with officials representing the interests of the Virgin Islands internationally. But if we ever take that posture, it will hurt every single citizen and resident in the BVI,” Premier Wheatley said at a press conference recently.

Dr Wheatley commented that some Overseas Territories’ governments are even forced to travel for days before arriving at their destination in the United Kingdom (UK) where the Premier and a delegation are currently engaging with UK officials and others on behalf of the territory.

According to the Premier, the BVI is part of a global village which requires its leaders to represent its interests on the world stage.

“You go to international meetings where you’re fighting for your interest and your place in the world and inevitably, you have to pay for aeroplanes and you have to pay for hotels,” the Premier argued.

He added: “The further you travel, the more expensive it gets. So, sometimes I don’t think it serves our interests well to create a narrative, you know, that there are other better things to do than travel.”

Meanwhile, the Premier noted that, even as his government continues to be transparent on the issue of the spending done on behalf of the people of the territory, he was unable at the time to provide an estimate for the cost of the government’s current trip to the UK.


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  1. LOL says:

    The gentleman got me in stitches here – they are going to these places to fight for our interest. We are a territory. What fighting has been going on in Monaco and in Singapore or when Kye went to the Olympics? Inquiring mind wants to know.

    Like 27
  2. A big disappointment/failure says:

    I refuse to call this dude a fool

    Like 12
  3. Figure it out...hint, it is a F word ending with K says:

    This guy is a four letter word

    Like 14
  4. Well says:

    This is the first in the history of these Virgin Islands I’ve seen so much travel by government ministers and so many out at one time. Wuk babyyy, wuk

    Like 25
    Dislike 1
  5. Reality Check says:

    You need to spend every penny on our infrastructure, not on travel to appease your ego. You have wasted so much money, spending it in someone elses economy, that you could have redone the Ridge road and a few more. Even at the inflated price of 2.3m for less than a mile, you could have fixed a large part of the infrastructure. No more travel, no more new vehicles, no more hiring, no more spending until you have fixed what has degraded our quality of life!

    Like 32
  6. Take a trip says:

    The only trip most people want to see you take is a very long walk off a very short pier.

    Like 20
  7. Jokes says:

    What did Marlon, Mitch and Fraser go to Africa to fight for? Stop talking nonsense Premier, nobody is saying Government officials cannot travel, it’s the excessive, unnecessary travel is the problem! Right now the people are hurting badly and when they go to their representative they’re told there’s no money. People are at home with barely and when they log on to the news media or social media the officials are travelling all over the world, spending hundreds of thousands. Everything else is cut back but nothing is being cut when it comes to travel. IT IS WRONG!!!!

    Like 26
  8. Please says:

    Governor take all 13 HOA members passports away until the 2027 election.

    Like 22
    Dislike 1
  9. Bush Professor says:

    There are two critical issues here (1) government travel, and (2), ie, in politics, swiftboating, the swift and forceful response to divisive, dishonest, misinformation, disinformation, malinformation, etc. It has been political weapon since John Kerry 2004 Presidential campaign.

    Let’s take a peek at government travel. Firstly, government travel is inherent to being a government inna remote location as the BVI and is a sunk cost. The BVI government will received hundreds of travel invites to attend meetings, conferences, training, etc., for travel out of the territory in a fiscal year. It cannot attend every travel invite or opportunity out of the territory. Consequently, travel must be managed and maximized to improve governing. Therefore, there must be strict criteria for traveling out of the territory, ie, travel must be selective and targeted as providing value for money. The Operations and maintenance should include a line item for travel which should be closely monitored. Travel is a need of governing but it is spending taxpayers money, so every effort must be taken to maximize expenditure efficiency. Perception is sometimes reality and every effort must be made to demonstrate that the travel produce valua for money and was not just perceived travel junkets. Of course, the reality of governing is that unplanned urgent and important travel needs emerge during the fiscal year and that travel budget adjustments may be needed.

    Secondly, in regards to swiftboating, IMO, the Premier should be selective in responding to the myriad of mischievous, dishonest, misinformation, disinformation, attention seeking etc, missives. Doing so may give undeserving legs to undeserving issues and people. The counter to some of the missives is to let topnotched policies and performance speak. True, there is some missives that be responded to immediately. It is a balancing act.

    Like 6
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  10. Resident says:

    All these dudes good for is traveling and taking pictures, they have done nothing to fix our issues

    Like 18
  11. my2cents says:

    Mr Premier maybe you should consider reducing the size of the delegations, and sometimes using zoom meetings to attend without travel. The financial situation here is frustrating, look at the roads, and to not prioritize that but to burn $$$ on big travel so regularly doesn’t reflect well on your priorities. Maybe Andrew couldn’t travel so he didn’t but there needs to be a balance when your employers, the people, say you’re travelling too much you should listen. Governing requires balance, you cannot govern from a plane and overseas, hard work has to be done on the ground here also.

    Like 13
  12. Taxpayer says:

    In the interest of transparency and good governance
    Please inform the public the total cost of all the trips your government has taken on our money.

    Like 16
  13. Anonymous says:

    Once again comments are beginning suppressed by BVI News about the Premier and his 70 yr old tired Deputy. You guys getting paid or what

  14. Informed says:

    Please let this guy travel far and wide as often as possible so he can see how far the BVI is behind the rest of the world.
    Roads, infrastructure, cleanliness, efficiency and customer service.

    Only then will he have a bench mark to see what we need to achieve.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  15. Travel says:

    Come back and implenent changes to benifit the country . I see no improvement in anything from yoir travels

  16. BuzzBvi says:

    Can we have another concert instead.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This whole group needs to go. One can see nothing being accomplished within the territory.

    Yet, one can read about the huge expenditures the group is involved in daily, weekly and monthly.

    Nothing, absolutely nothing progressive is being birthed by this group.

    No jbs, on investments, no nothing.

    The rumour that they went in to be unethical and self serving with the government purse appears more and more real every day.

  18. But Sir says:

    Yes, travel is a must however, you don’t have to be on a plane for everything. You guys travel more than the President of the United States. The problem is the constant dipping into the taxpayers money to pay for first class seats and five star hotels. Stop dipping into the taxpayers money to pay for your *** let them pay for their own travel expenses… That Monaco trip was unnecessary. Luce should have never been on that trip. Mitch and his spouse went to Africa on a vacation on the taxpayers money. I’m quite sure they flew first class and stayed in a five star hotel as well. Hope they had their fill of African food.DeC… DIPPING INTO THE TAXPAYERS MONEY TO PAY FOR THEIR TRAVELS. You guys are VULTURES AND SNAKES IN THE GRASS.

  19. @ ANONYMOUS says:


    Like 2
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  20. Eldread says:

    What you think my PhD for? My brains has been harvested by colonial education which teaches me to handle colonial power with love, all else you all are saying is nonsense, my brain has been program to see my ancestor into oblivion, the coconutification is complete so as a coconut brown outside and white inside, I live the white mans way meh son, don’t bother with my talk against colonialism, it’s just to sound good and get votes,I love to go UK and listen to instructions, is their education in my head so they nurture it. Don’t you notice how all Caribbean leaders are treated with infantilism, as their children when they say get on the plane to come see mother country hegemony we just go unquestionably.

    Like 1
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  21. Let’s be fair says:

    Your employer who is the people have a right to know exactly how much of their monies is being spent on travel. You are our employee and we have a right to know or your services will be terminated.REMEMBER, WE ARE YOUR EMPLOYER NOT YOUR EMPLOYEES. Helping yourself to the TAXPAYERS MONEY LIKE IT IS OK TO DO SO. I CANNOT DIP INTO THE COMPANY THAT I WORK FOR AND USE THE COMPANY MONEY TO FLY FIRST CLASS AND PAY FOR FIVE STAR HOTELS, I WILL BE TERMINATED BY THE COMPANY. YOU WORK FOR THE PEOPLE, THE PEOPLE DONOT WORK FOR YOU.

  22. LOL says:

    The Gentleman is not hearing you, he is right now in London unveiling a bust. First class all the way – and who all is in that delegation???

  23. Selfish says:

    This is an age old problem! These people don’t listen to the cries of the people that voted them into leadership. They do as they please then during their final term in office they suddenly develop all the humility in the world and there are suddenly open as they fear being voted out of power .

    I am disappointed in both government and opposition. They lack sensitivity to the needs of the people of the territory and selfishly put their personal needs/desires ahead of the populace. Ian especially disappointed in the premier as he is neither humble nor open minded.

  24. A Capitalist Who Loves the BVI says:

    Mr. Premier, you’re not fooling anyone with your broad pronouncements on how travel can benefit the Territory, because nobody disputes the principle.

    What people see through is the ABUSE of that principle and how it has become an opportunity for you and your cronies to loot and pillage the public fisc.

    The comments here, from people of varying backgrounds and political views, are universal in that assessment and thus prove the point beyond dispute.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1

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