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1st speech from Throne: Stimulating & fixing economy no. 1 priority of Gov’t

Governor McCleary delivering the Speech from the Throne at the first sitting of the Second House of Assembly today at the Multi Purpose Sports Complex. Photo: Reuben Stoby/VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Delivering the first speech from the Throne at the Second House of Assembly today December 8, 2011, Governor William Boyd McCleary said the new Government will focus on seven broad areas to ensure that the Virgin Islands (VI) advance to a level of development where all residents will be able to enjoy good health, a high quality of life and personal fulfilment, a high quality natural and built environment, safe communities and opportunities to use their talents in gainful employment

Ranked at top of the list of priorities is stimulating and fixing the economy.

“Madam Speaker, stimulating and fixing the economy in an effort to enhance the quality of life of the people of these Virgin Islands is the number one priority of my Government”, Governor Boyd McCleary said.

Review of customs tariff regime

He added that Government is conscious of the dire effects of the global economic downturn on the VI and that steps will be made to review the existing customs tariff regime with a view to keeping more money in the pockets of residents.

“My Government will also determine a ‘Basket of Goods’ or basic items, which are critical to the Virgin Islands, to be imported duty free. The goal here is to ensure affordability of basic items and keep money circulating in the economy.”

In reviewing the customs tariff, it was also said that Government will give consideration to the calculation of customs duty on the Free on Board (FOB) value of goods and not on the Cost of Insurance Freight (CIF) value.

“This includes giving consideration to the introduction of a differential duty, two tier, rate for re-sellers of goods without increasing the duty paid, so that businesses can become more price competitive and retain more business here in these Virgin Islands,” Governor McCleary added.

It was also said that Government will work diligently with international shippers, with a view to getting shipping costs particularly from the United States mainland to the British Virgin Islands reduced to a more competitive structure as that enjoyed by the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands.

Governor McCleary further said that the new Administration will focus on creating economic zones on Anegada and Jost Van Dyke for any business with exemption from taxes and customs duty for five to 20 year periods and will introduce supporting legislation with regard to the location, development and type of structure required for any business to operate successfully.

Noting that tourism is in need of a major overhaul, the Governor said a vigorous Territorial rescue and recovery tourism strategy will be developed and will serve as a road map for the sector.

The introducing of the registration and monitoring of the Non- Profit Organizations (NPOs) and Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) bill will also be done as well as bringing the related regulations to ensure that the Mortgaging of Aircraft and Aircraft Engines Act, which was introduced to the House earlier this year, to ensure that it can be effectively and soundly operated by the Territory’s aviation regulator. “This, Madam Speaker, will complement our existing Financial Services and Shipping Registries.”

The other areas, which Government will give attention to, are; Improving the Standard of Living; Improving Overall Social Services Programmes and Healthcare; Strengthening the Educational Sector; Protecting the borders and enhancing law, order and public safety; Public Sector Reform, Communications and Infrastructure and re-establishing/strengthening Regional and International Relations.

According to the Governor, the Speech from the Throne is a tradition in most Commonwealth countries and British Overseas Territories and is critically important to the direction of the Territory as it outlines the agenda the elected Government plans to pursue.

4 Responses to “1st speech from Throne: Stimulating & fixing economy no. 1 priority of Gov’t ”

  • rome (08/12/2011, 16:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    sounds like the same speech two year ago...
  • ANSWER (08/12/2011, 20:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    governor stop with the speech and explain to we the public and our families why ALL THE VIP MEMBERS ARE GETTING FIRED FROM THEIR JOBS.
    • The Watcher (08/12/2011, 22:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      you might not know why they dont have their jobs but trust me when I tell you that these individuals know exactly why this Government had to remove them from their post. It wasnt political it is in the best interest of the public
    • Peng (10/12/2011, 06:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      U listening to ur selves. We need a change which means we have to put fresh people in there to give them a chance to move in a different direction. Apparently these people were not performing in their jobs.


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