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Commentators lash RVIPF fee increases

- suggest they are untimely and too burdensome on the community
Commentator, Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru, suggested that increased RVIPF fees were being done because the government is currently in a difficult financial position. Photo: VINO
Edmund Maduro felt that the fees should not be increased as they were too burdensome on the ordinary man and members of the community. Photo: VINO
Edmund Maduro felt that the fees should not be increased as they were too burdensome on the ordinary man and members of the community. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Commentators have denounced intended fee increases recently announced by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) for services they provide, calling the increases untimely and burdensome.

A release sent by the RVIPF on Friday, May 17, 2013 stated, “As of June 1, application fees for visa waivers, police certificates and police reports and for fingerprinting services by Royal Virgin Islands Police Force will increase.”

Edmund Maduro said, “I don’t think they should increase anything… it’s too burdensome for the ordinary person, too burdensome on the community.” Maduro felt the raising of fees was a trend that the entire Caribbean seemed to be adopting.

“I don’t agree with it at all,” he added. The commentator felt that fee increases would lead to a simultaneous increase in crime and said, “You gain one way and you lose another.”

Meanwhile, Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru suggested that the fee increases are being done because the government is currently in a difficult financial position.

“I think that they need to think about cutting a lot of wastage in government before they completely overburden the society” he said, “because they’re doing all of these [increases] at once.”

He added that residents of the Territory are currently having a hard time and asked “When was the last time people had a pay increase?”

Sowande noted that everything else was being increased at the same time and reflected on recent increases in electricity. “The government hasn’t done a good job of keeping the cost of electricity down,” he stated.

The commentator asserted that the ruling party promised to investigate a recent fuel surcharge on electricity bills, but until now a fuel variation cost remained that left persons unclear about the reasons for the variation. 

“It’s no comfort to people to tell them that (a fee) hasn’t changed for 20 years because people are having a very difficult time and I don’t think that you could try to fix the government’s problems, especially by taxing and increasing fees on the most vulnerable people in the society,” he stated.

The fees were raised following the passing of the Police (Amendment) Act 2013 in the House of Assembly in April.

According to the RVIPF release, the fees have remained unchanged for over 20 years, “to reasonably accommodate the cost associated with providing this service to the public.”

Currently, the fees for a visa waiver and fingerprinting services cost $30, while the fees for police reports and police certificates are $20.

The announced increases come on the heels of another announcement by Premier Dr The Hon. D. Orlando Smith of departure tax increases scheduled to take effect around the same period.

Attempts to reach Opposition Members, Hon. Andrew A. Fahie and Hon. Julian Fraser, RA for comments on the proposed RVIPF fee increases proved unsuccessful.

20 Responses to “Commentators lash RVIPF fee increases”

  • virgin gorda (19/05/2013, 08:49) Like (3) Dislike (12) Reply
    dem goin kill poor ppl & dey lil man in tis place...god send help
    • Virgin Son (19/05/2013, 14:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      these people running this country like a mickey mouse club...

    • he that (21/05/2013, 06:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      kill them @$$ yes, you want change, tek change and stop d bl*****lat cying.
  • ooooo (19/05/2013, 09:13) Like (4) Dislike (12) Reply
    ndp going to kill us
  • ???? (19/05/2013, 10:25) Like (3) Dislike (10) Reply
  • up (19/05/2013, 10:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Crime up and fess up
    • teacher john (19/05/2013, 11:35) Like (1) Dislike (30) Reply
      Fees learn to spell
      • to teacher john (19/05/2013, 15:05) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        you are so silly. a typo for ur information most people make mistakes. you are not better than none of us. stupid ndp fool.
  • keep quiet (19/05/2013, 10:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    since when you all see or heard the VI gov ask for help
  • Concern Citizen (19/05/2013, 15:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    A lot of expense on poor people, the passport done raise and now visa waiver. The UK passport is very expense which the passport is not handling right now. How can a poor person afford all these expenses at once if they travel? God help us dow.
  • . (19/05/2013, 21:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    departure tax too!
  • Agree with Edmund (20/05/2013, 12:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I don't usually agree with a lot of things this man says, but he is SPOT ON with this one. They raising the seaport departure tax from next month on poor people who have to go to St. Thomas to shop to make ends meet; but they make sure that the high government officers and those elected DO NO HAVE TO PAY THE DEPARTURE TAXES (AIR & SEA), BUT THEY CAN AFFORD TO. At the same time they say they giving house owners a break by not adding on the penalty for those who owe. Some ppl have lots of houses; they can now use this to avoid the fees when they could afford to pay in the first instance. A lot of ppl owe government; all they have to do is collect the outstanding taxes. Most business ppl don't pay taxes e.g taxi drivers, restaurant and bar owners owe years for liquor licenses and I can detail more. ALL THE GOVERNMENTS DO IS MAKE THE POOR PAY MORE!!!!
  • . (20/05/2013, 15:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The bvi is the only place raising prices in a recession.
  • Release (20/05/2013, 18:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Apparently those in powerful positions do not adhere to standard International business policy that you cannot kill the poor when there is no $$$$ to spend
  • Hmmmm (20/05/2013, 20:55) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The concept of dont mind the noise people will calm down go fail this Goverment. I notice many apartments for rent and prices dropping because many are available. Fees up at passport, police and ports all at once. You mean politics go force our hand to make these types of decisions. You mean to show uk we can afford our projects we have kill the people. The problem is we got to much educated people and not enought common folks to apply little sense to simple solution. Man my country getting hard to live in where I go run if home hard de man
  • tv (20/05/2013, 22:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's overreaching....deeds increase!!
  • EX (21/05/2013, 08:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    When the visa fee jump from 25 to 175 usd these two talk bout it for 2 days and then it died a natural death. Now you all talking bout a 10 and 20usd increase what about the 150 increase that the lower working class have to face but then again, it's the expat will be affected by that well now feel the pain on the other foot
  • The TRUTH (21/05/2013, 18:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    They need this money to pay the COP when he return from vacation he was making $150,000 a year as DCP now he is the BOSS the figure going up. We poor black fools will let the Governor and the NDP bankrupt us send this bill back to the UK we don't need him we can run our Police Force we were doing it before he came and for all these years why we need him now.
  • JB (22/05/2013, 18:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    why they didnt lash out on the government when they raise visa fee by hundreds of dollars, oh so you all in d kitchen now, tek d heat in ahyou behind.

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