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'Some people are seeking assistance for everything' - Hon Fraser

- links problem to ‘high rate of unemployment’
Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA, speaking during the Fifth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) on Thursday July 25, 2019, said persons in the territory are seeking assistance for everything and linked it to what he considered a high unemployment rate in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Youtube
The issue of unemployment and locals being side-lined in the job market is something the 5-month old Government led by Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), right, has spoken about and has vowed to tackle head-on through various policies. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
The issue of unemployment and locals being side-lined in the job market is something the 5-month old Government led by Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), right, has spoken about and has vowed to tackle head-on through various policies. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- “Some people in this territory are seeking assistance for everything. You name it they are seeking assistance for it, paying the rent, paying their mortgage, sending their kids to school. Kids have to travel for events, they seeking assistance for that.”

This is according to Third District Representative and Member of the Opposition, Hon Julian Fraser RA, speaking during the Fifth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) on Thursday July 25, 2019.

High rate of unemployment

Hon Fraser linked the problem to what he termed the high rate of employment in the territory.

“Too many people are out of work…and the pattern I am seeing is [it’s] happening to young women. They can’t find jobs. We have a substantial amount of adult males as well. But what bothers me more than anything else is that these women are vulnerable more so than men when they don’t have jobs.”

Further, Hon Fraser said people are going hungry, while some don’t have places to live. “What kind of society are we building? We can’t be happy about this. Then we going to celebrate…dancing and jumping up and people are in this state of predicament.”

The senior member of the House of Assembly, Hon Fraser, noted; however, that he is aware Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has called for persons to get together to see how they could help persons, primarily businesses destroyed by the hurricanes of 2017.

“I know that has a lot to do with it. But there is more Mr Speaker, all the people that came here after the hurricane to work, among those people are those who didn’t have any jobs to go to but they are here.”

Hon Fraser said he heard that the Department of Labour and Workforce Development will soon be introducing an electronic work permit system and he shudders whenever he hears that as he believes one of the reasons Virgin Islanders are out of work is because they are being denied job opportunities.

“Every day I see new people going to work. People who come here, every day I see them going to work. But people who are here can’t get jobs. We have to do something about it. Government has a serious responsibility and they have to take it head on. This place is not what it was and the responsibility to fix it is ours.”

Gov’t tackling unemployment from various angles

Meanwhile, the issue of unemployment and locals being side-lined in the job market is something the 5-month old Government led by Hon Fahie has spoken about and has vowed to tackle head-on through various policies.

One of the counter measures is the launch of the ‘1000 jobs in 1000 days’ initiative, “because we believe every single citizen in this territory must find meaningful work and we will not stop until it happens,” Hon Fahie said in the House of Assembly on July 25, 2019.

The Premier, through a Monday, July 22, 2019 media announcement on the release of the Government's Fast Track initiative on Wednesday July 24, 2019, noted that the government is always aware of issues within the immigration and labour system in the territory and will be making moves to clamp down on illegalities.

Premier Fahie said Phase 1 of the Immigration and Labour Reform Strategy involves tying off loose ends and he pointed out that it will create a clean slate for introducing a new framework of policies that will better serve Virgin Islanders.

“It will bring closure to certain outstanding matters and shut the floodgates so that persons will no longer be able to remain unchecked in the territory for extended periods of time only for them to show up one day with certain claims,” Premier Fahie noted.

Further, the premier said his administration has taken note of the cries of the citizens, that they are being disadvantaged in the workplace under conditions where job opportunities are thwarted.

“We are aware that persons have been flouting their statutory obligations with respect to Income Tax, Social Security and NHI. We are aware that persons are entering the country on work permits for fake jobs, and that many of those individuals are freelancing, thereby depriving others of an opportunity to have employment.”

14 Responses to “'Some people are seeking assistance for everything' - Hon Fraser”

  • SMH (30/07/2019, 10:32) Like (33) Dislike (0) Reply
    Politicians themselves are somewhat responsible for persons seeking financial assistance for everything from them.... they’ve created that culture where by they openly give away money without any type of auditing or oversight as to who receives, what amounts and for what purposes. Majority of the persons that contact them for assistance are persons that already have jobs and make a decent living.... but why spend my money when I can make a call or write a letter and spend the district money. Why should I spend my savings to help my child go off to school when I can just ask you. Why should my organization host fund raisers to get funding for trips when I can just ask you. Why should I work an extra shift or find a second job to support my lifestyle when I can just ask you.

    Put your foot down, direct the needed persons to social development or labor department or which ever relevant organization that has the mandate to help their situations and guide them through the process. As a legislator fight to ensure these organizations are properly funded and ensure your constituents that are in need are being properly helped by them. Granted there are legitimate cases whereby persons need genuine district funded assistance, but put measures in place to ensure who really needs help gets the help.
    • I barne here (30/07/2019, 16:22) Like (1) Dislike (23) Reply
      Me no want expats and down island persons to get tings for nuttin - only born here should get tings for nuttin.
  • (30/07/2019, 10:33) Like (17) Dislike (12) Reply
    I’m seeing this long time, how comes the government is just seeing it? Every Tom Dick Harry and Jennifer come in the territory and get work some come on permits and people here crying for help I don’t understand. It’s the people in authority to be blame. The place is overpopulated and some people just seeing it
  • Hmm (30/07/2019, 12:09) Like (18) Dislike (3) Reply
    This is always a sore topic, but it is time to really assess this influx of persons to this territory. It is not conducive to a healthy country. There is just not enough work in this country to facilitate this influx of unemployment. The minute you say 'citizens first' there is an uproar. But the reality is in any country, citizens should be given preference to jobs. If citizens can't find work, and we are continually increasing work permits, where will the balance be struck??

    I'm sorry but it is HIGH TIME to find a permanent solution. I agree with Mr. Fraser here, it just is not working.
  • Snoppy (30/07/2019, 12:19) Like (14) Dislike (19) Reply
    “Every day I see new people going to work. People who come here, every day I see them going to work. But people who are here can’t get jobs."

    I wonder why...

    Maybe you should fix the BVI education system
  • @snoppy (30/07/2019, 14:45) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    The unemployment is not only to do with education. The fact is that in all field the locals are in the minority and I think it’s unfair. A lot of fake jobs are going on after the hurricane a lot of people say they came for vacation and working without permits and some not working but not leaving so it’s really getting out of hand. So many people getting permits and don’t have a eight hour job, some are working with employers that don’t have any permit for them it’s really bad now
  • Quiet Warrior (30/07/2019, 18:04) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Slavery was a brutal, exploitive, dehumanizing.......etc behaviour and action. For the Slaves, it was total dependency. They depended heavily on plantation owners, overseers, massas for the morsels they ate, for the rags they wore, for shacks they live in for the dirty water they drank, the zero the pittance they earned, for the small plots they worked, for the education they were prohibited from getting, for the lack of medical services they were deprived of......etc. After fierce battles by abolitionists and others, Emancipation occurred on August 01, 1934. However, little has changed. Political patronage is common place in the BVI. Politicians have created highly level dependency. Residents depend on government for every thing under the sun. Yes, the truly needy should be help. Those that temporally fall on hard times should be helped. However, the dependency is an order of magnitude beyond this. The Jeanie is out of the bottle and though it will be hard to bottled again, it is not insurmountable.

    Moreover, the BVI shifted from an agricultural economy to a service economy starting in the mid 60s. The shift created a number of new jobs and new job skills. Nonetheless, Virgin Islanders and Belongers are concentrated in the administrative skills. Somebody erroneously fool Virgin Islanders that there is a stigma to work outdoors with their hands. Here is a news flash. Electricians, Plumbers, automechanics, carpenters, masons.......etc pay well. Just today there was an article stating the 80% of local students attending HLSCC attend tuition free. What is taxpayers getting for this investment.
    • @Quiet Warrior (01/08/2019, 10:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Quiet Warrior, why ah yu bring Slavery in everything.. In 2034, it will be 200 years since slavery abolish yet ah yu cannot let it go. Expect people who were not around during slavery and didn’t benefit from Slavery to feel guilty and pay something. Let it go . Time to move. Enough time has elapsed that Slavery should be in the rear view mirror, does it not? No need to still be a prisoner to this Slavery thing. Chupes!
  • Stop blogging nonsense! (30/07/2019, 18:43) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Its very rude to see that some expats are blogging a lot of nonsense on these news sites. Its very sad. Many clerical jobs in Gov and Statuary were given to non belongers ..even though so many of our children seeking jobs after graduation and HLSCC. This needs to be fixed. Our Premier is just about to launch a job exibition for BVIslanders and belongers ...please be grateful and stop blogging nonsense...We are peaceful people.... Other countries as small as us.. its not that easy to get into the system. Thanks Hon. Fraser for voicing your concern.
  • Lazy (30/07/2019, 19:41) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
    Some you all answers to questions is because bvislander lazy want fast money an island people work for a living straight talk
  • The same politicians (30/07/2019, 20:29) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who got them like this?
  • @ lazy (31/07/2019, 03:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    You hear bull sh!#

  • musa (31/07/2019, 07:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    so need money and some want to work think care fully what I am saying most worker who need money is on they phone none stop on the job site and those who want to work is feeling it …
    • Sub zero (31/07/2019, 11:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

      We will not work for the slave masters minimum wages. So they bring in you expats for their cheap labor. Main while the country is way over run by expats because or minsters failed to put proper measure's in place. Now they want fast track but remember when fast tracking who you fast tracking. Some of these same said people talk bad pollute and call down our home. Can we go in your country and do the same. We have no where else to go while you have your own to go back to. If we voice our opinion in our own country you ready to kill us for voicing our opinion. Can we go in your country and have a voice I don't think so we would be killed from the first word we set. None of our Government for us. Remember we open our arms and are kind to you all Respect my country for I disrespect yours.

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