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The Minister of Finance “begging” the Financial Sec for money? - Hon. O’Neal

Leader of the Opposition Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal OBE said during the 2012 Standing Finance Committee hearing, while discussing funding for the BVI Tourist Board with the Premier's Office, that he does not see how the Minister for Tourism is going to be, as it were, as Minister of Finance, "begging" the Financial Secretary for money. Photo: VINO/File
Over the last year the Dr. Smith Administration has come in for much criticism from the public and Opposition Members for claiming to be promoting the Tourism sector while at the same time not adequately funding the Board. Photo: VINO/File
Over the last year the Dr. Smith Administration has come in for much criticism from the public and Opposition Members for claiming to be promoting the Tourism sector while at the same time not adequately funding the Board. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Leader of the Opposition Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal OBE believes the Minister for Tourism must be able to have some freedom of spending and not be "begging" the Financial Secretary for money to do so.

During the 2012 Standing Finance Committee (SFC) hearing when the Premier’s Office was testifying on their 2013 Budget allocation the issue of funding for the BVI Tourist Board was again discussed.

Representing the office of the Premier was the Permanent Secretary (PS) Mrs Rosalie Adams. 

During the House of Assembly SFC the Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn noted that $9.7 million was for the Tourist Board and enquired how it was going to work.

The PS explained that the $9.7 million for the Tourist Board is the initial amount that the Tourist Board, if approved, is presently able to utilise for the marketing and all the various activities of the Board. Mrs Adams added that if the Board is able to satisfy the Minister of Finance that additional funds are needed which they can justify and funds can be made available, then the Tourist Board would approach the Ministry and make a request.

However, Minister Walwyn told the SFC that the operating expenses for the Tourist Board is $8 million and it is clear that the Tourist Board is going to need more money. Mrs Adams admitted that the Minister for Education and Culture's statement was “true”.

Leader of the Opposition Hon. O'Neal commented that the programme he heard annunciated on Budget Day, and again being broadcast, signifies that the Minister for Tourism has an elaborate programme. 

The former Minister of Finance added that he does not see how the Minister for Tourism was going to be, as it were, as Minister of Finance, “begging” the Financial Secretary for money.

Hon. O’Neal noted that the Minister for Tourism must be able to have some freedom, not overspending, but will obviously have to find cases where some Departments will have to give up some in order to push the tourism sector.

The Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith thanked the Leader of the Opposition for his comments during the hearing.

Over the last year the Dr. Smith Administration has came in for much criticism from the public and Opposition Members for claiming to be promoting the Tourism sector while at the same time not adequately funding the Board. 

A couple of days ago, the Premier and Minister for Tourism announced that Mrs Sharon Flax-Mars was the new Director of Tourism.  This was a story already reported by Virgin Islands News Online some three months prior. 

16 Responses to “The Minister of Finance “begging” the Financial Sec for money? - Hon. O’Neal”

  • qc (12/01/2013, 13:59) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do you mean begging the FS or the DFS????
    • ... (12/01/2013, 17:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      All politians like the public to beg them its good now that they have to beg!
  • egg face (12/01/2013, 14:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    "The Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith thanked the Leader of the Opposition for his comments during the hearing".??? lol what else could he have dne???

  • ------------ (12/01/2013, 14:39) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    just a title as Minister of Finance grand deception masquerading as top man
  • mask man (12/01/2013, 15:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    If only we could say the same about Uncle when he was Minister of Finance…
  • same old (12/01/2013, 15:49) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope Ralph didn't get any brown stuff on your lips as he is always kissing the NDP's fat behind!
    • old man (13/01/2013, 08:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      You're wrong but don't let the facts get in your way. Did you read the article?
      • apple pie (13/01/2013, 19:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        lawd ah mussy children the teacher will bring you an apple now!
    • question (13/01/2013, 23:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      TO SAME OLD: Can you say anything sensible thats not defamatory?
  • ABC (12/01/2013, 16:11) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    What pisses me off is the fact that a man like POW is being allowed to call the shots in the Ninistry of Finance and Dr. Smith is sitting there like a lump on a log allowing this to happen. BLOW ME DOWN!!!. If you truely want to know what type of man is controlling our finances, ask Barba Gene. I have lost all respect for this Government.
  • JACK BE STILL (12/01/2013, 17:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Every body begging
  • HELLO!! (13/01/2013, 00:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I often wonder who is running the government...the FS or The Premier? Just saying...
  • Albion (14/01/2013, 03:46) Like (1) Dislike (10) Reply
    Not sure what RTO is implying? That Governmental departments should not have to set budgets and stick to them?
  • xc (17/01/2013, 01:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a bunch of incompetent government surrogates

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