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UPDATE: Get rid of ‘Governor in Council’– R.T. O’Neal

- Says employers who deduct from employees’ salaries & not paying SSD are thieves
Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal has made the call for the term ‘Governor in Council’ be removed from the Ordinance of the Virgin Islands and be replaced with the word 'Cabinet'. He also called for stronger actions to be taken against defaulting employers as it relates to payments of employees Social Security. Photo: VINO
The motion to be put forward in the House of Assembly on July 25, 2013 will seek to have the Director of the BVI Social Security Board, Antoinette Skelton (in photo), moved to a new payment scale of $98,000 to $169,400; and the Deputy Director to a salary scale of $87,568.98 to $151,369.23. Photo: VINO/File
The motion to be put forward in the House of Assembly on July 25, 2013 will seek to have the Director of the BVI Social Security Board, Antoinette Skelton (in photo), moved to a new payment scale of $98,000 to $169,400; and the Deputy Director to a salary scale of $87,568.98 to $151,369.23. Photo: VINO/File
The motion will be brought by the Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton. Photo: VINO/File
The motion will be brought by the Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Looking through the ordinance, Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE has stressed it is time the term ‘Governor in Council’ be removed from the Ordinance of the Virgin Islands.

This was a strong view expressed by the former Premier of the Territory while lending his support for the motion for a salary increase for the Director and Deputy Directors of the Social Security Boards.

The motion was passed last evening July 25, 2013, at the tenth sitting of the second session of the second House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands after it was tabled by the Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton.

The passed motion will see the Director of the Social Security Board’s salary moving to a scale of $98,000 to $169,400 and that of the Deputy Directors moving to a scale of $87,568.98 to $151,369.23. According to Hon. Skelton, the positions had not seen an increase since 2007.

But while the Leader of the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP), Hon. O’Neal made it abundantly clear that he is not against anyone getting paid for their labour, he stressed his disapproval of the Governor’s office being involved in some businesses, which he feels should rest solely in the hands of a Minister of Government.

According to Hon O’Neal, the term ‘Governor in Council’ should be removed from the ordinance and be replaced with the word ‘Cabinet’. “The governor should not be interfering in a matter like this. That shouldn’t be within his duties because he has other responsibilities and that is a Ministerial subject now. It should be the cabinet, the Minister who should take on this and the cabinet will make the decision.” said Hon. O’Neal.

Employers are thieves

He was also very vocal on the issue of defaulting employers who are guilty of deducting social security dues from employees payment and have not been paying it to Social Security. “The Social Security Board cannot lean on the four hundred million dollars that might there to invest when so many employers have not been paying in the monies that they deducted from the employees’ wages,” said Hon. O’Neal.

“I call that stealing or thieving and what is dangerous in there again is that the law provides that if the employee can prove that money has been taken from him for social security and he happens to go to Social Security [Department] if he is sick or whatever, Social Security will have to pay.” Hon. O’Neal stressed that this practice could contribute significantly to the dwindling of Social Security investments.

He further challenged Hon. Ronnie W. Skelton to ensure that such defaulting employers be put before the court of law. In the same light he also said the Social Security Board needs to be strengthened and be more proactive, adding that there should be a separate committee or organ to look into matters of employees since, according to him, “One person cannot do it.”

“I know that when we were preparing for Social Security we were warned against those things that had happened to other countries and right now I am hearing on the street that there is quite a big debt owed by employers who are not paying the monies that they took from the employees and they would continue to do that kind of thing if they are not stopped,” Hon. O’Neal said.

The Social Security Act of the Virgin Islands was passed into law by the now Opposition Virgin Islands Party some years ago, an initiative which members of the House commended the former Premier for. “That was a historic moment for Tortola,” said Hon. O’Neal while noting he has been keeping his eyes and ears to the ground on matters of Social Security.

Hon. Skelton endorsed the views of Hon. O’Neal and also stated that legal actions have been taken against some defaulting employers so far.

See previous story posted June 23, 2013:

Is Dir. of S.S. Antoinette Skelton getting a salary increase?

- Director to rake in between $98,000 to $169,400 and Deputy $87,568.98 to $151,369.23 per annum in new scale

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- While all ears will be on the debate over the Motion of No Confidence on the Order Paper brought by Third District Representative Honourable Julian Fraser RA, to the House of Assembly on July 25, 2013, the National Democratic Party Government will be seeking a salary increase for both the Director of the Social Security Board, Antoinette Skelton, and the Deputy Director.

A motion will be brought by the Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton, placing the officers in a new salary scale.

The motion will seek to have the Director of the BVI Social Security Board placed in a salary scale of $98,000 to $169,400; and the Deputy Director be placed to the salary scale of $87,568.98 to $151,369.23. According to the motion, the higher salary scale will be retroactive to January 1, 2012.

It is unclear if the new salary scale will apply to both of the Deputy Directors of the Board, Roy Barry and Jeanette Scatliffe-Boynes.

According to the order paper for the tenth sitting of the second session of the second House of Assembly, the motion is covered under sections 7 (1) and 9 (1) of the Social Security Ordinance (Cap 266) which governs  the terms and conditions of the Employment of the Director and Deputy Director.

It remains unclear how both the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Opposition in the House of Assembly and the public will react in a time of recession to be increasing the salaries of public sector officers.

Calls to Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie W. Skelton were not returned up to post time.

63 Responses to “UPDATE: Get rid of ‘Governor in Council’– R.T. O’Neal”

  • ooooo (23/07/2013, 14:07) Like (29) Dislike (0) Reply
    what a feast on the public's purse?
  • . (23/07/2013, 14:08) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Are these political rewards?
  • bupa (23/07/2013, 14:09) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    bad timing!
  • Binocs (23/07/2013, 14:10) Like (32) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's sad and she ain't paying her Staff
  • critic (23/07/2013, 14:10) Like (46) Dislike (0) Reply
    8 young people could've been hired with this amount of money.
  • enough (23/07/2013, 14:25) Like (54) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is time for her to go home and let someone else get an opportunity to grow. Government give her a raise and she is at retirement age. WELL WELL!!!!!
  • Education (23/07/2013, 14:25) Like (6) Dislike (78) Reply
    It's sad to know that so many people do not understand what a scale is. SMH.
    • Cutty Wise (23/07/2013, 15:25) Like (30) Dislike (0) Reply
      This woman should be home chilling. Going through different hair pieces and stuff. Get a ypung vibrant person for the post or maybe she still have mortgages to pay. OK that is not our problem.
  • . (23/07/2013, 14:26) Like (1) Dislike (329) Reply
    That's no body business
  • crazy (23/07/2013, 14:29) Like (29) Dislike (1) Reply
    This government on crack or what?they don't have money for poor people but continue to give people who driving lexsus come uk come please we going down a slippery slope we hanging in a balance those were Ronnie words and all he doing is fatting some youall play the tape.
  • glasses (23/07/2013, 14:34) Like (24) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well ndp rewards for what she did on psc
  • tola owl (23/07/2013, 14:37) Like (27) Dislike (0) Reply
    where there is no vesion the peole true i love the vip for that the rich getting richer and the poor remain poorer . i aint goin lie but from time the ndp get in the people of the bvi perishing everything for the ndp is money mone money they dont gave a ratss about the people !
    • Education (23/07/2013, 17:19) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply

      And where there's no Education people will chat bulls**t and be unable to spell simple words and construct a simple sentence.

  • David (23/07/2013, 14:57) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    They ought to be putting forth a motion for pay cuts...for the elected officials too!
    • Interesting! (23/07/2013, 16:02) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
      Totally agree with you that there needs to be a scale back on the perks until we get our house in order.
  • dem say (23/07/2013, 15:11) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    the staff down de getting peanuts, ketching hell and she skinning hur teeth. de working so hard. always have praises for dem yet she pay who she waant.badness don't pay and karma is a bitch. Ge de staff a raise nah
  • Plant... (23/07/2013, 15:17) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lord have Mercy on this place
  • insider (23/07/2013, 15:23) Like (28) Dislike (0) Reply
    dem say she asked people to retire when they reach 60 and she over that what double standards what a unfair women..but god is love
  • NDP voter (23/07/2013, 15:38) Like (28) Dislike (0) Reply
    when businesses catching hell to pay in social security, and taxes and with the coming of the NHI how on earth could the NDP justify giving her a salary increase...what a shame..another clear sign that the NDP must go
  • mad (23/07/2013, 17:02) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Give the prison officers the increase they need it, they put there live on the line every day so they need it
    • what (26/07/2013, 10:11) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Not only Prison Officers need a raise, Fire Officers as well. Look how long auxiliary pay has been $6 and cents!!!!! Plus they now want them to become EMT's and still receive the same lame salary. This is ridiculous!!!! Fire and Rescue have beeen asking the Govenment for aa raise in pay for years and now NDP come and give more money to who already have. Ppl like to say Fire Officers don't do any work, but don't look at the fact that they don't have much fires to extinguish look at the fact that every time there is a motor vehicle acciddent they buss their behinds to rescue ppl. Raise $ Raise $ Raise $
  • Sick Of It (23/07/2013, 17:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    This increase will be due to the upcoming National Health insurance I'm sure, that Social security will be spearheading.
  • Me (23/07/2013, 17:27) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why the Government don't give the poor people their half increment that they took away and please pay the increment for this year. She is well off already and her Social Security Benefit will kick in shortly. This is totally unjust. By the way where is the money coming from when they say that the country brokes?!!!
  • mary j (23/07/2013, 17:37) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    LAWD NDP again, honestly when I saw the headline of that article I did not read it
  • Observer (23/07/2013, 21:01) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Now I have nothing against Antoinett ,but this government must come to grip that this country is in a depression .We cannot a this time afford to give them huge salary increase the uk is watching what we do and how we do it.This Government is going to put us back into the UK controlling .
    • Fed Up (26/07/2013, 14:24) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Government stop the injustice to your people.
      You dont meet the people there is no way you all getting back in. the country is crying out.
      Your people are suffering wake up, stop spending the people money stupid.
  • tom cat (23/07/2013, 21:14) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    More injustice against the poor working class
  • Just Tired (23/07/2013, 21:37) Like (4) Dislike (24) Reply
    Lack of education is a sad thing. Government don't pay social security workers. Social Security probably have more money than the government and that is under her watch. Maybe she needs to take over the finance of the government.
    • hello (25/07/2013, 10:10) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Social Security Board is a regulated revenue collection entity. They should have more money that Government as they are not building roads, investing in infrastructure, etc...if that is all Goverment or any other person did, we'd all be rich!!!!!
  • alpine (23/07/2013, 21:47) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lord some of the Civil Servants crying out for help they have mortgages to pay to. Give us our half increment please we do need it no money but huge pay hike for some. Not a chick, chick but huge pay raises come on NDP stop this crap.
    • civil servant (24/07/2013, 00:16) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      I am 100% in agreement and every civl servant needs to stand behind getting our increment!!!!!!!!
  • Justification (23/07/2013, 21:47) Like (7) Dislike (305) Reply
    While I believe Antoinette deserves her increase, can anyone tell me what Jeanette does to justify hers? Waste of money as far as I am concerned. She needs to work for hers as I am not convince of what she does in order to receive what she's getting presently, much less to deserve an increase.
  • dem say (23/07/2013, 22:35) Like (6) Dislike (27) Reply
    keep ur arse offf jeeenet
    • Glue (25/07/2013, 19:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      You will say that because you are just like her. But listen to this, you and her fooled the B.V.I for a long time but that time soon up! Set of incompetent jokers !!
  • Not pleased (23/07/2013, 22:36) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    There are some persons in this Territory who are not even getting their salaries or being paid for extra hours worked. This is an unfair labour practice which needs to be addressed immediately. I hope when they get paid they would be paid retroactively too. Remember God don't like ugly.
    • Ribit (24/07/2013, 07:15) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Government human resource department famous. always watching what other people getting and they try to make justification on bias platforms. set of crook. compensation administration done the right way but if they are not treating the very staff up there right those not in there goose cook.
  • Tolan (24/07/2013, 06:13) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow, country is broke and NDP is handing out to their own!
  • w*tch (24/07/2013, 06:48) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply

    go yur old @$$ home and gee the young people a chance plzzz!!!

  • my two cents (24/07/2013, 08:41) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI economy needs the kind of energy that is used to bring these self serving motion to the HOA to allow for production and productive BVIslanders to have a life and hope.
    Talking about the more things change, the more they remain the same!
  • NICK (24/07/2013, 08:46) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is nearly double increase.why so much?
  • chad (24/07/2013, 09:44) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Antoinette Skelton!!!! wow
  • VITAAA (24/07/2013, 11:33) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply

    Well this Country catching its @$$ and look what a old woman at retirement age is getting, an increase , this government loosing it

  • huiyt (24/07/2013, 11:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    my god, the vision im seeing this country going down hill uk coming look out
  • Dolly (24/07/2013, 11:37) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    WTF is this government doing? So many young people out of jobs, they just denied civil servants their $0.50 cents increment, now they want to give thousands of dollars raise to two people? Isn't it time for Antoinette to go home? Man, Dr. Smith and his regime is full of $hit. Every morning that we wake up, they come up with some thing more ridiculous than the day before. The economy is just bad for a certain set of people. Those who have get more, and those who don't have get even less. NDP really turn out to be bad news for the BVI. I am so disappointed. I voted for these bums.
  • Yes (24/07/2013, 12:40) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    I do hope the voters will indeed do something effective about this scourge on our society.
  • fox rat (24/07/2013, 13:28) Like (1) Dislike (244) Reply
    Maybe she is a hard worker deman
  • high hope (24/07/2013, 18:18) Like (17) Dislike (8) Reply
    Be honest with yourselves, and your constitutents NDP If you fail admit it - don't use excuses to explain it and make the VIP look like they left the country broke when you can find all this $$$$$ to pay this old lady that needs to go home.
  • young island man (24/07/2013, 20:32) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I Remember last election Dr.Smith was on the radio begging the people of the virgin islands to vote for him, he says the last time i did not listen to you but this time i will listen, please give me your vote i will listen to you this time, he forget his words so quick? he was telling lies, he did only want to go there to lead the country down the drain, now the health minister is a skelton and the ssb ole lady is a skelton too. look at that.
  • dirty old women (24/07/2013, 23:16) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    people this is just a reward for doing the NDP dirty work against civil servants who they claimed were VIP
  • wha (25/07/2013, 06:18) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    a.s. practices double standards, unfair practices, not fair for a so called christian. jus a bunch of pretenders killing people. pure evilness!!!
  • bvi islander (25/07/2013, 10:00) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply

    The dir is mean

  • NDPVIPTODEBONE (25/07/2013, 19:56) Like (3) Dislike (41) Reply
    Ha, you all think NDP stupid? Government broke, Social Security rich. How can they borrow from Social Security if they don't have the Director and Deputy Directors on their side? Think for a moment; Social Security is no longer under the Ministry of Finance but under the Ministry of Health. Ronnie wants NHI to come on stream badly, don't you think he's going to look out after these people?
  • little man (25/07/2013, 23:42) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    hope she happy now with her big salary for doing nothing...what a shame
  • dem say (26/07/2013, 05:50) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    de really approve the dir salary. she should be darm shram of sheself. poor staf bawling and she skin teeth eh. well sah. only in tolaaa. hope her arse sleep gud when her staff starving. wickedness
  • east (26/07/2013, 10:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well we can’t wait until the VIP gets back to keep an eye on these governors who runs rings around the NDP
  • c (26/07/2013, 15:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    well sAW
  • vip (26/07/2013, 18:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    Loook at that since 2007 no pay raise but look at the prison how long since they get a pay raise these gov.doing all kind a bull look at prison they need a pay raise forbes need to look out for his officers or step down

    • crucial (26/07/2013, 20:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Wah bout de new chief zeblon by fire? He got to fight for de man dem to. I hear de man dem gettin charge there on a regular. N when I say charge I mean money comin out dey pay. N de government done aint payin no money. boss times ruff and people need money. I think all officers who protect and serve need ah raise. Real tawk
      • hello (30/07/2013, 20:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

        Charge ayo backside yes. some ah ayo like to do too much crap and then saying people treating yo bad. when yo on people job behave like yo want to keep the job nah. Strupes man.

  • long road (29/07/2013, 18:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    getting rid of the governor is not something to be rush ,this is the country developement ......the right decision should have been made three decades ago

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