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VIP inherits $300K festival debt from NDP

-Major scale back for 2019 festivities as gov’t looks to save cash
According to Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Agriculture, Fisheries, Sports, and Youth Affairs, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) this is because the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government has inherited a $300,000 deficit for the previous National Democratic Party (NDP) government. Photo: VINO/File
Speaking what will happen to the 2019 festivities Hon Wheatley said, “The allocation we currently have cannot cover that [Festivities]... so, we have to make a decision whether we are going to allocate money, which will call [for] money being taken from other areas, or we are going to live within our means.” Photo: VINO/File
Speaking what will happen to the 2019 festivities Hon Wheatley said, “The allocation we currently have cannot cover that [Festivities]... so, we have to make a decision whether we are going to allocate money, which will call [for] money being taken from other areas, or we are going to live within our means.” Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Ahead of the 2019 Emancipation Festival, residents are being told that the 65th anniversary festivities will now be scaled down significantly due to financial constraints.

According to Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Agriculture, Fisheries, Sports, and Youth Affairs, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), this is because the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government has inherited a $300,000 deficit for the previous National Democratic Party (NDP) government.

Saving Money

According to Hon Wheatley—under whose Ministry the Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee (BVIF&FC) falls—the festivities for this year has a budget of $710,000, "We have $710,000 budgeted for the year… Right now we have to attempt to save as much money as possible," he said.

Stressing that he will take the flak for the decision to scale back, Hon Wheatley told reporters on April 5, 2019, “Before we have even started… before we have even spent one red cent, we are already in the hole by approximately $300,000. And that’s based on unbudgeted expenses from the previous administration.”

According to the first time Minister and known Culturist, an audit is in the making for the accounts of the BVIF&FC books, however, he noted that his government will seek to clear the outstanding debts owed to vendors.

 “I am going to make it a priority to pay vendors who are owed and hopefully they will have some patience, but I think as long as they see that we are making some serious efforts to pay, they will work with us.”

Business Continues

The Minister also noted that some of those owed by the previous NDP administration, have already signed on to working with the VIP government.

Speaking on what will happen to the 2019 festivities, Hon Wheatley said, “The allocation we currently have cannot cover that [festivities]... so, we have to make a decision whether we are going to allocate money, which will call [for] money being taken from other areas, or we are going to live within our means.”

In a frugal rant, Hon Wheatley said that it is important that the Virgin Islands (VI) live within its means, “Now, if we live within our means, it means that some of what we have become accustomed to, have to be scaled back, and I am willing to take the flog for that.”

He said, "It’s easy to go out and spend lots and lots of money and everybody has a good time. But considering where we are in our development, considering the needs that we have in this Territory following the storms of 2017, it behoves us to be very responsible in terms of how we spend every cent."

6 Responses to “VIP inherits $300K festival debt from NDP”

  • island man (07/04/2019, 12:22) Like (11) Dislike (14) Reply
    funny man and his crew killed everything in the BVI
  • Concerned (07/04/2019, 12:24) Like (17) Dislike (15) Reply
    we the voters must work with VIP, PU and VIPM to never see the face of NDP in POWER EVERY AGAIN
  • So (07/04/2019, 13:01) Like (25) Dislike (3) Reply
    Why have the festival...Very little of it is culturally the VI. VIslanders tend to not show up and vacation off island during the festival. It is really not their festivalThe up deislun imported entertainment which is where a large portion of the budget goes is vulgar and disrespectful. Don't need it.
  • Accountant (07/04/2019, 16:29) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    "Hon Wheatley told reporters on April 5, 2019, “Before we have even started… before we have even spent one red cent, we are already in the hole by approximately $300,000. And that’s based on unbudgeted expenses from the previous administration.”. Could the referred debt have been brought forward from 2010?
  • the wall (08/04/2019, 02:12) Like (5) Dislike (8) Reply
    You all need to audit that Cheque book with his moorings accountant being the only signature

    You will see thing bossie


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