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Willock calls for sectoral minimum wage; town council for sister islands

- said NDP Government has wiped out the middle class in VI, leaving just rich & poor
Former Permanent Secretary, businessman and political aspirant Julian Willock continues to offer solutions for improvement to the state of affairs of the Virgin Islands, recommending sectoral minimum wage increase and town council for sister islands. Photo: VINO/File
A minimum wage increase across the board, according to Mr Julian Willock, may not be feasible for all business owners, particularly small businesses, hence his recommendation for sectoral minimum wage increases. Photo: Internet Source
A minimum wage increase across the board, according to Mr Julian Willock, may not be feasible for all business owners, particularly small businesses, hence his recommendation for sectoral minimum wage increases. Photo: Internet Source
Businessman and political aspirant Mr Julian Willock was a guest of the online radio show, Fresh Radio Vybz with Paul A. Peart aka ‘Gadiethz’, on November 29, 2017. Photo: Facebook
Businessman and political aspirant Mr Julian Willock was a guest of the online radio show, Fresh Radio Vybz with Paul A. Peart aka ‘Gadiethz’, on November 29, 2017. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Proving that he is not just about criticising, former Permanent Secretary, businessman and political aspirant Julian Willock continues to offer solutions for improvement to the state of affairs of the Virgin Islands.

And still stopping short of announcing his candidacy for the next general elections, constitutionally due in two years, Mr Willock said he didn’t want the focus to be on him but on the people of the Virgin Islands.

The former Director of the Water and Sewerage Department (W&SD), who holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Political Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Certificate in Public Administration from the University of the West Indies, was at the time a guest of the online radio show, Fresh Radio Vybz with Paul A. Peart aka ‘Gadiethz’, on November 29, 2017.

During the show, Mr Willock weighed in on a number of topics as presented by the host, including crime, finance, and social issues.

Sectoral minimum wage

Maintaining that the reality on the ground is that many people are struggling to make ends meet, Mr Willock said one of the things that needs to be looked at again is the minimum wage.

It was on October 1, 2016 that the Territory’s minimum wage was raised from $4.00 to $6.00 per hour.

But according to Mr Willock, sectoral minimum wage is what needs to be considered so that persons on the lower scale of salaries, such as labourers, hotel workers and local employees in trust companies, can benefit.

Mr Willock mentioned too that a minimum wage increase across the board may not be feasible for all business owners, particularly small businesses.

“So you need to have sectoral minimum wage…Let’s take for example, in the trust companies; you have a lot of people, the top echelons of the trust companies, are usually people who are flown in, they make six, seven, eight figures [salaries]. And then the persons, usually locals, at the desk, the compliance officer pushing paper, the secretary, their wage is like night and day. And we have to have some sort of minimum wage in that sector so all of our people will be lifted up.

Strengthen the middle class

Mr Willock is of the view that development must be for all the people and not just a selected few, the latter which he believes has been taking place in the Virgin Islands.

The political aspirant said everything must be done to strengthen the middle class.

“The middle class under the National Democratic Party (NDP) has been wiped out. We have two classes now- rich and poor. That is not how we are used to living.”

Town council for sister islands

Bringing more solutions to the table, Mr Willock said the sister islands must be treated better and that they have been ignored post hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“They were [ignored] before and now it is even worse. We have to look at getting some sort of town council on Virgin Gorda, maybe Anegada and Jost van Dyke, where these town councils are empowered with a budget so that the sister islands feel a more part of our development.

A town council, village council or rural council is a form of local government for small municipalities. It has an important role in promoting the town, representing its interests and supporting the work of different groups in the community.

“And most of all we have to bring everyone together, whether you black, white, rich or poor,” Mr Willock concluded.

23 Responses to “Willock calls for sectoral minimum wage; town council for sister islands”

  • voter (30/11/2017, 15:21) Like (9) Dislike (8) Reply
    Hats off the man is solid
  • zoe (30/11/2017, 17:04) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    Just hope after we elect wilox, Fraser and Fahie could get him control...ANOTHER myron one man show
    • @ Zoe (03/12/2017, 15:43) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Please! MVW can not even carry the bag of a fraction of the results that Mr. Willock has produced over his career
  • belonger (30/11/2017, 17:41) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    At least he is bringing solutions, what are the others doing?
    • wize up (01/12/2017, 02:59) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ belonged: some of we voted NDP because their level of "conversation" just before the election sounded stimulating however some folk sorry now(it is easy to talk the talk but walking the walk is difficult thing)
  • Observer (30/11/2017, 18:06) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good points Mr. Willock. Another point for consideration by the Govt. is the need to raise the pension received by pensioners (in the foreseeable future of course)..similar to the increase in the amt. of social security rec. by persons 65 and over a few years ago.
  • work (30/11/2017, 18:13) Like (21) Dislike (4) Reply
    What about increasing the construction workers salaries. When was the last time construction workers get a pay increase. Yet they increase visa , work permit, bring in NHI , $50 just to drop off work permit form and that’s after a significant work permit fee increase!!!!! Talk about that !!!
  • Fresh Face (30/11/2017, 18:38) Like (4) Dislike (11) Reply
    I seriously think that it’s time for Virgin Gorda to get out from the shadow of Tortola. A town council may be the first step but that is only a short term goal. Virgin Gorda post Irma charted its course and was on its own - doing very well from what I observed. If it can not be treated as an equal it should seriously seek to sever ties with Tortola.
    • bam (30/11/2017, 19:57) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
      I love these two ideas mr willock is serious about helping our people
  • cay (30/11/2017, 19:58) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Boyz esteem you on full trotel
  • concern (30/11/2017, 20:02) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    How does himself or other politicians that depends on large businesses and their ads etc that support their businesses deal with these businesses when they are doing people wrong.? I haven't heard one Politician excspt Alvera Caines take on big businesses like Rite way, Flow and Cable TV... How can we move forward when the people who are oppressing the people is getting a free pass...
    • wize up (01/12/2017, 15:57) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ concern: you miss out one(apply for a trade license) and will see the hell!!!
  • See (30/11/2017, 20:25) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    maybe the north shore of Tortola should have its own council . To be honest that portion of the country has been COMPLETELY forgotten by thfe government .. . That said ..the man makes good points and at least has not hid his head in the sand as others have done
  • taxpayer (30/11/2017, 22:35) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Like him or hate him he is off to a good start.
    Julien has my vote unless he joints the wrong group.

    He shows courage not hiding behind any banana tree
  • bvi (30/11/2017, 23:43) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    What I want to see is an adjustment to the code for LIVE IN HELP.
    Nannies get free housing, food, utilities transportation and still to get minimum wage and overtime over 40 hrs. That's a value of over $2500 a month most times. Even the UK makes it clear that a live in would be expected to work longer hours.
  • E. Leonard (01/12/2017, 19:37) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some of us are skilled at pointing out what is wrong but JW not only identifies problems but also provides solutions. Everyone may not agree with his points of view but he is bringing issues to the table for debate. Lets take two of the points in this article: local government councils for Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke and sectorial minimum wages.

    All politics is local says former US House Reprensative Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neille. Local government councils for districts and outlying are a great idea. People at the 30’ level have a better view than people at the 30000’ level. Engaging communities thru local government create ownership and buy in. Do residents of outlying islands feel disengaged, left out? Are there issues with district and at large representation?

    The next issue is sectorial minimum wages. Workers need to make a living wage to care for they and their families. What is a living wage? It is hard to define but we know it when see it. No doubt, wages need to keep pace with the skyrocketing cost of living. Wages are lagging the increasing cost of living with the proverbial basket of goods costing those at the lower rung of the economic ladder a pretty penny, struggling to make ends meet. Nonetheless, not too sure that setting a minimum is a panacea for lagging wages. The answer may lie in basic economic supply and demand; more is demanded at lower price and more is supplied a higher price. Conversely, less is demanded at a higher price and less is supplied at a lower price. In regards to minimum wage, when the minimum wage is increased, typically employers demand less workers. And when wages are increased, businesses passed on the increase to consumers. The lower hiring of workers, coupled with rising prices, tend to hurt the workers that minimum wages were intended to help. Raising the minimum wage is good politics but could be poor economics. So what is the solution to helping workers at lower end of the economic ladder? Well, there are no easy solutions. It will take training, education, subsidies., government action(s).......etc.
  • overseas (02/12/2017, 08:38) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Willock their might be up to 3 At Large seats open for grabs. Competition will be tight, but I think you can slip though with one! just keep coming with solutions and keep fighting for the little people and how you will make the BVI a better place.
    • Socrates (02/12/2017, 20:31) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Overseas, which three at large seats are up for grsb? Did many winning candidates rode the NDP wave to victory? Was the NDP 11-2 landslide a result of weak and ill- prepared VIP, and PEP tickets? Will independents be like the Phoenix and rise from the ashes? Is a lopsided government serves the nation interest? Will a coalition government do better in meeting the people’s needs and expectations? Why do political aspirants wait until 11:59 to declare their candidacy? Are not the days of social class, family ties, olde money, titles...... etc long gone? Are character, knowledge, experience, skills, ability, humility......etc in vogue?
      • @ socrates (02/12/2017, 22:33) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        lots of serious questions, but I voting for fresh blood and new ideas bottom line!
  • Common Sense (03/12/2017, 09:41) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Using common sense always make sense.. This is an example of common sense that make sense..


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