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$13M for capital projects will affect sluggish economy – Christopher

- Says Premier’s attempts at increasing reserve fund a bit fast!
The 2nd district representative said the budget is a survivable one until “we can see better days”.
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Describing the budget as a survivable one, 2nd district representative Hon. Alvin Christopher is a bit worried that Government is putting too much money into the reserve fund too soon when there are capital projects outstanding to improve the lives of residents.

“I applaud the Premier for the budget, but his attempts to have $15M in the reserve fund by the end of the year when he only has $13M for development fund/capital projects will have a further negative impact on a sluggish economy,” Hon. Christopher said in an exclusive interview with Virgin Islands News Online last evening, January 17, 2012.

Earlier in the day, Premier Dr. D. Orlando Smith, OBE had delivered his budget speech where he announced that the operational expenditure for the fiscal year is projected to be $258,472,000 against revenues that are projected to be $287,472,000. This year’s budget theme is “Austerity today secures economic recovery tomorrow".

The Premier, who is also the Finance Minister, had also announced his intention to have $100M in the reserve fund by 2015, with $15M to be allocated for this fiscal year.

However, while the 2nd district representative said the budget is a survivable one until “we can see better days”, added that during the Standing Finance Committee stage he will observe closely to see if heads of departments can manage with $13M.

He disclosed that between $5 and $6M is currently in the reserve fund, which was the Virgin Islands’ cushion for many years in keeping the Territory afloat as was revealed in the Auditor General’s report. Albeit the grim situation, he is proposing that the development fund be increased by Government.

“I understand what the Premier wants to do in terms of building back the reserve fund. He is attempting to meet the required stipulation by the United Kingdom Government, which is for the VI to have three months operational expenditure that is between $60 and $70M,” Hon. Christopher explained. “But I hope he can review that so that capital works that are still outstanding can be completed.”

Meanwhile, an aspect of the budget that impressed Hon. Christopher is that special legislation will be enforced so that the entire House of Assembly, instead of only the Finance Minister, will have a say on “how the reserve fund is operated and spent”.

On January 26, 2012 the HOA will begin going through the address with a fine tooth comb.

10 Responses to “$13M for capital projects will affect sluggish economy – Christopher”

  • ooooo (18/01/2012, 07:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    doc dont have a clue about running governments
    • smart (19/01/2012, 08:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree especilly the finace portion...ronnie dem still runing tings
  • billy b (18/01/2012, 08:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    struupps, Alvin shut yuh tail up, because if we the tax payers didn't have to foot the bill for the land you give away to people, we might not have been so badly off. All of a suden ayo VIP's know what needs to be done but when ayo was in there all yuh do is spend, spend, spend.
  • Wow (18/01/2012, 10:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow only 6 Mil in th ereserve fund ? am i correct in what i am reading . Please some one help me here. If thats the Case that is scary
  • Real Talk (18/01/2012, 11:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Alvin, I didn't hear your mouth when the country was looking like little Haiti but millions spent on nonsense! Focus on being District Rep. and cut the BS, let the Government do what they were elected to do! If Doc falls for your foolishness and UK end up with more control, you will tell the people "See what we said?". Now that Doc is trying to revamp our reserves to keep the UK off our backs, now you're not happy. What will really make you happy? Schups!
  • waste vote (18/01/2012, 12:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Alvin, are you ever going to stand up for the Safety of the people in Ballast Bay and the thousands of touristss that traverse our dangerious road each and every day? The roadway just before the last narrow blind curve down to Cane Garden is deteriorating more daily. The cavern that was left as a result of the rains of z010 has never been repaired. One day a car will fall into it. Not to mention the other areas along the same road that have boulders or pylons and tapes as the only preventive matters to protect life!!!
  • spin (18/01/2012, 14:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    poor alvin cannot compter with the govler parks spin he the new oppsition leader????
  • farmer brown (18/01/2012, 22:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    see how doc spin the lil lil $500 he teking off them elelcted people dem big pay and while killing the civil servants...we will never forget trust I

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