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2017 Budget Debate Day is February 23

- First Sitting with the New Opposition Leader Hon Andrew A. Fahie
From left: Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) and new Opposition Leader and Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Chairman Hon Andrew A. Fahie, who will make his contribution for the first time in the House of Assembly as Opposition Leader. Photo: VINO/File
The 2017 Budget Debate is to take place in the House of Assembly (HoA) on Thursday February 23, 2017. Photo: VINO/File
The 2017 Budget Debate is to take place in the House of Assembly (HoA) on Thursday February 23, 2017. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The National Budget or Appropriation Act of 2017 is moving slowly through the process.

It was our newsroom that first and accurately announced the Budget Address date for the 2017 spending Bill which was January 16, 2017 and that the House of Assembly’s Standing Finance Committee had concluded its deliberations on January 27, 2017.

Now word reaching our newsroom from our senior National Democratic Party (NDP) sources close to the Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith Administration is that the 2017 Budget Debate will take place in the House of Assembly (HoA) on Thursday February 23, 2017.

Elected Members are to receive their summons within the next 24 hours.

It is unclear how long the debate will take, but it’s the goal to wrap it up in two days, according to the same source.

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) presented a $323M Budget that called for higher taxes on most if not all services of Government, along with other rate hike on the private sector, which includes higher business fees.

History made with new Opposition Leader

History will also be made as this is the first time that a new Opposition Leader will change before an election or without a Member of the sitting Opposition crossing the floor. Controversial Governor John S. Duncan OBE, whose critics have labeled as ineffective and has little or no regard for the constitution or good governance, ousted Opposition Leader Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) on Monday February 6, 2017.

The United Kingdom appointed Governor replaced Hon Fraser with Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) based on Mr Fahie being elected as Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party. Many in the legal fraternity said this was unconstitutional as set out in section 70 1 and 2 of the Virgin Islands Constitutional Order 2007.

While the Governor has some discretion, they wonder, if this was an appropriate exercise of the discretion. According to many in the legal fraternity, it may set a wide precedent and it would mean for example, that if an Opposition Party with only two Members who cannot agree changes its party leader six times before the House of Assembly is dissolved for a next general election that the governor may feel obliged to disrupt the HoA to revoke an appointment six times.

25 Responses to “2017 Budget Debate Day is February 23”

  • Wow! (09/02/2017, 19:28) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    That should be good!!! Popcorn time again!!! Yeah!
  • dog (09/02/2017, 19:34) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Vino you the best SMH some members even have not gotton their papers..
  • Sly Foxes (09/02/2017, 19:41) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    With all these tax and business fee hikes well guess who have to pay for this Government bad spending habits? All you will learn next time all you go vote. Anybody bawling now get exactly what they deserve. Let they try fool all you again. They done start lying again bout the economy strong. This budget debate I can only imagine the drama.
    • reality (09/02/2017, 23:15) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Boss please! You think because you vote for another party the country's fiscal situation will automatically change? Fees have remained stagnated for donkey years while govt continues to hire and hire and hire more people so what do you expect? NHI and fee hikes would be the case regardless of which party is elected. Its either enact those things or start laying off the slackers that work for govt. so dont fool yourselves.

      You can put VIP in tomorrow and we will still have issues with Schools, Healthcare, Sewage, Electricity, Water, roads and infrastructure, foreign investment, Airport and Seaport expansion etc. to deal with. Tell Andrew to explain to the good people what he will do different to NDP and where he will find the money to do all those things. Since everything seems to be wrong, ask the others what they will do right.
      • @reality (10/02/2017, 08:56) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        Yea yea yea this the same spin NDP use in 2011 and then fool us with a snap election. Even a donkey will do better than those white collar crooks. The whole country is wiser now. Go spend your little petty cash hand out happy Friday you might end up buying me one too lol.
        • reality (10/02/2017, 10:52) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
          When you don't get what you want you're upset and pretend as if it's about the country. Answer the question, where will any other Government get the funds needed to run the Territory if not via taxation or job cuts. You don't want taxes, you don't want layoffs, you don't want investment, aka the white man sell out money. So WTF do you want besides a slap?
  • Liat 521 (09/02/2017, 19:55) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Oh no that day i am flying to texas
  • wize up (09/02/2017, 20:56) Like (5) Dislike (10) Reply
    I can't wait to hear the Right Honourable J Fraser.poor chap has taken a beating all left to do now is strip Fraser of that 3rd district title....
    • wise up (10/02/2017, 09:38) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
      @wize up. TRUMP IS GREAT-TRUMP IS GOOD, we're here to stay!!! Y'ALL LET US IN THE BVI AND PARTIED WITH US-you F!!!D UP. So let's FESS UP, Mr. "wize guy" , put your OXI-CLEAN STAIN REMOVING MIND AWAY. We'll REMAIN A STAIN in the BVI. LEAVE, if you dont like it!
  • Charley Rose (09/02/2017, 22:37) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    There's every reason to think of this debate to be much about zero!!!
  • qc (09/02/2017, 22:44) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    just another status quo budget.
  • not! (09/02/2017, 22:45) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am currently 14 hours into labor with my first child, and listening to the budget debate is all the pain relief I need.
    • Painrelief? (10/02/2017, 10:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Sorry, Not, if you waiting for pain relief from the budget debate on the 23rd and currently in labour, I question the competence of your doctor and your own mental state, because the debate is 13 days away.
  • Well Well (09/02/2017, 22:50) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    poor we Joe public have to put up with just more typical rhetoric coming from the mouths of politicians for the Budget Debate
  • Sidelines (09/02/2017, 22:52) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Orlando, if we are going to have the same 'dead horses' in the 'stable', then nothing will seriously get done even after the budget is passed.
  • Online Now (09/02/2017, 22:55) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    You politicians could talk until you are blue in the face but until we have a new election, there will be no improvement, it will only get worse.
  • @ Online Now (09/02/2017, 23:18) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    How will a new election change things for the better? So everyone is just going to act like the BVI only got to this point because of NDP and not because of 15yrs of wastage and almost zero developments on the main island Tortola? Too many people vote for who can help them best and to hell with the country so they dont fool me with their faux patriotism.
    • @onlinenow (10/02/2017, 09:00) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Beware of fake people everybody has something new to bring what that means is everybody looking a job!
  • thomas (09/02/2017, 23:41) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well Well more taxes the government operating like their ST Thomas counter Parts ..The BVI Government is bankrupt so they are now taxing the clothes of our backs ..It's puzzling, before the snap Election the country had so much money and now we broke ,can someone tell me wea the money gone ..St Thomas Tax is Name Sin Tax .BVI Tax is Corrupt Tax ,what ah thing taxing our life's away ,I don't know why Duncan don't sign for the crooked politrickians to join those he sending away ,they ain't to better than them man..
  • @thomas (10/02/2017, 09:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    You right what's the difference between a white collar criminal and a drug pusher. They are both criminals except the white collar criminal can cause more damage to the entire country. Everyone is affected when the white collar criminal punches us to continue their crimes. We translate the pinch into imposed taxes, lack of infrastructure promised, false claims, backdeals, exposure to poverty and so on. Shame on the Governor when you really think about how he fails to investigate white collar crooks but yet approve the extradition of couple alleged pushers.
  • Boss (10/02/2017, 09:16) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Don't disrepect the doctor
  • Blessnotcurse (10/02/2017, 10:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    We are always quick to see our fellowman go down, but we should be quicker to offer a solution, an encouragement than wishing ill on our brothers and country. Some are watching waiting for us to devour each other and they pick up the spoils. Let us be wise Virgin Islanders, collectively working to make this place better. Chastise yes, but don't kill and bury the people we need to advance this country. We are one people. Know your history.
  • Sawda (10/02/2017, 18:43) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Duncan Set our People Free Set our People Free..

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